Kim Novak: Keeping it Real

The Genuine Article: Kim Novak

Attention all Kim Novak fans: mark your calendars!

The American Cinematheque will be hosting a tribute to cinema legend Kim Novak on Friday, July 30th at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Platinum Career: A Tribute to Kim Novak will be a weekend-long celebration of Miss Novak’s films, in conjunction with the release of a new box set of her films: The Kim Novak Collection.

The event, being sponsored by Sony and LA Magazine, will include a very special, rare public appearance from the eternally glamorous Miss Novak who will give a Q&A after a screening of her films Bell Book and Candle and Pal Joey.

The blonde, come-hither bombshell who was one of the most sensuous sirens of the 50s, turns out to be a totally earthy chick. Novak willingly fled Hollywood to trade a celebrated screen career for a life as an artist—a fine artist, that is. An interview from Southern Oregon’s Mail Tribune earlier this year (where Novak has been living for years) is a reminder that there was, and is, so much more to her than just a beautiful face:

Before Hollywood plunked her down in roles opposite William Holden, Frank Sinatra and James Stewart, Novak studied at the prestigious Art Institute of Chicago. So maybe it’s not totally surprising that a movie star is the creator of this year’s Britt Festivals’ fine arts poster. …The actress, who says she attends three or four Britt concerts each summer, says that rather than buy a reserved seat she often takes a blanket and lies back on the ground and closes her eyes to listen to the music, especially at Britt’s classical festival with conductor Peter Bay. …

These days she lives with her veterinarian husband on a rural Jackson County property where the couple raise llamas and horses, three of which are named Poet, Lionel and Hunka Hunka.  … Acting was the last thing on her mind.

“Sometimes it’s hard to believe I lived that life,” she says. “It almost seems like it didn’t happen to me … I’m kind of a farm girl. It was as if I played dress-up and got to play these characters. I’ve made peace with that other me. I enjoy looking back.”

Her thoughts on Hitch?

“He was so intense about the timing of certain scenes that he’d have the actor rehearse with a metronome to get the exact rhythm he wanted.”


“The most incredible, gentle, kind man, the most wonderful man.”


“Difficult. You never knew. His moods changed. He could be the nicest, kindest human being, but he was moody.”

On acting?

“What I believed in was being real,” she says. “The genuine thing.”

Tickets to the cinematheque’s special event are $12 and can be purchased at The Egyptian or online at Fandago.

Posted by

Film writer and social media marketing professional. 2019 Social Ambassador for the 10th Annual TCM Classic Film Festival. Previously: social media associate at Warner Archive and script writer for Turner Classic Movies. Working on a Montgomery Clift biography due late 2020.

2 thoughts on “Kim Novak: Keeping it Real

  1. Thanks for the heads up! This sounds great. I don’t know why, but I’ve always like Bell, Book and Candle. To see that on the big screen along with Kim Novak sounds like a must.

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