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.
Her first job, after high school, was modeling teen fashions for a local department store. Kim, later, won a scholarship in a modeling school and continued to model part time.
Ultimately, her modeling landed her an appearance as an uncredited extra in The French Line (1953). Later a talent agent arranged for a screen test with Columbia Pictures and won a small six month contract. After taking some acting lesson, Kim appeared in her first film, Pushover (1954), which was a critical and financial failure.
Later that year, Kim appeared in Phffft (1954) with Jack Lemmon and Judy Holliday. Her next role was as "Kay Greylek" in 5 Against the House (1955), followed by the Otto Preminger film The Man with the Golden Arm (1955). Kim's next film, Picnic (1955), became her best film to date and was her breakthrough to stardom.
Kim did a superb job of acting in the film as did her costars. In 1957, Kim played "Linda English" in the hit movie Pal Joey (1957) with Frank Sinatra and Rita Hayworth. The film did very 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 Vertigo (1958), directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film was one in which a retired detective, played by James Stewart, follows a suicidal blonde half his age (Kim). He later finds out that Kim was only masquerading as that person, and is actually a brunette shopgirl who set him up as part of a murder scheme. The film was a flop upon release, but is now considered a classic.
By the early 1960s, Kim's star was beginning to fade, even though she was still only in her 20s. She was being overpowered by the rise of new stars or stars that were remodeling their status within the film community. 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).
Kim married Richard Johnson whom she met while filming The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (1965). They divorced a year later, but remain friends. Kim stepped away from the cameras for a while, returning in 1968 to star in The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968). It was a resounding flop, perhaps the worst of her career.
After that, Kim basically didn't see herself as having a career, even though she was only 35. For the rest of the eighties, Kim was out of movies and only had a few television gigs.
From 1986 to 1987, Kim played "Kit Marlowe" in 19 episodes of the TV series "Falcon Crest" (1981). In 1990 she had a leading role in the little-seen movie The Children (1990), where she starred opposite Ben Kingsley. 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. Since then, she has rejected many offers to appear in films and on TV.Since 1976, Kim has been married to Robert Malloy (born 1940), a veterinarian. She now lives on a ranch in Oregon and is an accomplished artist who expresses herself in oil paintings and sculptures. Kim and her husband raise lamas and horses, and frequently ski and go canoeing.
Kim began writing an autobiography in 2000, but it was lost when her house caught on fire, destroying the computer that contained her only draft. She later said that the fire was a sign that she shouldn't be writing an autobiography. In a rare 2007 interview, the still-stunning former actress said she would consider returning to acting "if the right thing came along".
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