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Nancy Kovack in trailer to Diary of a Madman (1963)
March 11, 1935
Flint, Michigan, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
|Spouse(s)||Zubin Mehta (m. 1969)|
Nancy Kovack (born Nancy Kovach; March 11, 1935) is a retired American film and television actress.
Kovack became interested in acting when she went to New York City to attend a wedding and became one of the Glea Girls for Jackie Gleason. She has appeared on a number of TV series including Star Trek, Bewitched (playing Darrin Stephens' catty ex-fiancée and Samantha's nemesis, Sheila Sommers), Batman (episodes 5 and 6), I Dream of Jeannie, Get Smart, Perry Mason, 12 O'Clock High, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Invaders (season 2 episode 16 Task Force), Burke's Law, and Family Affair (1968 episode titled "Family Plan"). She appeared in a key role as a sexy, native witchdoctor and femme fatale in one of the most sobering of the original Star Trek episodes, "A Private Little War". In 1969 she was nominated for an Emmy for an appearance on Mannix.
As her profile increased, Kovack began to gain roles in Hollywood movies, most notably as the high priestess Medea in Jason and the Argonauts (1963). She also had parts in Strangers When We Meet (1960), The Wild Westerners (1962), Diary of a Madman (1963) with Vincent Price, The Outlaws Is Coming (1965) with The Three Stooges, Sylvia (1965), The Great Sioux Massacre (1965), The Silencers (1966), Tarzan and the Valley of Gold (1966), Frankie and Johnny (1966), and Carl Reiner's directorial debut Enter Laughing (1967).
On Broadway she appeared in The Disenchanted. Her last film role was in Marooned (1969), a science fiction drama. Credited as Nancy Mehta, she played the murder victim in the made-for-TV movie/series pilot Ellery Queen (also known as Too Many Suspects; 1975).
In 1969, Kovack married conductor Zubin Mehta, then music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and later music director of the New York Philharmonic. Until 2006, the Mehtas spent some months of the year in residence in Munich, Germany, where Mr. Mehta was the Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera. Mehta is currently Music Director for life of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  and the Main Conductor for Valencia's opera house. Mehta is also the chief conductor of the Maggio Musicale festival in Florence, Italy.
Susan McDougal (known for being a part of the Whitewater controversy) worked as Kovack's personal assistant in the early 1990s. After her employment ended, Kovack took legal action against McDougal for alleged embezzlement. McDougal was acquitted in 1998 on all twelve charges. A suit by McDougal in 1999 for malicious prosecution ended in a settlement.
- Cry for Happy (1961)
- Diary of a Madman (1963)
- Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
- The Outlaws Is Coming (1965)
- Sylvia (1965)
- The Great Sioux Massacre (1965)
- The Silencers (1966)
- Frankie and Johnny (1966)
- Tarzan and the Valley of Gold (1966)
- Enter Laughing (1967)
- Marooned (1969)
- Get Smart, Episode 16, Season 4 ("The Day They Raided the Knights"), airdate January 11, 1969.
- "Nancy Kovack profile". Retrieved March 19, 2013.
- Israel Philharmonic Orchestra website, ipo.co.il; accessed November 19, 2015.
- Zubin Mehta website, zubinmehta.net; accessed February 16, 2015.
- The Woman Who Wouldn't Talk; ISBN 0-7867-1302-X, Susan McDougal et al. 2003, p. 338.
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