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Mel Novak in 2015
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Other names||Mel Novak|
|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.
Born in Pittsburgh to Serbian parents as Milan Mrdjenovich (Serbian: Милан Мрђеновић, Milan Mrđenović), 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.
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.
|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
|Exit to Eden||Walker's henchman|
|1996||Dear God||Sidewalk Minister|
|2002||Power Elite||President Jonathan Caine|
|2003||GiAnts||Jonathan Caine||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|
|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|
- 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.
- Caps, Johnny (22 October 2015). "Pop Geeks' Flashback Interview: Mel Novak". Pop Geeks. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
- Zhai, Mingjie (2016). "The Spiritual Warrior". The Love Story. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
- Drezgić, Tamara (10 June 2016). "Srbija na vezi: Milan Mrđenović - Mel Novak". Radio Television of Serbia. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
- Bonanno, Luke (28 October 2008). ""Mystery Science Theater 3000" 20th Anniversary Edition DVD Review". DVDizzy. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
- "GiAnts (2003)". Dread Central. Retrieved 9 August 2010.