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Suellyn Lyon (born July 10, 1946) is a former American actress best known for her performance in Lolita (1962), for which she earned a Golden Globe Award, as well as The Night of the Iguana (1964), The Flim-Flam Man (1967), and Evel Knievel (1971).
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Sue Lyon was born in Davenport, Iowa, the last of five children to Sue Karr Lyon. Her mother was forty-two when her husband died and Sue was 10 months old. Her mother had to work as a hospital house mother to take care of her children and money was tight. Around this time, the Lyon family moved out to Los Angeles, hoping that Sue could help them out financially as a model. She got jobs modeling for JC Penney, and doing a commercial, which featured her dyed blonde hair. She also got small parts on "Dennis the Menace" (1959) and "Letter to Loretta" (1953). Director Stanley Kubrick saw Sue on the show and suggested to his partner that they should see her for the role of Lolita (1962). Sue had been signed by the Glenn Shaw agency, and Pat Holms, an agent, brought her down to Kubrick for audition. She duly won the part of Lolita.
In 1964 she married Hampton Fancher III but the marriage was a short one. She did other movies like 7 Women (1966), The Flim-Flam Man (1967) and Tony Rome (1967). She married Roland Harrison, a black photographer and football coach. The controversy over their marriage made them decide to move to Spain. She continued in movies like Evel Knievel (1971), Tarot (1973), and Una gota de sangre para morir amando (1973), but divorced Harrison, due to pressure over racism and other problems.
She met Gary "Cotton" Adamson at the Colorado State Penitentiary, where he was currently serving time for murder and robbery. She worked as a cocktail waitress and lived in an hotel in Denver nearby. She married him in 1973 and began working for prison reform and conjugal rights. Unfortunately this was another short-lived marriage as she divorced him after he committed yet another robbery. More films followed including Smash-Up on Interstate 5 (1976) (TV), The Astral Factor (1976), Towing (1978), Crash! (1977), Don't Push, I'll Charge When I'm Ready (1977) (TV) and her final film, Alligator (1980). She married a radio engineer, Richard Rudman and they live together in Los Angeles. Sue has retired from acting and avoids interviews.
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Sue Karr Lyon
Los Angeles City College
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