Sunday, February 13, 2011
Happy Birthday: Kim Novak! "The Lavendar Girl".
Kim Novak,(February 13, 1933). It was Kim's modeling career that landed her an uncredited role in the film, The French Line (1953). Later, a talent agent arranged for a screen test with Columbia Pictures.
The studio thought that they found their new, Marilyn Monroe. After taking some acting lessons, Kim performed in her first film with Fred MacMurray in, Pushover (1954).
Later that year, Kim performed in the film, Phffft (1954) with Jack Lemmon and Judy Holliday. These two films set the tone for her career.
Her next performance was as "Kay Greylek" in the film, 5 Against the House (1955).
It was her next film, Picnic (1955), that made her famous. The film won two Oscars for editing and set decoration.
The film Picnic, tells the story of a ex-college football star who turns drifter. He finds himself back in his small home town on Labor Day. Unfortunately, he falls in love with his best friends girl, which complicates their friendship.
Directed by Joshua Logan, with William Holden, Kim Novak, Susan Strasberg, Cliff Robertson, Arthur O'Connell, Nick Adams, Betty Field, Rosalind Russell and Verna Felton, the film is sometimes thought of as a "snapshot of life" in the American Midwest during the 1950s.
I thought this film was very passionate love story. I loved attitude of the older neighbor who was glad to "hear a man stomp around the house with his boots".
Kim's next film was, The Man with the Golden Arm(1955). A drama film, based on the novel of the same name by Nelson Algren, which tells the story of a heroin addict, who gets clean while in prison, but struggles to stay that way in the outside world.
It stars Frank Sinatra, Eleanor Parker, Kim Novak, Arnold Stang and Darren McGavin. Directed by Otto Preminger. Kim's performance was flawless, but it was was her beauty that was the big hit of the film.
In 1957, Kim played "Linda English" in the movie, Pal Joey (1957), with Frank Sinatra and Rita Hayworth. Please click here to learn more about the film Pal Joey.
Kim also gave a wonderful performance in Alfred Hitchcock's film, Vertigo (1958) with Jimmy Stewart. The film was one in which Stewart's character, a detective, is hired to follow a suicidal blond. He later finds out that Kim is actually a brunette shop girl who set him up as part of a murder plot. Her next film is another one of my favorite films, Bell Book and Candle (1958).
Kim landed the role of "Mildred Rogers" in the remake of, Of Human Bondage (1964). After filming, The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (1965). Kim took a break from acting, returning in 1968 to star in what I thought was kind of a weird film, The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968).
Again, she took another break from acting, before performing in, The White Buffalo (1977). She followed this up with, Just a Gigolo (1978), where she starred opposite David Bowie. She did find success in the mystery/thriller, The Mirror Crack'd (1980), co-starring Elizabeth Taylor, Tony Curtis, Rock Hudson and Angela Lansbury.
She played the lead in the film, The Children (1990), where she starred opposite Ben Kingsley and Karen Black.
Kim's last film,(so far) was in, Liebestraum (1991), in which she played a terminally ill woman with a past.
Since 1976, she has been married to Dr. Robert Malloy, who went to medical school with Martin Dinnes, the husband of Kim's friend, Tippi Hedren.
She now lives on a ranch in Oregon and is an artist. Kim and her husband raise lamas and horses.
Please click here to read past Kim Novak movie reviews.
Turned down the female lead in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), The Hustler (1961) and Animal House (1978) among others because she was focusing on her personal life.
She arrived in Hollywood as "The Lavender Girl". When she became a star at Columbia Pictures, the studio had her blond hair tinted with lavender highlights.