By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago-born actress Kim Novak’s appearance on the 2014 Academy Awards sparked a firestorm on Twitter.

Her name was also among the most searched on Google, Yahoo and AOL overnight.

Novak, 81, who may be best known for her starring role opposite Jimmy Stewart in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo,” had some difficulty speaking and her facial features appeared rigid.

The actress, who has battled physical and mental health ailments for years, presented the Best Animated Feature award with Matthew McConaughey, which went to “Frozen.”

The appearance immediately led to a series of snarky jokes about her face on Twitter.

Others defended Novak, who suffered serious injuries in a horse riding accident about eight years ago and was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. In 2012, s revealed that she was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder later in her life.

Novak was born on Feb. 13, 1933 in Chicago. She graduated from Farragut High School and won a scholarship at the School of the Art Institute.

She left for Hollywood in the mid 1950s where she was discovered by a talent agent. She won a Golden Globe for her work in “Picnic” in 1955.

She was hired to play the character of Judy Barton in Vertigo, which was released in 1958.

Over her career, she appeared in dozens of movies before leaving Hollywood in the 1960s, a decision that she came to regret.

Novak told an audience at the TCM Classic Film Festival in 2012 that her father suffered from depression and that she experienced a lot of family conflict growing up, which she said made conflict on a movie set seem normal.

Watch & Listen LIVE