Sue Lyon (born July 10, 1946 in Davenport, Iowa) is a Golden Globe-winning American former actress.
Sue Lyon was fourteen years old when she was cast in the role of Dolores "Lolita" Haze, the sexually charged adolescent and the object of an older man's obsessions in Stanley Kubrick
's 1962 film, Lolita
. She was chosen for the role partly because her curvy figure suggested an older adolescent. Based on the Vladimir Nabokov
novel of the same name, Kubrick's Lolita
, though a toned-down version of the book (Lolita is twelve in the novel), was nonetheless one of the most controversial films of its day. She was sixteen when the film premiered in September 1962. Lyon became an instant celebrity and won a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer – Female
. When released, Lolita
was Rated BBFC X by the British Board of Film Censors
, meaning no one under sixteen years of age was permitted in theaters.
At seventeen in 1963, Lyon was again cast as a seductive teen in John Huston
's The Night of the Iguana
(1964), competing for the affections of Richard Burton
's defrocked alcoholic preacher against the likes of Deborah Kerr
and Ava Gardner
. Again, controversy surrounded her because of a provocative scene in the film in which Lyon is shown emerging from the water. In 1965, she played a mission worker in China in director John Ford's
last feature film, 7 Women
. Lyon played the female lead in the 1967 comedy The Flim-Flam Man
and had a supporting role in 1967's Tony Rome
which starred Frank Sinatra
. She played the wife of daredevil Evel Knievel
in the 1971 film Evel Knievel
Sue Lyon's stardom deteriorated rapidly and by the 1970s she was relegated to mainly secondary roles but continued to work in film and television until 1980.