Kim Novak

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Marilyn Pauline "Kim" Novak

Immediate Family:

Daughter of Joseph Novak and Blanche Novak
Wife of <private> Malloy
Ex-wife of <private> Johnson
Sister of <private> Novak

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Immediate Family

About Kim Novak

Kim Novak (born Marilyn Pauline Novak, February 13, 1933) is an American film and television actress.

Her first film roles were in Pushover and Phffft! (both 1954), and her breakthrough role was in Picnic (1955). Over the next three years, she appeared in The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), The Eddy Duchin Story (1956), Pal Joey (1957), and Bell, Book and Candle (1958). She is best known for her role as Judy Barton in the 1958 Alfred Hitchcock film Vertigo. Novak's career went into decline afterwards, and she appeared in films sporadically until 1991. Now retired, she lives with her veterinarian husband on a ranch in Eagle Point, Oregon.

Early life

Novak was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Joseph and Blanche (née Kral) Novak. Both her parents were of Czech descent. Her father worked as a dispatcher on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad and both her parents had been teachers.

While attending David Glasgow Farragut High School, she won a scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago. After leaving school, she began a career modeling teen fashions for a local department store. She later received a scholarship at a modeling academy and continued to model part-time. She worked as an elevator operator, a sales clerk and a dental assistant.

After a job touring the country as a spokesman for a refrigerator manufacturer, "Miss Deepfreeze", Novak moved to Los Angeles, where she continued to find work as a model.


Early career

Novak began her career in a brief, uncredited role as a model in The French Line (1954) starring Jane Russell. Eventually, she was seen by a Columbia Pictures talent agent and filmed a screen test. Novak was signed to a six-month contract, and the studio changed her first name to Kim, thus becoming Kim Novak.

Later the same year, Novak had a supporting role as Lona McLane in Pushover opposite Fred MacMurray and Philip Carey. Filmed in film noir style Pushover was only a moderate success. She then played the femme fatale role of Janis in Phffft! opposite Judy Holliday, Jack Lemmon, and Jack Carson. Soon after, she had her first starring role in 5 Against the House (1955), a crime drama.

Mainstream success

After playing Madge Owens in Picnic (1955) opposite William Holden, Novak won a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer and for World Film Favorite. She was also nominated for the BAFTA Film Award for Best Foreign Actress. That same year she played Molly in The Man with the Golden Arm with Frank Sinatra.

In 1956, she played opposite Tyrone Power in The Eddy Duchin Story. In 1957, she worked with Sinatra again in Pal Joey, which also starred Rita Hayworth, and played the title role in Jeanne Eagels with Jeff Chandler. She was on the cover of the July 29, 1957, issue of Time Magazine.

In 1958, Novak starred in the Alfred Hitchcock-directed thriller Vertigo, playing the roles of a brunette shopgirl, Judy Barton, and a blonde woman named Madeleine Elster. Critic David Shipman thought Novak's performance "little more than competent", while David Thomson described it as "one of the major female performances in the cinema".

That same year, she again starred alongside Stewart in Bell, Book and Candle, a comedy tale of modern-day witchcraft. The following year, she appeared in Middle of the Night, and, in 1960, she co-starred with Kirk Douglas in Strangers When We Meet also featuring Walter Matthau and Ernie Kovacs.

Career decline

In 1962, Novak produced her own movie in association with Filmways Productions, Boys' Night Out, in which she starred with James Garner and Tony Randall. She was paired with Jack Lemmon for a third and final time that year in a mystery-comedy, The Notorious Landlady.

In 1964, she played the vulgar waitress Mildred Rogers in a remake of W. Somerset Maugham's drama Of Human Bondage opposite Laurence Harvey, and replaced Marilyn Monroe as barmaid Polly, "The Pistol" in Billy Wilder's Kiss Me, Stupid with Ray Walston and Dean Martin. After playing the title role in The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (1965) with Richard Johnson, Novak took a break from Hollywood acting. She continued to act, although infrequently, taking fewer roles as she began to prefer personal activities over acting.

Her comeback came in a dual role as a young actress, Elsa Brinkmann, and an early-day movie goddess who was murdered, Lylah Clare, in producer-director Robert Aldrich's The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968) with Peter Finch and Ernest Borgnine for MGM. After playing a forger, Sister Lyda Kebanov, in The Great Bank Robbery (1969) opposite Zero Mostel, Clint Walker, and Claude Akins, she stayed away from the screen for another four years. She then played the role of Auriol Pageant in the horror anthology film Tales That Witness Madness (1973), which also starred Joan Collins. She starred as veteran showgirl Gloria Joyce in the made-for-TV movie The Third Girl From the Left (1973), and played Eva in Satan's Triangle (1975). She was featured in the 1977 western The White Buffalo with Charles Bronson, and in 1979 she played Helga in Just a Gigolo co-starring David Bowie.

In 1980, Novak played Lola Brewster in the mystery/thriller The Mirror Crack'd, based on the story by Agatha Christie and co-starring Angela Lansbury, Tony Curtis, Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor. She and Taylor portrayed rival actresses. She made occasional television appearances over the years. Her performances on TV during this time included the TV movie Malibu, in 1983; the pilot episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents in 1985; and in 19 episodes of Falcon Crest, playing "Kit Marlowe". She co-starred with Ben Kingsley in the 1990 film The Children.

In 1991, she played the role of a terminally ill writer with a mysterious past in the thriller Liebestraum opposite Kevin Anderson and Bill Pullman. However, owing to battles with the director over how to play the role, her scenes were cut. Novak later admitted in a 2004 interview that the film was a mistake:

I got so burned out on that picture that I wanted to leave the business, but then if you wait long enough you think, "Oh, I miss certain things." The making of a movie is wonderful. What's difficult is afterward when you have to go around and try to sell it. The actual filming, when you have a good script—which isn't often—nothing beats it.


In an interview in 2007, Novak said that she would consider returning to the screen "if the right thing came along."

Novak appeared for a question-and-answer session about her career on July 30, 2010, at the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles, where the American Cinematheque hosted a tribute to her coinciding with the August 3 DVD release of "The Kim Novak Collection."

Novak will participate in the Motion Picture Academy Tribute to the “Hitchcock Blondes” (2011).


For her contribution to motion pictures, Novak was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6332 Hollywood Boulevard.

In 1995, Novak was ranked 92nd by Empire Magazine on a list of the 100 sexiest stars in film history. In 1955, she won the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer-Female. In 1957, she won another Golden Globe–for World Favorite female actress. In 1997, Novak won an Honorary Golden Bear at the 47th Berlin International Film Festival. In 2003, a Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Novak by Eastman Kodak.

In 2005, British fashion designer Alexander McQueen named his first It bag the Novak.

Personal life

Novak has been married to veterinarian Dr. Robert Malloy (born 1940) since March 12, 1976. The couple reside on a ranch where they raise horses and llamas. Novak has two stepchildren.

Novak was previously married to English actor Richard Johnson from March 15, 1965, to April 23, 1966. The two have remained friends. Novak dated Sammy Davis, Jr. and Ramfis Trujillo, in the late 1950s and actor Michael Brandon in the 1970s. She was engaged to director Richard Quine in the early 1960s.

On July 24, 2000, her home in Eagle Point, Oregon, was partially destroyed by fire. Novak lost scripts, several paintings, and a computer containing the only draft of her unfinished autobiography. Of the loss Novak said:

I take it personally as a sign that maybe I’m not supposed to write my biography; maybe the past is supposed to stay buried. It made me realize then what was really valuable. That’s the day I wrote a gratitude list. We’re safe and our animals are safe.

In December 2001, her home in Oregon was robbed of more than US$200,000 worth of firearms and tools. Three men were arrested and charged with burglary, theft, and criminal conspiracy.

In 2006, Novak was injured in a horseback riding accident. She suffered a punctured lung, broken ribs, and nerve damage but made a full recovery within a year.

Novak is an artist who paints in watercolor and oil as well as creating sculpture, stained glass design, poetry, and photography.

In October 2010, it was reported that Novak had been diagnosed with breast cancer according to her manager, Sue Cameron. Cameron also noted that Novak is "undergoing treatment" and that "her doctors say she is in fantastic physical shape and should recover very well."


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Kim Novak's Timeline

February 13, 1933