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Sue Lyon Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (5)  | Trivia (17)  | Personal Quotes (3)  | Salary (3)

Overview (4)

Born in Davenport, Iowa, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (long illness)
Birth NameSuellyn Lyon
Height 5' 3" (1.6 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Suellyn Lyon was born in Davenport, Iowa, the youngest of five siblings. Her mother was also named Sue Lyon (nee Karr) and her father was James Lyon. Sue Karr Lyon was 42 years old when she was widowed, when Suellyn was just 10 months old. Her mother worked in a hospital to provide for her children, and money was tight. The family then moved to Los Angeles in the hopes Suellyn could help out financially as a model.

She duly got jobs modeling for JC Penney, and doing a commercial, which featured her bleached blonde hair. She landed small parts on Dennis the Menace (1959) and The Loretta Young Show (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). She was signed by the Glenn Shaw agency, and Pat Holmes, an agent, brought her down to Kubrick for audition, and won the part of Lolita.

In 1964, Sue married Hampton Fancher III but the marriage, like the four that would follow, was short-lived. She was appearing at the time in such movies as 7 Women (1966), The Flim-Flam Man (1967) and Tony Rome (1967). She married Edward Weathers in 1983 but the marriage ended a year later. Her third husband was Roland Harrison, an African-American black photographer and football coach. The controversy over their marriage made them decide to move to Europe. She continued in movies like Evel Knievel (1971), The Magician (1973), and To Love, Perhaps to Die (1973), but wound up divorcing Harrison, in part due to the fallout over the controversy and other problems.

Sue met Gary "Cotton" Adamson at the Colorado State Penitentiary, where he was serving time for murder and robbery. She worked as a cocktail waitress and lived in a 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), The Astral Factor (1978), Towing (1978), Crash! (1976), Don't Push, I'll Charge When I'm Ready (1971) and her final film, Alligator (1980). She married a radio engineer, Richard Rudman, but that marriage, like the four before it, ended in divorce.

Sue Lyon died in 2019, aged 73. She was survived by her only child, a daughter, Nona Harrison (from her marriage to Roland Harrison).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous (updated by R.M. Sieger)

Spouse (5)

Richard Rudman (31 March 1985 - 2002) ( divorced)
Edward Weathers (11 February 1983 - 26 January 1984) ( divorced)
Cotton Adamson (4 November 1973 - 1974) ( divorced)
Roland Harrison (4 July 1971 - 1972) ( divorced) ( 1 child)
Hampton Fancher (22 December 1963 - 1965) ( divorced)

Trivia (17)

Met, married, and divorced Gary "Cotton" Adamson while he was a prison inmate convicted of murder.
She had a daughter by former football player husband Roland Harrison named Nona Merrill Harrison who was born on May 20, 1972 in Los Angeles. She graduated from Palisades High School in Pacific Palisades, California with the Class of 1990.
She retired from acting after her marriage to Richard Rudman.
As a child modeled for JC Penney catalogs.
Attended L.A. City College, while working in a men's clothing store.
She and her mother were in a bad car accident on the Pacific Coast Highway. She suffered head, neck and back injuries, leaving her in and out of a wheelchair for two years.
Was friends with Michelle Phillips at one time and the two of them checked out a copy of the novel "Lolita" at the library, knowing it had been banned. Sue later stated that she couldn't finish the book because it was too complex for her, as she was only 12 at the time.
Was diagnosed as a manic-depressive and was prescribed lithium. She later said she had struggled on and off with this since she was 16.
Warren Beatty was about to cast her as Bonnie Parker in his film Bonnie and Clyde (1967) when he decided, at the last minute, to cast Faye Dunaway instead.
At the end of the shoot, Shelley Winters, her Lolita (1962) co-star, gave Sue Lyon two pink Persian kittens, which were originally Elizabeth Taylor's.
Was chosen in 1960 as Miss Smile by LA County dentists.
In August 1971, she adopted a 14-year-old boy. He was named Robert Lyon Harrison.
Except her first and last marriage, the rest of her marriages ended in divorce the year after the wedding.
Her older brother Mike died of an overdose in Tijuana, Mexico.
In 1968 she stumped for Presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy.
Was a fundraiser for Synanon before it morphed into a full cult.
Founded and briefly ran a charity Suepaxinc.

Personal Quotes (3)

[on her The Night of the Iguana (1964) co-star Richard Burton] I wasn't very impressed by the relationship between him and [Elizabeth Taylor]. Richard was very domineering and Elizabeth meek. She would do whatever he wanted her to.
[on her The Night of the Iguana (1964) co-star Richard Burton] Richard Burton drank so much at night that the next morning the alcohol literally oozed out of his pores. He gave off a terrible odor--playing a scene with him could be most unpleasant.
[on her character in Lolita (1962)] I feel sorry for her. She's neurotic and pathetic and only interested in herself.

Salary (3)

Lolita (1962) $25,000
The Night of the Iguana (1964) $75,000
7 Women (1966) $150,000

See also

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