Lisa Robin Lyon was born on May 13, 1953 in Los Angeles. Her father, Leonard Lyon, was an oral surgeon and her mother, Roslyn (Robin) Lyon, was a homemaker.
Lisa told Mr Chatwin that she had a dark childhood and created rituals – counting, touching things – to calm herself. Before she found fame in bodybuilding, she wanted to be a movie star, artist or medical illustrator. She worked for a while writing script synopses.
After her early fame as a bodybuilder, she largely left that world behind, although she published a book in 1981, ‘Lisa Lyon’s Body Magic’. In 2000, she was inducted into the International Fitness and Bodybuilding Federation Hall of Fame.
Mr. Mapplethorpe was not the only artist to commemorate Mrs. Lyon. She was photographed by Helmut Newton, Marcus Leatherdale and Lynn Davis, among others, and rendered in bronze by Barry Flanagan, an Irish-Welsh sculptor. She also appeared in several films, including “Vamp,” a cheerfully panned Grace Jones vehicle about a vampire; Ms. Lyon had a small role as a stripper.
In addition to Mr. Schwartz, she is survived by her sister, Duffy Hurwin. An early and very short marriage to an ethnologist and part-time bodybuilder ended in divorce, as did her marriage to Bernard Lavilliers, a French singer-songwriter. She was romantically involved with John Lilly, an eccentric neuroscientist and author whose work with isolation tanks and research in dolphin communications inspired two Hollywood films, “The Day of the Dolphin” (1973) and “Altered States” (1980); he adopted her in 1987. Ms. Lyon’s third husband, Alan Deglin, an actor she married in 2009, died in 2020.
In the Washington Post interview, Ms. Lyon said her ambition was to resemble an animal, “a sleek, cat-like animal.” The ultimate compliment to her appearance, she said, would be “if someone were to ask, ‘What planet is she from?'”