is an American character actor
whose "dark" good looks and athletic physique have guaranteed him mostly villainous roles in action
, martial arts
and occasionally horror
and science fiction
films. He's known for doing all of his own stunts
and fighting scenes.
native Novak was a promising athlete in his youth, playing professional baseball
with the Pittsburgh Pirates
. However, his career was cut short by a massive rotator cuff
injury. Novak made his film debut in 1974, appearing in two blaxploitation
films, Truck Turner
and Black Belt Jones
, the former starring Isaac Hayes
, the latter Jim Kelly
. Subsequent parts in The Ultimate Warrior
(1975) starring Yul Brynner
, Cat in the Cage
(1978), starring Sybil Danning
, and others followed. One of his more high-profile parts from the 70's was as the hitman Stick in Game of Death
(1978), directed by Robert Clouse
. Novak also had small roles in two Chuck Norris
films, A Force of One
(1979) and An Eye for an Eye
(1981). Since the turn of the 80's, he's been acting mostly in low-budget, independent features, such as in Lovely but Deadly
(1981) for director/producer David Sheldon, starring B-movie heroine Lucinda Dooling. In the 90's, he appeared in two films for director Garry Marshall
, Exit to Eden
(1994), based on the novel by Anne Rice
, and Dear God
(1996). Novak's film career continues to this day. His most recent film credit is the 2005 action/horror film Vampire Assassin
, also featuring Gerald Okamura
, with whom Novak has acted with in several films, and Rudy Ray Moore
He is also an Ordained Minister, having worked in skid row and prison ministry for over twenty years. Fittingly, he's occasionally played the part of a preacher in his films, as in The F-Zone (1999).
He also has 2 daughters, Nikol age 32 and Lea age 29. He also has a grandson named Elijah age 8 from daughter Lea.
|On his parts as a villain:
I get what I deserve in the end. The Lord's justice is very much like that.
- —Features several pieces by Novak on his 70's films.
- Gods In Spandex, or, A Survivors' Account of 80's Cinema Obscura (2007)
- —Features several pieces by Novak on his 1980s films.