Monday, April 23, 2012


For a time in the 1950's and 1960’s she was a major Hollywood movie star and famous around the world. She appeared on screen with the some of the biggest names in movies, starring in such films as Hitchcock’s classic “Vertigo,” “Pal Joey” and “Picnic.”

One day at the zenith of her career she turned her back on Hollywood and left show business. Now former actress and movie star Kim Novak reveals she was mentally ill at that time.

Novak told an audience at the TCM (Turner Classic Movies) Classic Film Festival Friday that during those days she was suffering from a bipolar disorder and sometimes now regrets her decision to leave Hollywood in the late 1960s at the height of her fame, according to a new report in the Los Angeles Times.

The report says Novak was teary-eyed at times and emotional when she told Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne before an audience of about 300 people at the Avalon in Hollywood that she was actually suffering from mental illness when she made those movies saying, "I'm bipolar ... but there's medicine you can take for this now," Novak said. "I was not diagnosed until much later. I go through more of the depression than the mania part."

Novak is now 79 years old. She was in Los Angeles to have her handprints and footprints enshrined in the forecourt at the famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Saturday.

The former actress, who lives in Oregon with her husband, an equine veterinarian, and their five horses said her father suffered from depression and she had a difficult childhood in Chicago which oddly prepared her, in a way, for Hollywood.

"I was used to having conflict in the home, so having conflict on a set ... felt normal," she said.

Perhaps due to her illness Novak was branded as “difficult” by studio executives who tried to micro manage her image up to and including stopping a friendship with a major black star at the time, Sammy Davis Junior.

Finding the emotional pressures of Hollywood too much to handle she moved to Big Sur to paint, according to the report.

She has acted a bit since then but her career never regained its early success...



  1. What a revelation! That adds even more to the discussion of Vertigo. At least she didn't end up like Viven Leigh.

  2. Always agreat fan of Miss Novak.Tremendous to see her presenting at the 2014 Academy Awards recently. I sincerly hope & pray Mrs Molloy(Novak) is totally healed of all breast cancer and the fall from a horse.Bi-polar/schitzophrenia can be a chemical imbalance but also can be tied into family-generational curses from R.C.Jesuit Masonry or Freemasonry membership going back generations.See "Fruit Of the Vineministries" Yvonne Kitchens book "Breaking The Curse".All the best to Miss Novak from Australia. I hope she writes an interesting autobiography without being caught up in Roman Catholic superstition. I should know my late mum was Catholic.