Vera Novak — Yugoslavia to London

Here’s a picture of George Harrison Marks directing Vera Novak on the beach. 1963 was a big year for Vera Novak who made her first appearance for George that summer in Kamera no. 54. She then had a significant splash at the seaside in no. 55 and was further exposed in no. 56 before taking the cover of no. 57. Her Solo appearance came in issue no. 34, also 1963. In 1964 she was back in Kamera no.60, as well as no.70 in 1965 and no.72 in 1966. She made her final appearance in 1967 in no.85. Certainly a better than average longevity for an Harrison Marks model.

She also managed two glamour movies for George; Nude in the Sun, filmed in 1963 in Cornwall and the charming Country Cousin. She was also in the book She walks in Beauty… (1964) and the Harrison Marks feature film The Naked World of Harrison Marks (1965).

Vera Novak was born in Yugoslavia-near the earthquake town of Skopje [now Macedonia]. But she grew up in a camp for displaced persons at Salerno in Italy. Her father was the owner of a small shop which was taken over by the Communists after the war. Being critical of the Tito regime, he fled to Greece in 1950 — never to be heard of officially again, though Vera at one point felt certain he died in a revolution in Brazil. His departure left Vera and her mother in very difficult circumstances, and in desperation, they moved northwards to Rijeka [now in Crotia] where her mother felt she could earn enough to keep them alive by selling on the black market.

As the wife and daughter of someone who had fled the country’s government, they were under constant surveillance. Apparently, their first attempt to escape to Italy resulted in their capture and 14 days in jail. Later they were more fortunate. Having passed Trieste, they were horrified when stopped by police on what they thought was still Yugoslav soil. But they had crossed the frontier, and the police were Italian. They ended up in a Displaced Person’s camp at Salerno which, as Vera once commented, was “a part of my life I would like to forget.”

Finally, Vera and her mother were allowed to leave the camp and come to England, where her mother-presuming her first husband to be dead-married and settled down in Bournemouth. Vera was sixteen when she came to England. Her looks and figure naturally brought in offers for modelling and film work. Along with Margaret Nolan, she apparently had a bit part in The Beauty Jungle, a 1964 film about beauty contests. The surprising good film was directed by Val Guest who was a close friend of Pamela Green.

Vera often hired out her flat in Bayswater to photographers who wanted a change of location.

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4 thoughts on “Vera Novak — Yugoslavia to London

  1. She married the American singer Robert Goulet in 1982.
    He died from cancer in 2007.
    There is an extensive bio of her, under Vera Goulet, in the IMDB

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