'I AM CURIOUS YELLOW' STAR DIES

Published on: February 4, 2011
'I AM CURIOUS YELLOW' STAR DIES

The actress who helped break the sexual boundaries of 1960s cinema LENA NYMAN in I Am Curious Yellow  has died.

Nyman who starred in many adult sexually explicit films in her native Sweden died at 66, after a long illness her manager confirmed to media.

Nyman starred in more than 50 films including Autumn Sonata for legendary director  Ingmar Bergmann.

She won international fame as the lead in director Vilgot Sjoman's opus I Am Curious - Yellow, in 1967 which was banned in the U.S. for two years.

Produced for  a mere $160,000, I Am Curious (Yellow) shocked the United States Customs Service who banned it from the country as "obscene" in January 1968. 

Eleventh months later  a federal appeals court ruled that the movie was protected by the First Amendment, allowing it to be released in March 1969.

Curious  made $5 million in six months and remained the most financially successful foreign film released in the US for 23 years.

Controversial Grove Press published a paperback copy of the screenplay illustrated with stills from the film which was ultimately seen by millions.

Lena then appeared the sequel - I Am Curious - Blue (the Swedish flag is yellow and blue) which again created a worldwide sensation.

Lena's films combined the social criticism of the revolutionary 1960s with copious flesh baring nudity and sex.  Curious  helped cement Sweden's mythic rep as a  sexually liberated country despite the puritanical outrage expressed in Lena's native country when the film was first released.

“You know,” Lena told the NY Times, “some people get shocked about sex. I was shocked that everyone was so shocked. It was such a quarrel about that movie. Wow!

“You could believe nobody in Sweden had ever seen a naked man or woman.”