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Kim Novak

Kim Novak

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Also Known As: Marilyn Novak, Marilyn Pauline Novak, Marilyn Novak Died:
Born: February 13, 1933 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois, USA Profession: actor, model, salesgirl, elevator operator

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A rare combination of icy aloofness and earthy sensuality helped to make actress Kim Novak one of the top box office stars in Hollywood during the 1950s and early 1960s. The former model was originally envisioned as a replacement for Marilyn Monroe by Columbia chief Harry Cohn, but Novak floundered in her early roles, which required her to provide eye candy and little else. Later films like "Picnic" (1955) and "The Man with the Golden Arm" (1955) gave her the chance to display her dramatic and even vulnerable sides, but it was Alfred Hitchcock who provided her with an enduring showcase as the object of James Stewart's affections in "Vertigo" (1958). Sadly, her career began to fade just as it had reached its peak - by the '60s, she was floundering in lukewarm comedies and melodramas, which precipitated a hiatus from acting at the end of the decade. Novak made occasional returns to film in the 1970s and 1980s; none of which could match the intoxicating spell she cast on moviegoers during her heyday three decades prior. Her absence from the public eye only increased the allure of her legend, and preserved her status as one of postwar Hollywood's most mysterious and appealing actresses. ...

A rare combination of icy aloofness and earthy sensuality helped to make actress Kim Novak one of the top box office stars in Hollywood during the 1950s and early 1960s. The former model was originally envisioned as a replacement for Marilyn Monroe by Columbia chief Harry Cohn, but Novak floundered in her early roles, which required her to provide eye candy and little else. Later films like "Picnic" (1955) and "The Man with the Golden Arm" (1955) gave her the chance to display her dramatic and even vulnerable sides, but it was Alfred Hitchcock who provided her with an enduring showcase as the object of James Stewart's affections in "Vertigo" (1958). Sadly, her career began to fade just as it had reached its peak - by the '60s, she was floundering in lukewarm comedies and melodramas, which precipitated a hiatus from acting at the end of the decade. Novak made occasional returns to film in the 1970s and 1980s; none of which could match the intoxicating spell she cast on moviegoers during her heyday three decades prior. Her absence from the public eye only increased the allure of her legend, and preserved her status as one of postwar Hollywood's most mysterious and appealing actresses.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Liebestraum (1991) Mrs Anderssen
2.
 Children, The (1990) Rose Sellars
3.
 Es Hat Mich Sehr Gefreut (1987) ("Musikerinnen")
5.
6.
 Mirror Crack'd, The (1980) Lola Brewster
7.
 Just a Gigolo (1978) Helga
8.
 White Buffalo, The (1977) Poker Jenny Schermerhorn
9.
 Satan's Triangle (1975) Eva
10.
 Tales That Witness Madness (1973) Auriol ("Luau")
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1953:
Toured the USA as 'Miss Deep Freeze' to help promote Thor refrigerators
1954:
First film appearance, a bit part in the Jane Russell vehicle, "The French Line"
1954:
Signed with Columbia Pictures, played first leading roles in "Pushover" and "Phfft!"
1954:
Made TV debut on "Light's Diamond Jubilee" (a four-network celebration of the light bulb)
1955:
Won a Golden Globe for her role as Madge Owens in "Picnic"
1955:
Played Molly in "The Man with the Golden Arm," opposite Frank Sinatra
1957:
Re-teamed with Sinatra for "Pal Joey"
1957:
Appeared on the cover of the July issue of <i>Time</i> Magazine
1958:
Starred in Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo"
1962:
Produced first film, financing her own production company in association with Filmways Productions, "Boys' Night Out"; also starred with James Garner and Tony Randall
1964:
Played the vulgar waitress Mildred Rogers in a remake of W. Somerset Maugham's "Of Human Bondage"
1964:
Starred in Billy Wilder's "Kiss Me, Stupid" with Ray Walston and Dean Martin
1968:
Returned to films after a three-year absence in Robert Aldrich's "The Legend of Lylah Clare"
1969:
Played Sister Lyda Kebanov in "The Great Bank Robbery," opposite Zero Mostel, Clint Walker, and Claude Akins
1973:
TV-movie debut, "The Third Girl from the Left" (ABC)
1977:
Featured in the western, "The White Buffalo" with Charles Bronson
1979:
Played Helga in "Just a Gigolo," opposite David Bowie
1980:
Co-starred with Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson in "The Mirror Crack'd"
1986:
Cast on the CBS primetime soap, "Falcon Crest," as mystery woman Kit Marlowe
1990:
Co-starred with Ben Kingsley in the film, "The Children"
1991:
Last feature to date, "Liebestraum"
:
Retired from acting to raise horses and llamas
1996:
"Vertigo" was restored and re-released
1997:
Novak was the subject of a retrospective held at the Film Forum in NYC
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Wright Junior College: Chicago , Illinois -
Los Angeles City College: Los Angeles , California - 1958

Notes

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

On working with Alfred Hitchcock: "I found him to be very polite. I didn't think I could ever know him, what he was really thinking, because he was not a person to show a lot of that. I like to know what someone's like. He was always masking who he was." --to the San Francisco Examiner, October 19, 1996.

"I don't feel I was a Hollywood-created star. Harry Cohn did not make me. But I also feel that I probably didn't make me, either. I think it was a combination. I think that's what made it work. ... I've always had a hard time when they say 'this manufactured star.' God, if they knew how much I tried not to be!" --Kim Novak to Tom Shales of The Washington Post, October 14, 1996.

"He always called me 'the dumb, fat Polack.' What a guy." --Kim Novak on Columbia head Harry Cohn, quoted in USA Today, October 1, 1996.

"I kept getting put into things where they just wanted me to stand there and look pretty and 'don't think, for God's sake.' I could tell from fan mail that audiences understood what I was trying to do and that they appreciated me. That was the only thing that kept me coming back." --Kim Novak, quoted in Interview, November 1996.

"Everything I learned about film acting I learned working on films. I had no chance to practice. And because I was there being seen, I was suddenly a star, and it was sort of inhibiting. ... I always had a keen imagination, so I was able to put myself into these roles, and it was always hard for me to leave them behind. I took them all home. It wasn't always a good thing, but I couldn't help it." --Kim Novak, quoted in Interview, November 1996.

According to director Richard Quine, who helmed several of Novak's films, her appeal partly rested in having the "proverbial quality of the lady in the parlor and the whore in the bedroom".

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Ramfis Trujillo. Son of Dominican dictator; briefly involved in late 1950s.
companion:
Ramfis Trujillo. Born August 2000.
companion:
Sammy Davis Jr. Actor, singer.
companion:
Sammy Davis Jr. Lumberman.
husband:
Richard Johnson. Actor. Appeared with Novak in "The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders;" married March 1965; divorced in 1966.
husband:
Richard Johnson. Had two sons and a daughter with Doreen Lawrence; survived him.
husband:
Robert Malloy. Veterinarian. Born in 1940; married in 1976.
husband:
Robert Malloy. Mechanic.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Joseph Novak. Teacher, railroad worker.
father:
Joseph Novak. Married with two children.
mother:
Blanche Novak. Cab drivers.
sister:
Arlene Malmborg. Fashion designer. Younger.
sister:
Arlene Malmborg. Cab driver.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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