Published Dec 30, 2019Sue Lyon — the actress who played the title character in Stanley Kubrick's classic film Lolita — has died. Lyon had been in declining health for some time and died Thursday (December 26) in Los Angeles, though no official cause of death has been revealed. She was 73.
For Kubrick's 1962 film, a then 14-year-old Lyon reportedly beat out 800 other aspiring actresses to play the title character of Lolita. The movie was based on Vladimir Nabokov's 1955 novel about a middle-aged man's sexual obsession with a 12-year-old girl.
The film also featured a screenplay by Nabokov, as well as a cast that included the likes of James Mason, Peter Sellers and Shelley Winters.
The film's poster with Lyon — featuring her wearing heart-shaped sunglasses and with a lollipop at her lips — also went on to become a classic cinematic image over the years.
Her role in Lolita marked her first in film, with Lyon previously only doing a few small TV spots.
Following her role in Lolita, Lyon went on to appear in such films as 1964's Night of the Iguana, 1966's 7 Women and 1971's Tony Rome. Her final role came with the 1980 horror film Alligator.