Lyon died on Thursday in Los Angeles, according to the newspaper. A longtime friend of the actress told the Times that she had been experiencing declining health for a while.
Lyon’s film and television career spanned 1959 to 1980, with her breakout role being the titular character in 1962’s Lolita. Based on the controversial novel by Vladimir Nabokov, the story follows a middle-aged professor who becomes sexually obsessed with Dolores Haze, a 12-year-old girl, whom he nicknames “Lolita.”
The Times reported that Lyon was cast in Lolita when she was 14 years old, reportedly beating out 800 other actresses. The movie portrayed Dolores as 15 years old instead of 12 years old, in order to comply with the strict Motion Picture Production Code, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The poster for the film showed Lyon in red heart-shaped sunglasses and licking a lollipop.
Lyon won a Golden Globe award for most promising female newcomer at the 1963 awards ceremony.
After her work with Kubrick on Lolita, Lyon worked with other notable directors on her next two films: John Ford’s 7 Women and John Huston’s The Night of the Iguana.
She also starred in Tony Rome, The Flim-Flam Man and Evel Knievel, as well as various television shows. Her most recent credit was the 1980 movie Alligator.
According to the Times, Lyon was married several times, to Hampton Fancher, Roland Harrison, Cotton Adamson and Edward Weathers. Her marriage to Adamson, who was a convicted murderer at the time of their wedding, was the most controversial, and she later claimed that their relationship had a negative effect on her career, the Times reported.
Lyon is survived by her daughter Nona from her marriage to Harrison.