Sue Lyon, star of Stanley Kubrick‘s ’62 adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov‘s Lolita, has died. Lyon died in L.A, according to The New York Times, which broke the news.
Friend, Phil Syracopoulos, said she had been in “declining health”, but a cause of death is not known.
Lyon was a model with just two acting credits when she beat out a reported 800 other actors for the part of Dolores Haze in Kubrick’s Lolita. At the time, the film divided critics over its depiction of a pedophile’s relationship with a 12-year-old girl.
After its initial publication in ’55 in France, officials in the U.K. and France banned the book, which was finally published in the U.S. in ’58. Nevertheless, Lolita became a bestseller and cultural sensation.
Nabokov was originally hired to write Lolita‘s screenplay, but the famously finicky Kubrick rewrote much of the script in which Dolores was 15, instead of a 12-year-old to comply with Motion Picture Production Code mandates.
At the time that the film was shot, Lolita was infamously marketed with a picture of Lyon lounging in a bikini, wearing red-shaped sunglasses and licking a lollipop.
Lyon shot to fame and two years later she appeared in John Huston‘s Night of the Iguana and also starred in 7 Women, Tony Rome and Four Rode Out and Evel Knievel, among others.
Lyon was married five times but ended her acting career in the late 70s. She is survived by her daughter Nona.
Sue Lyon was 73.
(via Hollywood Reporter)