Saturday, September 25, 2010

Featured Icon: Kim Novak


Kim Novak (born February 13, 1933) is an American actress. She is best known for her performance in the classic 1958 film Vertigo. Novak retired from acting in 1991 and has since become an accomplished artist of oil paintings. She currently lives with her veterinarian husband on a ranch in Eagle Point, Oregon, where they raise livestock.

Novak began with an uncredited role in The French Line (1954). Eventually, she was seen by a Columbia Pictures talent agent and filmed a screen test. Novak was signed to a six-month contract, and the studio changed her first name to Kim. Novak debuted as Lona McLane that same year in Pushover opposite Fred MacMurray and Philip Carey, and played the femme fatale role as Janis in Phffft! opposite Judy Holliday, Jack Lemmon, and Jack Carson. Novak's reviews were good. People were eager to see the new star, and she received an enormous amount of fan mail.

After playing Madge Owens in Picnic (1955) opposite William Holden, Novak won a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer and for World Film Favorite. She was also nominated for the British BAFTA Film Award for Best Foreign Actress. That same year she played Molly in The Man with the Golden Arm with Frank Sinatra. In 1957 she worked with Sinatra again for Pal Joey, which also starred Rita Hayworth, and starred in Jeanne Eagels with Jeff Chandler. She was on the cover of the July 29, 1957, issue of Time Magazine. That same year, she went on strike, protesting her salary of $1,250 per week.

In 1958, Novak starred in the Alfred Hitchcock-directed classic thriller Vertigo opposite James Stewart, playing the role of a brunette shopgirl, Judy Barton, who masquerades as a blonde woman named Madeleine Elster as part of a murder scheme.

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