This photo is being shared online claiming to have been made by photographer Carl Van Sauer and showing Kim Novak entertaining American Troops in Vietnam, 1962.
It does not.
Twitter user BobbyDress saw it and felt something wasn’t quite right so he asked me to look into it.
And although the 1960s are a bit recent for my taste, I was intrigued and started researching the photo.
First thing I realised is that Combat troops didn’t really start arriving in Vietnam till 1965 and the first USO club opened there in 1963.
This would make an USO show in Vietnam for a large group of American military personal in 1962 rather peculiar.
I soon found out the photo was not made by Carl Van Sauer.
There is no trace of any photographer with that name every visiting Vietnam except in the description of this photo.
There was however a well known photographer called Jean-Claude Sauer who travelled around the world and visited Vietnam in 1965 and 1966 where he also took photos during USO shows.
He took the photo above.
I also couldn’t find any evidence of Kim Novak performing in Vietnam shows in the 1960s.
In 1962 Kim Novak was busy making movies and buying a house.
By the mid 1960s she was going though marriage and divorce had grown tired of living in the lime-light.
It seems unlikely that she had the time or was in the right state of mind to go dance in front of soldiers.
But the woman in the photo did remind me of somebody else…
The woman in the photo is actually Joey Heatherton.
This picture (and the rights to it) may have been given to her by the photographer, according to the “An Appreciation of Joey Heatherton” website.
She performed in Vietnam as part of the Bob Hope’s annual Christmas show in 1966 and other photos and even film footage of these performances show her with the exact hairstyle and dress as in the photo above.
So the correct description should be;
“Joey Heatherton entertaining American troops in Vietnam, 1966. Photo by Jean-Claude Sauer.”
If you see the picture shared online with a claim of authenticity, please direct the person posting it to this article.
Picture(s) found online, used for (re-)educational purposes only.
I do not own the copyrights to this picture, I only share it here for educational purposes to try and make sure the real story behind it becomes known and people will stop spreading false information.
If the copyright owner objects to the sharing here, kindly contact me and I shall remove it right away.