Mel Novak

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Mel Novak
Mel Novak.jpg
Mel Novak in 2015
Born Milan Mrdjenovich
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Other names Mel Novak
Occupation Actor
Years active 1971 – present

Mel Novak is an American award winning character actor who is best known for villainous roles in Black Belt Jones, Bruce Lee's Game of Death, and Chuck Norris' An Eye for an Eye. He is also known for doing all of his own stunts and fighting scenes.

Biography[edit]

Career[edit]

Born in Pittsburgh to Serbian parents as Milan Mrdjenovich[1][2] (Serbian: Милан Мрђеновић, Milan Mrđenović),[3] Novak made his film debut in 1974, appearing in two blaxploitation films, Truck Turner starring Isaac Hayes and Black Belt Jones starring Jim Kelly that was directed by Robert Clouse that led to a part in Clouse's 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), again directed by Robert Clouse. Novak also had 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, Novak has been acting mostly in independent features, such as 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). In 2005, he appeared in the action/horror film Vampire Assassin, also featuring Gerald Okamura, with whom Novak has acted in several films, and Rudy Ray Moore. In 2008, Novak was inducted in the Martial Arts Hall of Fame in London. In 2015, Novak had a prominent role in the action film, Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance.

Personal life[edit]

Novak is also an ordained minister, known for doing celebrity funerals and memorials for the likes of Chuck Connors' son, Jeffrey Alan Connors, and Tim Burton's father, Bill Burton. He has worked in skid row and prison ministry for over twenty years. He also has two daughters, Nikol and Lea, and three grandchildren from daughter Lea.

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Film Role Notes
1974 Black Belt Jones Blue Eyes
Truck Turner Doctor Alternative title: Black Bullet
1975 The Ultimate Warrior Lippert Alternative titles: The Barony
The Last Warrior
1978 Game of Death Stick
Missile X: The Neutron Bomb Incident Mendosa Alternative title: Teheran Incident
Cat in the Cage Ralph Desmond
1979 A Force of One The Announcer
1980 Tom Horn Corbett's bodyguard
1981 Lovely But Deadly Warren Lang
Force: Five The Assassin
An Eye for an Eye Montoya
1985 Force of Darkness Conrad
Sword of Heaven Dirk
1989 Family Reunion Tom Andrews
1991 Capital Punishment Mason Dover Alternative title: Kickbox Terminator
1993 Expert Weapon Miller Alternative title: American Dragon
1994 Pocket Ninjas Mr. Kaufman Working title: Skate Dragons
Alternative title: Super Sonic Pocket Ninjas on Wheels
Foreign release title: Triple Dragon
Direct Hit Kovar
Exit to Eden Walker's henchman
1996 Dear God Sidewalk Minister
1997 Future War Otis[4]
Moonbase Guard
1999 The F-Zone Priest
2002 Power Elite President Jonathan Caine
2003 GiAnts Jonathan Caine[5] Direct-to-DVD release
2005 SWAT: Warhead One Dick Danvers Direct-to-DVD release
Vampire Assassin Gustoff Slovak Alternate title: Vampire Assassins
2006 Big Guns Larry Armstrong Direct-to-DVD release
2008 Drifter TKD Thomas Tyler
2015 Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance Cutter
2016 Enter the Samurai Himself Documentary on the creation of Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance
Television
Year Film Role Notes
1971 The F.B.I. Policeman One episode
1973 Mannix Elmo Bagley One episode
1976 The Blue Knight Steve One episode
Ark II First guard One episode
2006 Pastor Greg Man with dog One episode

Bibliography[edit]

  • Gods in Polyester or, a Survivor's Account of 70s Cinema Obscura. Succubus Press. 2004. ISBN 90-80870013. 
  • Gods In Spandex or, a Survivor's Account of 80s Cinema Obscura. 2007. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ Caps, Johnny (22 October 2015). "Pop Geeks' Flashback Interview: Mel Novak". Pop Geeks. Retrieved 26 November 2016. 
  2. ^ Zhai, Mingjie (2016). "The Spiritual Warrior". The Love Story. Retrieved 26 November 2016. 
  3. ^ Drezgić, Tamara (10 June 2016). "Srbija na vezi: Milan Mrđenović - Mel Novak". Radio Television of Serbia. Retrieved 26 November 2016. 
  4. ^ Bonanno, Luke (28 October 2008). ""Mystery Science Theater 3000" 20th Anniversary Edition DVD Review". DVDizzy. Retrieved 9 August 2010. 
  5. ^ "GiAnts (2003)". Dread Central. Retrieved 9 August 2010. 

External links[edit]