The Legend of Kim Novak


I’m going to see Kim Novak this weekend. I like to think I tailed her once, through San Francisco. It was bright day but full of shadows, and she slipped past me at every turn. Actually, I was following her character from Vertigo for an article in Los Angeles magazine about a Hitchcock vacation. She was probably tending the animals on her Oregon ranch at the time. The former model (and dental assistant) had some bit parts as a model (shocker!) and harem girl before hitting it big with Picnic in 1955. Her starring role opposite Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo has always been my personal favorite and is playing this weekend as part of a salute to the film great at the Egyptian theater in Hollywood.  

On Friday night, Los Angeles magazine editor-in-chief Mary Melton will host an in-person interview and Q&A session with Miss Novak on the stage of the Egyptian. The salute follows a screening of that stylish beatnik occult picture Bell, Book and Candle and when the lights go out again we get Frank Sinatra and Rita Hayworth framing Novak in the all-singing, all-dancing Pal Joey from 1957.

If you’re out of town this weekend or want to relive the glamour in your own home, you can next week when Sony Home Entertainment releases the three-disc Kim Novak Collection, complete with archival photos, personal stories and at-home interviews. Pyewacket, the Siamese cat is not included.