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Eva Novak

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Eva Novak
Novak, early 1920s
Born(1898-02-14)February 14, 1898
DiedApril 17, 1988(1988-04-17) (aged 90)
Years active1917–1966
William Reed
(m. 1921)
RelativesJane Novak (sister)
Anne Schaefer (aunt)[1]

Eva Barbara Novak (February 14, 1898 – April 17, 1988) was an American film actress, who was quite popular during the silent film era.


Eva Barbara Novak was born in St. Louis, Missouri to Joseph Jerome Novak, an immigrant from Bohemia, and Barbara Medek. Her older sister, Johana, also became an actress.[2] Joseph Novak died when Eva was still a child and Barbara was left to raise five children.[3]

Novak began her acting career in 1917, with her first film role being in L-KO's Roped into Scandal, followed by another seven films that same year. She appeared in 17 films in 1918, and another eight in 1919. In 1920, she starred opposite Tom Mix in The Daredevil, one of six film roles she would have that year, and one of ten films in which she starred opposite Tom Mix.

In 1921, she married stuntman William Reed, whom she met while on location for a film. They would later have two children, daughters Vivian Barbara (1925–2013) and Pamela Eve (1928–2010).

Novak was interested in stunt performing herself, having been taught by Mix to perform many of her own stunts. From 1921 to 1928, she appeared in and starred in 48 films, including an early version of Boston Blackie. She also co-starred with Betty Bronson and Jack Benny in The Medicine Man (1930) and appeared in the 1922 film Chasing the Moon, which was an early forerunner of the 1950s film D.O.A. In the late 1920s, she and her husband moved to Australia, where she made numerous films, including The Romance of Runnibede. However, with the advent of "talking films", her popularity faded. She would continue to act, but mostly in obscure roles.

Novak while filming on a set during her stay in Australia, 1927
Novak while filming on a set during her stay in Australia, 1927

She appeared in 123 films between 1917 and 1965, when she retired. She was residing in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles at the time of her death from pneumonia at the age of 90, on April 17, 1988.[4]

Partial filmography


  1. ^ Brown, John W. (2008). Missouri Legends: Famous people from the Show-Me State. St. Louis: Reedy Press. pp. 176, 177.
  2. ^ Katchmer, George A. (September 22, 2009). A Biographical Dictionary of Silent Film Western Actors and Actresses. McFarland. ISBN 9780786446933 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ The Independent, London, February 1990
  4. ^ "OBITUARIES : Eva Novak; Sweetheart of Silent-Movie Cowboy Stars". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
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Eva Novak
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