Sue Lyon was born in Davenport, Iowa. When she was ten months-old her family moved to L.A., hoping that Sue could help support them working as a child model. She got jobs modeling for J.C. Penney and shot a commercial that featured her bleached-blonde hair. Later, she got parts on “Dennis the Menace” (1959) and “The Loretta Young Show” (1953). Stanley Kubrick saw Sue on the show and suggested to his partner that they cast her for the role of “Lolita” (1962). An agent brought her down to Kubrick for audition and she landed the role.
In 1964 she married Hampton Fancher III but the marriage was short-lived. Lyon appeared in other films like, “7 Women” (1966), “The Flim-Flam Man” (1967) and “Tony Rome” (1967). She later married Roland Harrison, a black photographer and football coach. The controversy over their marriage persuaded them to move to Spain. She continued starring in movies like “Evel Knievel” (1971), “The Magician” (1973), and “To Love, Perhaps to Die” (1973), but ultimately divorced Harrison due to pressure over racism and other unresolvable problems.
Later she would marry a radio engineer, Richard Rudman. They lived together in Los Angeles.
Lyon retired from acting and avoided interviews.
Her longtime friend, Phil Syracopoulos, told the New York Times, which first broke the news, that Lyon had been in ill health for some time.