'Vertigo' actress Kim Novak diagnosed with breast cancer
October 20th, 2010
10:40 AM ET

'Vertigo' actress Kim Novak diagnosed with breast cancer

“Vertigo” star Kim Novak, 77, has been diagnosed with breast cancer, the actress’s manager confirmed to CNN.

“It was caught early by a routine yearly mammogram and [she] is undergoing treatment," her manager said in a statement, adding that as of Tuesday evening, Novak had "just got out of surgery...and doctors are very pleased. She should be totally fine."

The actress is known for her work in movies like "Vertigo," "Picnic," Pal Joey" and "Bell, Book and Candle," but has since taken a step back from the Hollywood spotlight.

Novak currently resides in Oregon with her husband, Dr. Robert Malloy, and stays fit by working out with a trainer three times a week and riding horses daily, her manager said.

Filed under: Celebrities • movies

soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. dixie

    I have been a fan of Kim's for years. I'm glad she still has so many other fans too..she is a very special person and I think she was wise to leave Hollywood and have a normal life. I have read that the studios in those days ran the lives of the stars so I'm glad she left while still on top and made her own choices. Good luck to Kim.

    August 29, 2011 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jendfly

    Dr. Kay:
    How totally ignorant of you. Early detection saved my life. I was 49 and the tumor was 1.2 cm. Neither I nor my Gyn detected it. Went in for a routine mammogram and there it was, invasive. The mammogram was digital and therefore had about 1/10 of the radiation of the old mammograms. Many 77 year old women would like to live longer and without pain. Some people handle chemo just fine. I lost my hair. BFD. It's back now, but the cancer is not. Are you REALLY a doctor??

    October 21, 2010 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • ApeHanger

      Early detection saved my life. I was 49 and the tumor was 1.2 cm.

      You obviously didn't absorb what Dr. Kay had to say. She was referring to women in Ms. Novak's age range, not middle-age women such as you.

      October 21, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cdpf of Norfolk, VA

    I loved Kim Novak years ago playing Peter Stavro's stepdaughter Skylar Kimball (the name she took when the real Skylar was killed in her car that got blown up by a bomb) on "Falcon Crest" with the late Cesar Romero as Peter Stavros and Jane Wyman as Angela Channing! My prayers goes out to her in this trying time. My Mom named her daughter Kim after her and Mom is a 28 year breast cancer survivor!

    October 21, 2010 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. Rolyat

    This woman was stunningly beautiful and very talented. She gave many fine on screen performances. And then she bowed out of the film industry gracefully. Much earlier than she should have. At 77, she is as beautiful as ever.
    Why not suprise your fans Kim and come back and give us another one of your great on screen permances.. You could show this young Hollywood trash how it's really done. God bless you Kim and get well soon.

    October 21, 2010 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. Nick

    Loved her in Vertigo, Strangers when we meet. Jeanne Eagles, Picnic. I hope she gets well soon! A true classy lady!!

    October 21, 2010 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jerry Hightower

    And she has such a lovely pair too! As I was growing up in my teens I always wanted her. She was absolutely beautiful. Good luck my dear.

    October 21, 2010 at 5:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. bob

    Hi, Kim:
    We met back when we were both about 25 in your borrowed east-side apt. (the Aly Khan,s, I believe. I wrote a story about your career as a painter, and a very good one in the Keene portrait school. You had a giant dog ("Warlock"?). And we published your story with photos of several of your paintings. I still recall our time together as if it were yesterday and not 50 years or so ago, and it goes with out saying that this Irish Brooklyn boy fell in love with-the-down to-earth Polish kid from Chicago. You were waiting for Richard Quine to pick you up, and my heart broke. And then you married a guy named Johnson (I think), so I didn't leave my wife and three kids to chase after you. In those years as a magazine writer, I met many of the Hollywood queens, including the Columbia move goddesses - Rita, Marilyn and you)– and you were by far the fairest (and realest) of them all. Have a speedy recovery and get back on the horse. If you still have a big dog, bring him to meet my two St. Bernard girls. I am now in S. Cal across the street from Laguna Beach, Oh, and just in case you are interested, Sophia was your runner-up - a great lady with a phone addiction at that time that I wrote about. God Bless

    October 21, 2010 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  8. Stan

    Hang in there Kim. You're my favorite. I see why Sammy loved you so much.

    October 20, 2010 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Don

    My prayers go out to you Kim, When I was a young'un growing up in Iowa, I carried a pic of you in my wallet. Had a huge crush on you. I too am in Oregon now.

    October 20, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dr. Kay

    No 77 year old woman should be getting routine mammograms. At that age, cancer is nearly always very slow growing and a patient is much more likely to die from other causes long before she even notices symptoms. And breast treatment is no walk in the park, even for young and otherwise healthy women. Radiation, chemo, and surgery are likely to do an asymptomatic elderly patient far, far more harm than good. Women must start educating themselves about the best use – or non-use – of routine cancer screenings. The radiation and cancer treatment industries have made it clear what their top priority is: Money.

    October 20, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Bender

      There have been questions regarding the benefit/harm of mammograms. Some say the radiation might assist the growth of cancer. There need to be more studies. In the mean, women just need to be more familiar with what is normal and what is not. My mother developed breast cancer in 2001 and had surgery. She was told they got it all and would not need chemo which I agree is horrible stuff. One year later cancer had completely enveloped her liver and was inoperable. My uncle, her brother, had cancer fifteen years ago, was treated and is still alive. He had a complete recovery. So treatment doesn't kill everyone. I am not in favor of poisoning people to rid them of cancer but I know that sometimes it works.

      October 21, 2010 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Merin

      My mother had this same cancer this year at 72. Lumpectomy and radiation only – and the prognosis is excellent. She's fully expecting to live as long, if not longer than her mother who passed away at 97.

      October 21, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Steve

    The love and prayers being expressed for Kim Novak warm us all. May they keep her well and healthy for many years to come. Kim lit up the screen and will always be an ageless motion picture icon. It is not our imagination; the entertainment business was much different back then and much more satisfying than the one we have now.

    October 20, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ~Sher~

    My husband's fave actress has always been Kim Novak and we were both saddened to learn of this news..but with prayers by us and many others..we know she will conquer this and continue to remain the beautiful and classy lady she's always been...TAKE CARE KIM & GOD BLESS....

    October 20, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. David

    All my best for a quick recovery.

    Another Oregonian.

    October 20, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Lilarose in Rogue River Valley, Oregon

    Kim and her husband have lived for many years near my home town of Medford, Oregon in the Rogue River Valley (Southern Oregon). She is one of our respected citizens and we are proud of her. She is also a very private person. Thanks for your talents that brought us such great films, Kim. Best wishes for your continued good health.

    October 20, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mego

    Kim you are one classy lady.................you are in my prayers!

    October 20, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Kathleen

    They don't make stars like they used to. Kim Novak is one of them, classy lady! God speed!

    October 20, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  17. BJC

    Wishing Kim a full and speedy recovery. Vertigo and Picnic are two of my favorite movies, she was wonderful in both.

    October 20, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Kim

    My thoughts and prayers are with you – you have been my favorite ever since my mom told me that I was named after you.

    October 20, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Kat

    She will be in my prayers too. All good thoughts for Kim.

    October 20, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Marnie

    Bell, Book & Candle - one of my favorite movies.

    October 20, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Sylvia C

    I wish Kim a speedy recovery. She was my favorite growing up and was absolutely wonderful to watch in my two favorite movies of all time, Picnic and Pal Joey.

    October 20, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Rachel

    Superb actress and a real beauty, too. Wishing her a full recovery.

    October 20, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  23. gpasha1

    "Picnic" is one of the best. She is wonderfull. wish the best for her.

    October 20, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Joanne (CALIFORNIA)

    With prayers and love you will get through. It sure looks like you have a lot of loves! Speedy recovery. You are an ICON in the industry and always have been in my book. A real Lady.I have admired you for many a year so "BEAT THAT BEAST!" and recover quickly.
    With love and admiration

    October 20, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  25. George B

    I fell in live with her on movie (PICNIC).She is most beautifull.

    October 20, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  26. abby

    Praying for this wonderful lady!

    October 20, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Jim

    A very talented and classy woman. We need a lot more actresses like her!

    October 20, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  28. GaPeach

    Kim Novak, Grace Kelley, Natalie Wood, Susan Hayward...so classy and so talented!

    October 20, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  29. GaPeach

    Best to a gorgeous, true STAR!

    October 20, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Garry

    Best wishes and a speedy recovery to a wonderful person and a great actress! The movie Vertigo was one of my favorites as well as Bell, Book and Candle...what a lovely lady.

    October 20, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Kathleen

    My best to her. She is a beautiful and talented actress. Loved Picnic! Oh, and Satan's Triangle!

    October 20, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Calpunk

    Just saw her this summer at tribute for her & she looked fantastic! Speedy healing to a classy lady.

    October 20, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Retired3

    My very best to a truly lovely lady

    October 20, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Greg

    I only saw her in Vertigo, but what a movie! What an actress! Experience you never forget. Wish her well.

    October 20, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Andres

    My best wishes to Kim Novak and her family. A wonderful actress and human being. God bless you. You will be fine. Love from all of us.

    October 20, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  36. botomLine

    I’ve seen Kims’ movies many times over, always a treat. I hope things work out for her.

    October 20, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  37. diana beardsley

    You are my favorite KIm, I have been your fan forever. I finally got to see you in person in LA in July, at a film screening. It was just so wonderful to see you and hear your talk about your career, and you are still beautiful. I had my daughter Kim with me she finally got to see who she was named after. I love Bell, Book and Candle even have a cat named Pie. You have a lot of love coming your way, get well soon, you will beat this.

    October 20, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  38. cindy

    I loved her in "Picnic". You will get through this, Kim. I did.

    October 20, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Lynda

    Kim Novak was my very favorite actress when I was growing up. There was something ethereal about her. Beautiful beyond words yet a vulnerable quality. So glad she created a happy stable life for herself. But I've missed her on the screen for so many years. Also being a cancer survivor myself, I send my prayers for a full recovery.

    October 20, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Jill

    Just saw a great Kim Novak movie last night on TCM with Fredric March and I thought boy, she really is a terrific actress. Get well soon, Ms. Novak. Would love to see you do an interview on TCM.

    October 20, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • albert miller

      Did you also notice what a great actor Frederic March, was? see him in "The Death of a Salesman", along with a sterling cast (1953)

      October 20, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |


    October 20, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Darla

    What a rude and insensitive post Jcorey. People make mistakes – how about you – do you make mistakes?

    October 20, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • jcorey

      About the star of one of my favorite movies..................................no..........................how sad for you that you are able to relate to such genius.................................

      October 20, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  43. txdude

    glad to hear. I miss her in movies. would love to see her more. my favorite of her's is "strangers when we meet" with Kirk Douglas. Great movie and she is truly one of the best.

    October 20, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  44. T

    Great Actress, she was great in "VERTIGO" w/ Jimmy Stewart.
    Hope for a quick recovery.

    October 20, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Anne

    Our prayers are with you, Kim. Thank you for so many great performances and enjoy your horses!

    October 20, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Valerie

    So sorry to hear this but so happy it was caught early!

    Get well and be strong Ms Novak! Just want you to know you have young fans too who love your work, and your eternal beauty!!!

    October 20, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  47. k

    That was mean she's done hope you don't ever have to go through anything like that. Good luck Kim.

    October 20, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  48. scott

    Kim Novak is who actresses should try to be like these days God bless Kim

    October 20, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Cooper

    Best of luck and well wishes to Miss Novak....always was a 1st rate act!!

    October 20, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Gwenn

    I wish her a healthy, speedy recovery. I'm glad it was discovered early, that is the key to this type of cancer. She is one of my favorite actresses ever. I have secretly, had a 'girl' crush on her since I was in my early teens. (Now 56!)

    October 20, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  51. JohnA.Evans 3rd

    Best of luck Kim one of my favorite movies "Goodbye Charlie" with Tony Curtis and Walter Mathau I'll say a prayer for you!"

    October 20, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • MHF

      My favorite is "Kiss me stupid" with Dean Martin. She is a great actress. I sincerely wish her a rapid and full recovery.

      October 20, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • L Judson

      That was Debbie Reynolds in Goodbye Charlie.
      Best wishes to Kim, another great actress.

      October 20, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marnie

      That was Debbie Reynolds...

      October 20, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Teresa

      Goodbye Charlie actually starred Debbie Reynolds...but Kim and Debbie are both from the same era, both great gals, beautiful blondes. I miss that era, where women were so feminine, classy and even mysterious. Where did these women go? This post is old and I am just now posting. Kim is fine! We love you!

      January 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Caroline

    I don't care what the new studies say...early detection does lead to an early cure. Best of luck Kim!

    October 20, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  53. patti

    Glad that they got it now, have a friend that her mom died of this type of cancer.

    October 20, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Mélanie

    I do hope she'll be fine... Ms Novak and Grace Kelly have been my favourite actresses, 2 icons, 2 LADIES.

    October 20, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |

    God bless Kim

    October 20, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  56. laws


    October 20, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • USS Mendota

      I add my prayers to yours.

      October 20, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Inga

      Adore her and miss seeing her in films. May she recover fully from this horrible monster we call cancer.

      October 20, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |

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