‘Lolita’ star Sue Lyon dead at 73

‘Lolita’ star Sue Lyon dead at 73
Sue Lyon, who played the main character in the film, "Lolita," died Thursday. She was 73 (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Sue Lyon, who was cast as a 14-year-old in the title role of Stanley Kubrick’s 1962 film, “Lolita,” died Thursday in Los Angeles. She was 73.

Longtime friend Phil Syracopoulos announced her death, The New York Times reported. He said she had been in declining health.

Lyon played the title role in the film adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s novel about a middle-aged man who becomes obsessed with a 12-year-old girl.

Content Continues Below

Lyon was born in Davenport, Iowa, in 1946. She landed the role of Laurie in “The Loretta Young Show” and a small part in the 1960s series “Dennis the Menace," Variety reported. She beat out nearly 800 candidates for the role of Dolores Haze in “Lolita,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Lyon appeared in more than two dozen films and television shows in her career, from 1959 to 1980, but it was her role in “Lolita” that was her signature role, the Times reported.

Nabokov, who helped adapt his novel for the screen, called Lyon, “the perfect nymphet,” using the word he used in his novel, the newspaper reported.

Lyon won a Golden Globe in 1963 in the most promising newcomer-female category for “Lolita,” Variety reported.

After “Lolita,” Lyon appeared in “The Night of the Iguana” (1964), “Tony Rome” (1967), and “Evel Knievel” (1971). Her last film credit was in “Alligator,” a 1980 horror movie, the Times reported. She also appeared on television in shows including “Police Story,” “Night Gallery,” “Men at Law” and “The Virginian.”