The iconic American entertainer Kim Novak has been married to two men in her lifetime. Her first marriage was to the British actor Richard Johnson in 1965, and they divorced in 1966. Her next marriage was to Robert Malloy in 1976. They lived in Oregon until his sad demise in 2020. Prior, she was involved in a controversial relationship with American singer and actor Sammy Davis, Jr.
Aside from her marriages, she owes her fame and popularity to an acting career that she launched at a young age. Notably, she appeared in The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), Vertigo (1958), and Strangers When We Meet (1960).
Her roles at the time have earned her the description of being one of Hollywood’s box office stars. Considering the heights she attained, Kim left the industry and switched to painting.
Who is Kim Novak’s Husband?
At the moment, Kim is widowed. Prior, she had been married to two men.
Her First Marriage with Richard Johnson Lasted for Only a Year
She got married to Richard Johnson in 1965. On his own, Johnson is a British actor who happened to share the screen with Novak in the historical comedy The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (1965).
It is unclear whether they knew each other before the movie, but what is clear is that they had a deep attraction that led to marriage.
Sadly, the marriage was one of those short-lived celebrity marriages that ended in 1966. Despite the failure of their marriage, the entertainers remained friends after they parted ways.
Novak’s Second Marriage with Robert Malloy Lasted till His Death in 2020
After her first marriage ended, the former actress gave love another chance when she met Robert Malloy, a veterinarian. Their meeting is quite another interesting detail in her life. Reportedly, one of the horses she owned had developed colic. When Malloy answered the call to check on the Arabian horse, the pair hit it off.
They got married on March 12, 1976. During the marriage, she found herself assisting him. The creative has described their relationship as the most important, followed by the one she has with animals.
Novak and Molroy lived quietly in Oregon and managed to keep away from the scandals that most celebrities are prone to during their lifelong marriage of over four decades. Sadly, this was cut short when Malloy died on November 27, 2020.
Other Men Kim Novak was Linked with
Prior to her two marriages, Kim was involved in some high-profile relationships. In the mid-1950s, she was first linked to Ramfis Trujillo, the son of Rafael Leonidas. It turns out that it was a brief relationship.
Her next publicized relationship was with the singer and actor Sammy Davis. As an interracial affair, it caused quite a frenzy. It is alleged that Harry Cohn, one of the executives at Columbia Pictures, threatened to deal with Davis if he did not leave Novak alone.
Based on this, Davis is said to have been forced to marry a woman of color within 48 hours or lose both legs and his eye. Following this, Davis got married to Loray White in 1958.
Following that relationship, she got engaged to the movie director Richard Quine in 1959, but they never got married.
Apart from these relationships, she is known to have dated Michael Brandon, Wilt Chamberlain, David Hemmings, and Porfirio Rubirosa. She allegedly also dated Frank Sinatra.
Other Details About Kim Novak That You Should Know
1. She was Born Marilyn Pauline Novak in Chicago
Kim Novak was born on February 13, 1933, to Joseph and Blanche Novak, who are of Czech descent. Her birth name is Marilyn Pauline, but as we have seen, she adopted the professional name Kim Novak.
Like many celebrities, this change came about at the beginning of her career when Harry Cohn suggested she drop her Czeck name and pick one that many people would love. As it is, she rejected his suggestion of Kit Marlowe but compromised by using Kim Novak instead.
More on her background: Novak is one of two daughters born to her parents. Also, she was very shy as a child, and this made many kids bully her. Perhaps due to this shyness, she was not able to tell her parents about the bullying, even when she was raped by some teenagers in the backseat of a car.
Regardless of this, her mother helped her overcome her shyness by making her join the Fair Teen Club, a youth club.
Focusing on other details like her education, Novak attended William Penn Elementary and later Farragut High School, as well as Wright Junior College.
2. Novak Started Her Career as a Refrigerator Model
Novak started out as a promotional model for Detroit Motor Products Corporation’s Deepfreezer products at trade fairs. This was with her during the summer break in the last semester of junior college.
She went on tour to market the company’s freezers and was pronounced Miss Deepfreeze, but this is just the starting point of a career in public.
After she returned from the tour, she decided to move to Los Angeles with two other models to try acting.
One of her earliest roles was in the 1954 movie Pushover and as an extra in Son of Sinbad (1955). After making a few appearances in small roles, she was discovered by an agent who got her signed to Columbia Pictures.
Since then, she has appeared in several works. In fact, some of her works, like Picnic (1955), were quite successful at the box office, thereby making her one of the box office stars of the time. Needless to say, another work that she is notable for is Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958). Understandably, her career continued to expand.
3. The Chicago-born actor retired from Acting in the ’90s
Like many entertainers, Novak’s career started experiencing decline in the late 60s. First, she was thrown off a horse in 1966 while shooting Eye of the Devil. She was replaced by Deborah Kerr.
Following this, she lost her Bel Air home in a mudslide. The incident also cost her all her savings as she had to pay the bulldozer fees. As a result, Novak was forced to move to Big Sur. From this point on, she started losing interest in acting as a career.
Regardless, she took on a few roles for the next several years. The breaking point came during the shooting of Mike Figgis Liebestraum in 1991. Apparently, she liked the script but found acting for Figgis a tedious affair that often ended in conflict.
The actress revealed that she felt so burned out and that she wanted to be more than just a sex symbol, which later movies portrayed her as.
4. She Never had any Children
The 90–year-old never had any children. One may wonder why she made this decision. It turns out that she inherited mental illness from her father, and she was afraid to have children who might get it.
More on her struggle with mental illness: Novak was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the early 2000s, and as a result, she has become one of the outspoken celebrities who speaks about it.
Regardless of having no biological children, the Vertigo actress is the stepmother to her late husband’s children from their previous marriage. Malloy was married to Joan Gundlach, and through this, they welcomed two children. Sadly, Joan died by suicide in 2014.
5. The Retired Actress is a Breast Cancer Survivor
As if Kim had not suffered enough tragedies, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. According to the report given by her manager in 2010, Kim was undergoing treatment and they are hopeful of a good recovery.
Thankfully, she was able to fight the disease making her one of the few who achieved such a feat. Other celebrities who survived cancer are Sheryl Crow and Robin Roberts.
What is the Kim Novak Up To?
Since she left acting, Novak chose to concentrate on the visual arts as a painter. To hone her painting skills, Novak took classes with pastels from Harley Brown and Richard McKinley. Like her acting career, she suffered another misfortune in 2000 when her paintings got burnt in a fire at her home.
Kim is said to have also lost the draft of an autobiography she had been working on since the 1990s. Thankfully, this development did not push her away from painting. If it is anything to go by, Novak expanded her artistic talents to photography, poetry, watercolor, and pastel.
She was honored by the Butler Institute when her selection was published in 2021, titled Kim Novak: Her Art and Life.
Aside from painting, the former actress also started raising horses in Big Sur, as mentioned earlier. Reportedly, she has turned down acting offers and rarely makes appearances at movie remakes for works like Vertigo.
Also, she makes appearances at events where she is honored for her contribution to the entertainment industry. These include;
- The 47th Berlin International Film Festival, where she was given an Honorary Golden Bear Award (1997)
- Eastman Kodak Archive Awards for Major Contribution to Film (2003)
- Larry King Live (2004)
- TCM Classic Film Festival (2012)