'Vertigo' star Kim Novak, 80, to be guest of honour at Cannes

Kim Novak, the star of Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 masterpiece "Vertigo" who turned her back on Hollywood, is to make a return to the red carpet at next month's Cannes film festival, organisers said on Monday.

The US actress, 80, refused to accept the ironfisted rule of America's big studios and in 1965 largely abandoned film to devote herself to painting.

She will be guest of honour at a special screening to mark the restoration of the film regarded as Hitchcock's finest work.

Hitchcock once described the "Vertigo" as "a love story with a strange atmosphere".

Novak will also take part in the closing ceremony of the May 15-26 French Riviera festival where she will award one of the prizes.

Novak's other memorable cinema roles included a prostitute with a big heart in "Kiss Me, Stupid" by Billy Wilder, a witch in Richard Quine's "Bell, Book and Candle" and an adulteress in another Quine film, "Strangers When We Meet".