Actress Sue Lyon passed away in Los Angeles on Dec. 26. She was 73. According to Lyon’s longtime friend Phil Syracopoulous, cited by the New York Times, the actress’ health had been declining for some time.
Lyon was best known for her first major role. She was picked out of 800 young actresses who had auditioned to play the title character in the controversial 1962 film Lolita when she was just 14 years old.
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In Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s famous novel, about a middle-aged college professor who becomes infatuated with a teen nymphet, Lyon starred opposite James Mason. Her performance earned Lyon the Golden Globe in the most promising newcomer-female in 1963.
Lyion’s followup to Lolita was a co-starring role opposite Richard Burton, Ava Gardner and Deborah Kerr in the John Huston-directed 1964 feature The Night Of the Iguana. She went on to appear in two dozen movies and TV show, more notably Evel Knievel, Tony Rome and 7 Women. Her last screen credit was the 1980 horror movie Alligator.
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