Kim Novak (Marilyn Pauline Novak) was born February 13, 1933 in Chicago, Illinois, to Blanche Kral and Joseph Novak, both of whom were of Czech descent.
She won two scholarships to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and during the summer of her last semester of junior college, Novak went on a cross-country tour modeling for a refrigerator company at trade shows. While in Los Angeles, she was discovered by an agent who signed her to a long-term contract with Columbia Pictures. She made her screen debut in The French Line (1954), then starred in The Pushover, and soon became a leading box-office attraction of the 1950s. Her most famous films include The Man With The Golden Arm (1955), Pal Joey (1957), the Alfred Hitchcock film Vertigo (1958), The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (1965), and The Mirror Crack’d (1980).
In 1955 she won the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer – Female. Two years later she won another Golden Globe for World Favorite Female Actress. In 1995, she was included among the 100 sexiest stars in film history. In 2012, Novak was honored in a handprint and footprint ceremony at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. For her contribution to motion pictures, she was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6332 Hollywood Boulevard.
Novak continues her creative endeavors today as a photographer, poet and accomplished visual artist who paints in watercolor, oil and pastel. Her paintings are impressionistic and surrealistic. The first public exhibition of Novak’s art, “Life is But a Dream,” was held at the Old Mint in the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society in 2012. In May 2014, Novak appeared for a solo show of her paintings at the Butler Institute of American Art. Her art can be seen at www.kimnovakartist.com.
In March 2015, Kim Novak visited the Febiofest film festival in Prague where she received the Kristian award for her contribution to world cinematography. Upon arrival she said: “This is my country. I feel that I am coming home.”