In the passenger seat of a topless mini Jeep, I’m clinging on for dear life as Kim Novak, star of Vertigo, chuckles with delight. We’re careening across her sprawling 240-acre ranch in southern Oregon in the open-roof 4×4, bounding off-road over hillocks, crashing through the rushing river that runs through her property and swerving to avoid a llama sitting in the road.

In 1965, Kim Novak left Hollywood. A venerated screen siren of the Fifties and Sixties, she was stung by bad parts and bad reviews, including the tepid response to her performance in Vertigo. Recently voted the greatest film of all time, back in 1958 Vertigo was widely regarded as a Hitchcock misfire. Less than a decade after starring in one of history’s most beloved films, Novak had had enough and said goodbye to Hollywood.

Novak, 79, lives on the ranch with her husband of 36 years, Dr Robert Malloy, a retired veterinarian. Not forgetting their five horses and the herd of llamas. “When Bob and I were dating, I had one llama, and whenever we’d walk around [the llama would] come and walk between us,” she says, her voice retaining its unmistakable husky tones. “So Bob said, ‘You’ve got to get rid of that thing!’ And I told him, ‘You’re bringing two kids into the relationship. I get to bring one llama.’ So he said, ‘All right, then we better get another one.’”

Though Kim Novak is now a woman of the outdoors, her “Hitchcock blonde” glamour is very much intact. With those long, golden tresses flowing down her shoulders, she is dressed in jeans, a loose embroidered blouse and large round purple-tinted glasses. She looks decades less than her age and carries herself, zipping around the ranch, with a vigour that would leave most 30 year-olds in her dust.

read the rest at The Telegraph

Kim Novak Tells All | 2012 | elsewhere writings | Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *