Monday, December 16, 2019

Seven Things to Know About Sue Lyon

1. According to author Rebecca Bell-Metereau, director Stanley Kubrick looked at photos of over 800 girls before casting 14-year-old Sue Lyon in Lolita (1962). Kubrick had seen her on an episode of The Loretta Young Show TV series.

2. Tabloids suggested romances with Richard Burton and producer James Harris on the set of Sue Lyon's second film The Night of the Iguana (1964). Lyon denied the rumors, stating that she was involved with recently-divorced actor Hampton Fancher.

Fancher and Lyons in a L.A. Times photo.
3. Lyon and Fancher married in late 1963; he was 25 and she was 17. Fancher played one of Karl Malden's no-good sons in the Troy Donahue vehicle Parrish (1961). Two decades later, he co-wrote the screenplay to cult sci fi film Blade Runner (1981).

4. Sue Lyon continued to be in demand in the 1960s, appearing in John Ford's 7 Women, opposite George C. Scott in The Flim Flam Man, and with Frank Sinatra in Tony Rome. However, juicy film roles began to dry up by 1970 and she started appearing as a guest star in TV series such as The Virginian and Night Gallery.

With Richard Burton in Night of the Iguana.
5. She divorced Fancher in 1964 and didn't marry again until she tied the knot with Roland Harrison, a African American who played fullback for the San Diego Chargers. She and Harrison adopted a 14-year-old boy named Robert and she gave birth to their daughter Nona. However, the marriage was a short one, lasting just ten months.

6. In 1973, Sue Lyon married Gary "Cotton" Adamson, a convicted murder serving his sentence at the Colorado State Penitentiary. They divorced a year later, with Lyon explaining to The New York Times: "I've been told by people in the movie business, specifically producers and film distributors, that I won't get a job because I'm married to Cotton. Therefore, right now we can't be married. But that doesn't mean love has died. I'll always love him." According to the Associated Press, Adamson escaped from the Colorado State Hospital (now the Colorado Mental Health Institute) in 1976, but was subsequently arrested after robbing a bank.

7. Sue Lyon's last acting role was a small part in the movie Alligator (1980). Her current status is unknown, but her daughter Nona Harrison Gomez is on social media.

1 comment:

  1. Another too-typical tale of the fate of child stars. On the other hand, kudos to Hampton Fancher for his role in bringing Blade Runner to the screen..