Kim Novak was born in Chicago, Illinois on February 13, 1933 with the birth name of Marilyn Pauline Novak. She was the daughter of a former teacher turned transit clerk and his wife, also a former teacher. Throughout elementary and high school, Kim did not get along well with teachers. She even admitted that she didn't like being told what to do and when to do it. Her first job, while in high school, was modeling teen fashions for a local department store. Kim, an avid painter, won a scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago, but ended up going to Wright Junior College instead. While on a break from school, Kim and two of her classmates decided to go to Los Angeles and stand in line to be an extra in a movie called The French Line (1953). An agent took notice of Kim arranged for a screen test with Columbia Pictures, and Kim was signed to a contract. After taking some acting lessons, Kim made her film debut in the detective drama Pushover (1954) with Fred MacMurray, followed by the comedy Phffft (1954) with Jack Lemmon and Judy Holliday. These two films set the tone for her career, and she had so much poise that most people had no idea she was only 21. As a result, the studio continued to pair Kim with fatherly older actors. Kim received a Golden Globe nomination for "Most Promising Newcomer" in 1955, and had big parts in three films released that year, first appearing as "Kay Greylek" in 5 Against the House (1955). Her next role was in the controversial Otto Preminger film The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), which was a big hit. Then came Picnic (1955), Kim's breakthrough film. Kim did a superb job of acting in the film as did her costars, and now fans were eager to see more of this bright new star. In 1957, Kim played "Linda English" in the hit movie Pal Joey (1957) with Frank Sinatra and Rita Hayworth. The film did well at the box-office, but was condemned by the critics. Kim really didn't seem that interested in the role. She even said she couldn't stand people such as her character. In 1958, Kim appeared in the Alfred Hitchcock film Vertigo (1958), which, though poorly received at the time of its release, is now considered a classic. The film was one in which a retired detective, played by James Stewart, follows a suicidal blonde half his age (Kim), only to find out Kim was only masquerading as that person and is actually a brunette shopgirl who duped him as part of an elaborate scheme. Kim's other film that year, Bell Book and Candle (1958), was a modest success, but her follow-up, Middle of the Night (1959), was not.
Unfortunately, the hype that Columbia generated for Kim never materialized, and her career began to fade in the early 1960s as the studio system came to an end. She was being overpowered by the rise of new stars or stars that were remodeling their status within the film community. Kim said she didn't have it in herself to campaign for good roles like other actors did, so she took the best of what she was offered. With a few more nondescript films between 1960 and 1964, she landed the role of "Mildred Rogers" in the remake of Of Human Bondage (1964) opposite Laurence Harvey. The film debuted to good reviews. In 1965, Kim starred in The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (1965), and married her co-star, Richard Johnson. The marriage lasted 13 months, but they remain friends. Kim stepped away from the cameras for a while, returning in 1968 to star in The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968). The film only had a limited release and was a resounding flop. Though still young, Kim said she basically didn't see herself as having a career after that. Following The Great Bank Robbery (1969), Kim took another four-year hiatus until 1973, when she was seen in a television film called The Third Girl from the Left (1973) (TV) and appeared in a segment of the British horror anthology film Tales That Witness Madness (1973). Kim's next appearances on the screen were a leading role in the television film Satan's Triangle (1975) (TV) and a cameo in the Charles Bronson western The White Buffalo (1977). Kim ended the 1970s by appearing in Just a Gigolo (1978) with David Bowie. The film was a critical and commercial failure.
Opening the 1980s, Kim did gain some attention for the mystery/thriller The Mirror Crack'd (1980), but it did nothing for her career. For the rest of the decade, Kim was out of movies and only had a few television gigs. In 1983, Kim appeared in the ensemble TV movie, Malibu (1983) (TV). She had a cameo role in the pilot episode of the short-lived "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1985) redux in 1985. From 1986 to 1987, Kim played the mysterious "Kit Marlowe" in 19 episodes of the TV series "Falcon Crest" (1981). In 1990, Kim starred in The Children (1990), and gave a great performance in a leading role opposite Ben Kingsley. However, the film had a very limited release. Kim's last film to date was 1991's Liebestraum (1991), in which she played a terminally ill woman with a past. The film was a major disappointment in every aspect, and making it was an especially unhappy experience for Kim, who clashed with director Mike Figgis over how to play her character. Kim hasn't acted since then, and admittedly never reached her potential. Although she has regrets about her career, she has ruled out any plans for a comeback. Kim says she just isn't cut out for a Hollywood life.
Fortunately, Kim's personal life has been the contrary to her career. Since 1976, Kim has been happily married to Robert Malloy (born 1940), a veterinarian who shares her passion for animals and nature. Kim and her husband live on a ranch in Oregon where they raise llamas and horses, and frequently go canoeing. Kim is also an accomplished artist who expresses herself in oil paintings and sculptures.
|Dr. Robert Malloy||(12 March 1976 - present)|
|Richard Johnson||(15 March 1965 - 26 May 1966) (divorced)|
Raises horses and llamas in Oregon and California
Went on a personal strike in 1957 protesting her current salary of $1,250 per week.
Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#92). 
On July 24 2000, she watched her memento-filled house in Eagle Point, Oregon, go up in flames. A deputy fire marshal said that the blaze was probably the result of a tree that fell across an electrical power line. Included in the loss were scripts to some of her movies as well as her computer, which contained her long-gestating autobiography. Spared, however, were her menagerie of animals, including horses and llamas, as well as the star's husband of 24 years, veterinarian Bob Malloy. She later said that the fire was a sign that she shouldn't be writing an autobiography.
As a starlet with Columbia Pictures, she resisted pressure to change her name to "Kit Marlowe". Years later, the name was used for the character she played on the television series "Falcon Crest" (1981). (She did agree to change her first name from Marilyn to Kim, as the public associated her given name with Marilyn Monroe).
In "Popular" (1999), the main girl's bathroom in the high school is called "The Novak" which holds all the pictures of the homecoming queens. The name is inspired by when movie stars would donate money to schools (often an alma mater). The writers found out that Kim Novak donated money to a school in the Santa Monica area (where the school/show is set), so they named this room after her.
She arrived in Hollywood as The Lavendar Girl. When she became a star at Columbia Pictures, the studio had her blonde hair tinted with lavender highlights.
In Italy, most of her films were dubbed by Rosetta Calavetta. At the beginning of her career, she was also dubbed by Dhia Cristiani. Lidia Simoneschi and Rita Savagnone also lent their voice to Novak at some point, in The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) and Kiss Me, Stupid (1964) respectively.
Was the original choice to play "Marion Wormer" in Animal House (1978).
Visited Sammy Davis Jr. in hospital shortly before his death.
Ex-stepmother of Sorel Johnson.
1953 Deb Star.
Her parents are Joseph A. Novak and Blanche Kral. Her sister is Arlene Novak.
Despite being divorced from him, she is still friends with Richard Johnson, to whom she was married for only one year.
Met her husband, Dr. Robert Malloy, in 1974 when he came to treat her sick horse. They married two years later in an outdoor ceremony at their home near the Big Sur in California. She has two stepchildren by him.
Was seriously injured in a horse-riding accident in 2006 and broke her ribs, punctured a lung and had nerve damage. She made a full recovery within a year.
In an interview with Stephen Rebello in the July 2005 issue of Movieline's Hollywood Life, Novak admitted that she had been "unprofessional" in her conduct with director Mike Figgis on how to portray her character in the film Liebestraum (1991).
A Hungarian music band was named after her.
Became a step-grandmother in February 2010.
During 1973-1974 she was in a relationship with actor Michael Brandon.
When she was a kid, she had a scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago.
Diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing cancer treatment [October 19, 2010].
Was engaged to Richard Quine but they did not marry.
Claims that she was raped as a child [6 March 2012].
Revealed in a 2012 interview that she is bipolar.
Although she smoked in some films during her youth and posed for publicity photos with a cigarette in her hand, in real life she has always been a non-smoker.
The head of publicity of the Hollywood studio where I was first under contract told me, "You're a piece of meat, that's all". It wasn't very nice but I had to take it. When I made my first screen test, the director explained to everyone, "Don't listen to her, just look".
Storms come down, houses are wiped out, people drown, but every last little palm is there after the storm. Man is always saying, "I will overwhelm". Why can't he bend like the little palms? And rise again. Isn't that better than being washed away?
For every answer, I like to bring up a question. Maybe I'm related to Alfred Hitchcock or maybe I got to know him too well, but I think life should be that way.
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.
[Alfred Hitchcock], contrary to what I'd heard about him, allowed me very much to have my own interpretation and everything.
I always felt Jimmy [James Stewart] was trapped in Hollywood. He felt it himself. He loved aviation so much and he wanted to be able to do more of that. He somehow just got stuck here.
I didn't want to start relying on what someone else thought was right. It was easier to go away all together.
I don't feel that I was a Hollywood-created star.
I don't think you want to give all the answers, but I think every answer you do give should bring up another question, and not all questions should be answered.
I had a lot of resentment for a while toward Kim Novak. But I don't mind her anymore. She's okay. We've become friends. I even asked her before this trip for some beauty tips.
I had never had a director who was particular about the costumes, the way they were designed, the specific colors.
I knew Rita Hayworth only enough to know that she was just a tender, sensitive, beautiful human being. A lovely person. Very gentle. She would never stand up for her rights.
I live way out in the country, so there's not a lot of people around to remind me. And my friends don't think of me as 'Kim Novak' anymore anyway. It's like they forgot, too. And so it's nice.
I loved acting, which was never about money, the fame. It was about a search for meaning. It was painful.
I think it will be helpful to people because I know the expectations that are put on you as a sex symbol, and how Marilyn Monroe suffered and so on, and I was able to get free of that.
I was always opinionated.
Why I loved working with [Alfred Hitchcock] was that he allowed me that creativity and input.
Well, I'm Czech, but Polish, Czech, no matter, it's my name
The thing I loved about Alfred Hitchcock is that he left a lot of open ends there, a lot of clues that didn't really add up the way you think they would, and sometimes, not at all.
My security comes from my senses, my sensing the direction I should go and suddenly I felt out of tune, out of step with what other people wanted or what other people expected of me.
If you're wanting glamorous or really beautiful or really sexy, well then, I wasn't really the one, but I could do all of that. You could just get really lost in that kind of image.
[on strategy] If you want to live on the edge of life, you need to be flexible.
[in 1957] I'm not like [Greta Garbo]. I don't ever want to be alone.
[speaking in 2013, on her life in Hollywood] I was very erratic. I did suffer from mental illness. I didn't know it at the time. At times I was focused. Other times, the press would come on the set and I'd feel the energy of people laughing at me or not approving of my style of acting. You could pick up those feelings. I was distracted. I couldn't perform as well. I was erratic in my performances, I feel.
[on her role in Vertigo (1958)] I don't think it's one of my best works, but to have been part of something that has been accepted makes me feel very good.
They'll always remember me in Vertigo (1958), and I'm not that good in it, but I don't blame me because there are a couple of scenes where I was wonderful.
[on life after Hollywood] I paint, I ride my horses, I'm very content in my life.
Sometimes I'll catch a movie on TV - something that's beautifully acted and directed - and I'll cry my eyes out thinking, "I wish I'd done that one!" But then it passes. The next day I'll go out in nature and paint a picture and be truly excited.
[on making Liebestraum (1991), and why she hasn't made another movie since then] I know Mike Figgis thinks I'm a total bitch. That role was fabulous, full of depth, and when I interpreted it the way I thought was evident in the incredible script, he said, 'We're not making a Kim Novak movie, just say the lines.' Usually, I would have just said the words, played it and moved on, but in this case I felt so strongly about the script, I persisted and thought, 'How many more movies and opportunities will there be?' He said, 'If you continue to play the role this way, I'm just going to cut you out of the movie,' and he pretty much did. In this case, I take total responsibility for being unprofessional. He was not only the author, but the director. But he never listened to my point of view. It wiped me out.
I don't feel I ever reached my potential as an actress. I certainly didn't try to promote myself. I'm not a pushy person so there's always that turmoil for me - do you wait for something to happen or do you make something happen? I've always believed that if something is meant to be, it just works out. Yet I would see other actors fighting for themselves, fighting for the great roles. Which is right? Are you supposed to push the door open or do you wait for an open door? My choice was to move away from Hollywood but I always thought that if a role was really right for me, it would somehow come to me wherever I was.
I never intended to be an actress. I never dreamed of it, never even thought about it. I became one because I was discovered. It literally just happened, as if by magic. I was still in junior college when I visited a movie studio in Hollywood with a friend - we'd both been in San Francisco on a summer modeling job - and I was asked to do a walk-on in the Jane Russell movie The French Line (1953). Soon after, I was placed under contract at Columbia and given starring roles. So it all seemed like destiny, but then my destiny changed when [Columbia chief] Harry Cohn died and the roles coming to me were no longer good ones. They were silly roles in stupid scripts of no value. Beach movies! Or the same-old-same-old glamour parts that offered little that was interesting in the way of character. I left and went into the real world to paint characters that were far more fascinating and satisfying than the ones I was being asked to play.
I feel my life is complete because of my art, my painting. But, by the same token, I think I owed my fans more than I gave them. Perhaps I cheated the people who appreciated me and supported me by not sharing more of myself. But what can I say? I took the path that was before me. I'm not the type to clear the trees to make a path. I'm a tree lover! I guess the sad part for me is that the longer I've been out of the business, the better prepared I am to be an actress. I have been so fully living my life, learning the lessons of life, and growing so much as a person and as an artist, that I would be a much better actress now. But I did what I did. I thought I was doing it the right way.
My husband doesn't identify me as "Kim Novak" at all. I was out of Hollywood when we met. He was my equine veterinarian. He still is. He has no interest in Hollywood, and that is fine with me.
I'm an emotional person.
[describing her perfect day] It would include painting, of course, and riding my horse and being with animals. I would be outdoors exploring new territory, experiencing the camaraderie of creatures that know you, that let you in and share their appreciation of life. Then there's more joy in taking all that and expressing it in imagery on canvas. I'm lucky enough to live on a river, where there's always something wonderful and new coming along with the flow. Sure, I have my regrets sometimes, but when I look at life, and the river flowing, I feel nothing but joy in knowing that I've chosen the right path - and I didn't need to cut down any trees to do it.
|Picnic (1955)||$100 a week|
|Jeanne Eagels (1957)||$13,000|
|Boys' Night Out (1962)||$500,000 + 20% of the gross|
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