Kim Novak is living her life peacefully with her husband in rural Oregon, 700 miles from Hollywood, away from the madding crowd. And she is really happy. 

One of the leading sex symbols in the late 50s and 60s, Kim turned her back on Hollywood over four decades ago. But the height she’s reached in her career still makes her a well-remembered face among the viewers.

Kim Novak opened up about dark side of Hollywood in a rare interview

I never dreamed of becoming an actress or a movie star… Working as a model during junior college, I traveled to Hollywood on summer vacation where I was discovered by an agent and signed to Columbia Pictures.

Kim Novak

A journey that started after being discovered by an agent during a summer vacation didn’t turn out to be a good experience for Kim, who says “Hollywood was always painful and hard to endure” for her. 

Kim Novak is posing playfully in a bathing suit on a beach.

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The 84-year-old said that she loved acting, but everything else about Hollywood was painful. No doubt, she was gaining so much of fame and success, but she was not ready to pay the price for it. The press, critics and studios were always there to tell her who to be, how to behave, who to go out with, who not to go out with, how to wear her hair and make-up, and she found it really insulting. 

What’s worse was she had to fight to keep her own name when the domineering chief at Columbia Pictures, Harry Cohn, demanded that she change her birth name Marilyn Pauline Novak to Kit Marlowe. She refused to change Novak, but she could not do anything about her first name. She recalls how Cohn used to read her bad reviews to her face and called her “the dumb, fat Polack.”

She feared she would end up being just another sex symbol and did not want to fall prey to the tragic endings that most of the stars and sex symbols face after getting lost in an identity crisis. She ultimately decided to walk away from the lucrative career to pursue a more liberal platform.

Kim Novak was bullied by President Trump in 2014

It happened during the 2014 Oscar. Kim made a rare public appearance to present an award when the audience was taken aback by her looks. Donald Trump, who was watching the live broadcast on TV, tweeted from home, “I’m having a real hard time watching… Kim should sue her plastic surgeon!”

Donald Trump took to Twitter to comment on Kim Novak's 2014 Oscar appearance.

Backstage of the Dolby Theater, Kim was devastated when she read the tweet. She did not leave her home for months after the incident.

Matthew McConaughey and Kim Novak on the stage of 2014 Oscar. Matthew McConaughey is half-embracing Kim Novak who is talking on a mic.

It wasn’t until Trump became a presidential candidate in 2015 when he finally apologized for his regretful deeds. He said, “I would have preferred I didn’t send it. That was done in fun, but sometimes you do things in fun and they turn out to be hurtful, and I don’t like doing that.”

Later, during a phone call with an Inside Edition reporter when she was asked if she would accept the apology, Kim said, “Um, sure, why not… but you know the thing is, it’s too bad the bullies don’t think before they open their mouth.”

In another interview, Novak divulged, “I made a mistake having fat injections in my face just days before the Oscars so my face still looked puffy. A couple of days later I looked fine. Now I’m feeling good and looking good. Things couldn’t be better.”

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What is Kim Novak doing now?

As a young girl, when Kim had no dreams of becoming an actress, she aspired to become a great artist. She had even won two scholarships to the prestigious Chicago Art Institute. Eventually, after she exited from Hollywood, Kim began living her childhood dreams, sketching and painting in her dressing room.

Kim Novak and her husband Dr. Robert Malloy vacationing in Prague, Czech Republic.

Inspired by Oregon’s rugged natural beauty, Kim’s works in oils, acrylics and watercolor, which are vibrant with rich hues and deeply felt emotions, have been exhibited around the world and they command high prices.

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Kim, who bet breast cancer in her mid-70s, is living a really good life now with her husband of 41 years, Dr. Robert Malloy, her horses and paintings. She admitted that things don’t bother her anymore.