But, in 1957, she fell in love with Sammy Davis Jr., who, with his immense popularity, was breaking the race barrier of a firmly segregated entertainment industry.
Sam Kashner chronicles the backlash against their affair, the alleged Mob hit ordered by Cohn which forced Davis to marry black singer Loray White, and the heartbreaking coda to the romance that Hollywood forbade.
The man known as “the greatest entertainer in the world” was onstage, the smoke from his cigarette trellising the air.
You had to see him: the gorgeous shirt, the cuff links, the way everything billowed.
He was in the dark and suddenly the spotlight picked him up—he was electric, he was hot, it was almost a sexual thing.
He was singing to Kim Novak, sitting at a stageside table; she had just finished work on Alfred Hitchcock’s the most challenging film of her career.
That night would be the first and virtually the last time that Kim Novak and Sammy Davis Jr. At the heart of their star-crossed affair was one of Hollywood’s sacred monsters: the notorious Harry Cohn.