A rare combination of icy aloofness and earthy sensuality helped to make Kim Novak one of the top box office stars in Hollywood. Numerous hit movies like Picnic, The Man with the Golden Arm, and Pal Joey gave the blonde beauty the chance to display her acting prowess.
However, it was Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1858), which provided her international exposure. Her intense chemistry with James Stewart has been well received.
Film and TV Career
When she was only in her early 30s, by the end of the 1960s, Novak had pulled back from the daily Hollywood grind, choosing to take a hiatus from film. Her sporadic presence in the public eye only increased the allure of legend and preserved her status as one of Hollywood's most mysterious and appealing actresses.
She appeared in The Mirror Crack'd (1980), and was a series regular on the primetime series Falcon Crest (1986–87). After a disappointing experience while filming Liebestraum (1991), she permanently retired from acting, stating she had no desire to return.
Controversy with Mike Figgis
She thought it would be an important picture after reading the script, however, her collaboration with director Mike Figgis was tense and they had conflicts from the beginning. She played a terminally ill writer with a mysterious past in the movie and wanted to play the whole character by herself.
However, Figgis opposed to her and hired actress Sarah Fearon to play the younger version of Novak’s character for flashback scenes, which led to a huge clash between them. Following the difficult experience with Liebestraum, she turned down a comedy with the French director Claude Berri and a remake of Bell, Book and Candle. She stated about her retirement, in 2004,
“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.”
Since 1992, she has turned down most offers and has made only rare public appearances. She also took part in Obsessed with Vertigo, a documentary retracing the making and restoration of the film.
Great Interest in Painting
She has taken part in Q&A sessions several times and has talked about her career and personal life.She has been an avid painter. She had a solo show of her paintings at the Butler Institute of American Art in 2014.
In 2016, while she was invited by Turner Classic Movies as a guest on their Caribbean Cruise, she sold five of her paintings and raised nearly $7k for teenage suicide prevention.
Novak was married to English actor Richard Johnson from 1965 to 1966 and was briefly engaged to director Richard Quine. She was in relationships with high-profile personalities like Sammy Davis Jr., Ramfis Trujillo, Frank Sinatra, Richard Beymer, and Michael Brandon.
She moved to Big Sur in the 60s and started painting and riding horses. In 1974, she met her present husband, equine veterinarian Robert Malloy and got married in 1976.
In 1997, she bought a 43-acre ranch in Sams Valley, Oregon, which burned down to the ground in July 2000 and she lost all her artworks and the only draft of her autobiography.
Novak was injured in a horse-riding accident and suffered a punctured lung, broken ribs, and nerve damage in 2006. She is also a breast cancer survivor.
Net Worth Now
Today, she continues her creative endeavors as a photographer, poet, and visual artist who paints in watercolor, oil, and pastel. After her rare public appearance at the 86th Academy Awards in 2014, she faced backlash for her botched cosmetic surgery. She was trolled by President Donald Trump as well.
As of 2019, her net worth is reported to be around $15 million dollars.
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