Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's Nancy Kovack Day!

The Gorgeous Nancy Kovack as "Nona"

It's Nancy Kovack Day! Ahh, Nancy - was I the only 6 year-old who went mad for this lusty, cultured, Michigan born beauty?! I think not. My introduction to Nancy Kovack was, like many around my age, via her role as Nona (above) in the Star Trek episode A Private Little War, or as Queenie in the Batman S01, Ep 5 The Joker is Wild. and S01 Ep 6 Batman Gets Riled. But, it didn't take long for me at all to start noticing her in many of her Television appearances of the 60s and 70s, Bewitched, Get Smart, The Invaders, I Spy, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Perry Mason, Hawaii Five-O, It Takes a Thief, etc, and her film work - most notoriously, her role as Medea in Jason and the Argonauts and that amazing, erotic, super-charged dance sequence. As me Grandpappy used to say, "hubba hubba."

Born in Flint, Michigan, Nancy was a very brainy and very beautiful young lady. She entered the University of Michigan at a very young age, some reports claim she entered at 15 and graduated at 19 - going on from there to win numerous Beauty Pageants. She ultimately caught the eye of Hollywood and started out on the Jackie Gleason show, the rest is history. Nancy essentially retired after she married symphony orchestra conductor Zubin Mehta. I have not seen a photograph of her in a very long time. She didn't even do the Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Magnum PI, Simon and Simon, Fall Guy, Hotel, What Have You tour, which many many actors and actresses would do to for various reasons (from simply keeping busy and in the public psyche - to "hey I need the cash").

Early 60's "Coppertone" Advertisement

I miss Nancy - she hasn't been on the scene in a very, very long time. Hope she knows that she's got many loyal fans out there.


Ira Gabelsburger said...

You know, I wasn't ultra sure who she was until you mentioned her tv appearances. She was just one who kind of slipped by, not quite sure how. Great pics, I really LOVE the Coppertone ad, very erotic for the 60's I must say!

Chick Young said...

I am not surprised at all Ira. Some of my girls I was/am ga ga over are quasi-obscure to the mainstream. For every Natalie Wood, Ava Gardner, or Barbara Stanwyck that I love, there's a Nancy Kovack, Lorena Velázquez, or Arlene Martel. - eclectic might be the appropriate word. I got more on the way buddy!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to tell you that, in your Recent Purchases, you misspelled Toni Tennille's name.

Chick Young said...

Right-o. Thanks much for the correction.

Uranium Will said...

I do not much about Nancy Kovack but know the name from reading. thanks for the lesson. I have all the Batman TV series episodes and I will look for this one. I just saw the one with Jill St John where she falls into the Batmobile reactor machine.

Liz said...

this has nothing to do with pretty ladies, i am sad to say,

but i wanted to inform you that the bowman and i are making our way to Michigan this weekend.

consider yourself warned!

elgringo said...

She's a hottie. Haven't heard of her before, I'm not gonna lie to you. But I have seen that Batman episode.

ewaffle said...

Very late to this party...

First and most importantly, congratulations on being selected for the Dracula myth anthology. While it isn't surprising since you write well and have an encyclopedic knowledge of the subject, it is still extraordinarily good news.

Regarding Nancy Kovak, of the effortless sensuality--she is also a footnote to a footnote in the Clinton/Whitewater/Monica-gate. Kovak (Mrs. Zubin Metha) employed Susan McDougal as a bookkeeper and accused McDougal of stealing about $150,000 from the Methas. McDougal, who was found not guilty, then brought suit against Nancy Mehta. The suit was settled.
McDougal did 18 months in a federal prison for contempt of court when she refused to answer Ken Starr's questions about Bill Clinton's involvement in the Whitewater land deal.

McDougal's book, "The Woman Who Wouldn't Talk" savages Nancy Kovak Mehta almost as much as she does the egregious Ken Starr.

More importantly, congrats once again for the first of many publications

Matt said...

Here is a recent picture of Nancy. How things have changed since I first :fell in lo9ve: with her as the evil assassin Barbara in *The Silencers* back min 1966!,MehtaNancy.JPG

Chick Young said...

Thank you Matt - yes things have changed for sure, but ya know what? I really dig that picture. Not exactly sure why - but I do. Perhaps Nancy has aged rather gracefully - certainly put on pounds and so on, but that's just a part of life. I thank you for the link - it actually made me happy! Best, Chick

matt said...

Dear Chick,

Yes, I dig that picture too! Still lovely at age 73! Surely she was the most breath-taking actress in all of Hollywood, simply exuding raw sexuality whatever her role. Here is one of my favorite scenes with her as a stripper (risque for her).

matt said...

Surely I would be remiss not to share Nancy in what for many of us is our favorite movie,the first Matt Helm movie: "The Silencers".

Nancy simply exudes sensuality in every single role I have ever seen her in, both on the big and the small screens! Here she is going to try to kill Dean Martin, although we don't know that until almost the very last. Get the movie on VHS, not this edited DVD version.

MickeySr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MickeySr said...

I Always thought Nancy Kovak was one of the most gorgeous women on screen…however, I never realized it untill well into our marriage, but I must have first taken notice of my high school sweetheart wife because of her resemblance to Nancy, because as she matured (I think it was maybe in her 30s) I suddenly recognized that my beautiful wife looked very much like Nancy Kovak - lucky man.


doris daze said...

I know this is very past-the-fact, but I just stumbled across this page. Nancy Kovack was one of the premiere babes of my youth! When I was a kid I saw a double feature of THE SILENCERS and FRANKIE AND JOHNNY--both starring the great Nancy Kovack. Such a babe! One of the things I loved about her was that she had a different hair color in every movie or TV show! FYI, she was featured in Bon Appetit magazine as Mrs. Zubin Mehta on the last page where they used to feature a celebrity's favorite dish to cook. They made the appointment with Mr. Mehta and were surprised that she was part of the photo shoot--and it was her recipe they featured! (That was about ten years ago.) I'm sure an online search will turn up that recipe.

Also, re: the Susan MacDougal episode, the Santa Monica judge who ovesaw the trial deemed Mrs. Mehta "scatterbrained". But I am and always will be a big fan, for she will always represent my movie-going youth.

Mark said...

Kudos, Sir!

Ms. Kovack has been my RetroSiren #1 since I was a kid watching the same reruns you were also apparently mesmerized by. Only Dahlia Lavi and Senta Berger(also erstwhile Helm-Girls) come close! It seems like more and more folks are recalling those halcyon days of unparalleled pulchritude. Makes you wonder who'll be fondly remembered by future generations of Retro-Aesthetes:

Salma Hayek?
Charlize Theron?
Scarlett Johanssen?
Natalie Portman?

You have marvelous taste showcased on a marvelous blog. All the best to you.

-Strength and Honor

Chick Young said...


Humbled by your comments - very very kind of you to say!

All the best to you as well.

And, as for who are we gonna be talking about 20-25 years from now? Beats the hell out of me! Maybe people like Alicia Witt (whom I LOVE!) - ya know, actors that fly just a little under the radar but have great talent and beauty - like Nancy.


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Sean Bagley said...

Sorry I missed Nancy Kovac Day!!! Can't you make it an annual event??? Although I don't know of her current mental state or of her "scatterbrained" behavior in Santa Monica court, during her days as an actress she was anything but. It's a well-known fact that Nancy Mehta shrewdly purchased handfuls of apartment buildings and rental homes and has a real estate portfolio that rivals much more well-known stars and business people. For anyone interested in another prolific Hollywood actress that everyone recognizes, but may not always know her name, I wrote a tribute to the fabulous Beverly Garland after we lost her last December. Check out my blog:

Nick said...

At her best - such as in that Bewitched episode - I'd rate her the glamorously beautiful ever.