"How could they make a movie out of Lolita?" screamed the print ads in 1962. By changing the 12-year-old object of Humbert Humbert's lust into a 15-year-old, that's how. Selected to portray Vladimir Nabokov's celebrated nymphet was Sue Lyon, who was 14 when she won the role. Unfortunately, Lyon was unable to live up to her Lolita publicity blitz in subsequent roles: any actress could have done as well as she did in films like Night of the Iguana (1965), The Flim Flam Man (1967), Tony Rome (1967) and Evel Knievel (1971). Beset with personal problems in the 1970s and 1980s, Sue Lyon's film appearances became increasingly infrequent; later she enjoyed another brief burst of press coverage when she married a prisoner who was serving a life sentence for murder.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- Was 10 months old when her father passed.
- Was cast as Lolita in the 1962 Stanley Kubrick film after a yearlong talent search.
- Was awarded $225,000 in a 1967 civil trial for injuries sustained in a 1965 auto accident.
- Married a prison inmate in 1973 who was serving time for murder and robbery. The union didn't last long, however; they divorced in 1976.
- Has said she suffers from bipolar disorder.