- In the words of film historian David Thomson, she is "the epitome of every small-town waitress or beauty contest winner who thought of being in the movies."
- A Columbia Pictures production assistant introduced her to a talent scout after meeting her at a party in Los Angeles; she was on tour that summer modeling for Thor refrigerators.
- Went on a personal strike in 1957 to protest her pay, which was $1,250 per week.
- Was first choice to play Marion Wormer, the Dean's wife, in 1978's Animal House.
- Turned down the lead roles in the 1961 films Breakfast at Tiffany's and The Hustler.
- Had a well-publicized relationship with Sammy Davis Jr.
- Raises horses and llamas on her Oregon ranch with her husband.
- In 2005, fashion designer Alexander McQueen named one of his handbags "The Novak" in her honor.
- 1957, Golden Globe — Henrietta Award (World Film Favorites): Winner
- 1955, Golden Globe — New Star of the Year - Actress: Winner
- 1957, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Foreign Actress: Nominee
- 1997, Berlin Film Festival — Lifetime Achievement (Honorary Golden Bear): Winner
- Blanche Novak — Mother
- Robert Malloy — Husband
- Rebecca Malloy — Stepdaughter
- Richard Quine — Ex-fiancé
- Joseph Novak — Father
- Arlene Novak — Sister
- Richard Johnson — Ex-husband
- Lisa Malloy — Stepdaughter
- Birth Name: Marilyn Pauline Novak
- Birth Place: Chicago, IL
- Birthday: February 13, 1933, Aquarius
- Profession: Actor
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