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Encyclopedia Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes)

Contact me at the Sabrina Site

First Contact with Sabrina

My own Memory of Sabrina

8:30 AM. Sunday 20 April, 2003.

The phone rang. I struggled from deep sleep. A man's voice... a Northern English accent.

'There's someone here you would be very interested in talking to.'

'O yes?' I said. A novel approach to telephone sales, I thought.

A woman's voice. Northern English accent. A gentle voice.

'Hello? This is Sabrina.'

Now...

I have the sort of brain that does very well in exams, job interviews, moments of crisis...

Except my brain was now doing a passable impersonation of a bucket of custard. Several thoughts were going through my head, most of them something like 'waaa werrr hnghhh hnghhuhhh?'

But you don't want to hear about my sudden brain fade. You want the interesting stuff.

We talked for 45 minutes.

Half-asleep hand-scratched notes follow...

P.S. I'm now quite glad I didn't:

  • instantly decide that the call was a telemarketer
  • tell him to f*** off
  • hang up
  • go back to bed

:-)

- You'll be pleased to know that the Mail on Sunday (MoS) article was absolute rubbish, according to Sabrina.

- Yes, she does prefer to be called Sabrina. 'I hate Norma.' Even her mum called her 'Sabrina'

- Her mum, who accompanied her nearly everywhere, is no longer alive.

- the MoS article reporter (Peter Sheridan) never talked to her. Fiona Wingett, the other credited author graciously fowarded my letters to Sabrina until I got her address, was not there ('But she did write me the loveliest letter,' says Sabrina)

- the reporters 'harassed' her for two to three weeks

- the mystery neighbour, who reported things such as Sabrina suing someone for cracking her driveway, was the true 'crazy one'. She apparently suffers from Alzheimers and has been 'taken away'.

- 'Bloated face'? Sabrina said that, if anything, she was thin, having recently recovered from an infection. She said she has to eat a lot to keep on weight.

- Sabrina is not a recluse. She 'goes out all the time' and has 'an active social life.'

- She had a car accident, which is why she spends a lot of time in a wheelchair

- Her career came to an effective end because she'd got married and was tired of performing.

- She became depressed after reading the MoS article. 'Living in squalor? It's ridiculous'

- She assures me she lives in a 'sabubrious' neighbourhood. A house nearby was sold for 'half a million dollars.'

Hear Sabrina discuss this.

Note: A real estate search on the net revealed that this is probably right. A house in Sabrina's neighbourhood with 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and 1137 square Feet fetched $409,000. Sabrina's house is twice the size at 2,553 sq. ft., has 4 bedrooms, and 2 baths (Courtesy L.A. Department of City Planning)

- Bob Hope lived around the corner (until he died, that is).

Bob Hope's house in Toluca Lake
Just a little evidence found in the paper 10 June 03.

- The Christmas tree mentioned in the article was up in May because her friend Steven (who made the call) had gone to England before Christmas and she kept the tree up for his return, which slid from January, to February, to March. By the time he returned near May, she had decided to keep it up for her birthday party in May.

- Yes, folks. Her birthday is MAY 19, but she was still coy about the year. 'Don't ask me how old I am.' (Shock revelation)

- The leprechaun in the article was a joke present from a friend.

- The fly paper was to combat an invasion of flies and mosquitoes.

- The 'dilapidated' Volvo is not Sabrina's, and it's not dilapidated.

- The rubbish at the front of the house was left by builders. Steve organised for the city to pick it up but they were late collecting it. The sign in the picture was apologising to the neighbours for the inconvenience.

- She says the article in her hometown paper was even worse than the Mail on Sunday article. She said she wanted to 'sue the bastard.' She thought of going on Larry King's TV show to announce she was going to sue the MoS for the highest amount ever sued in England.

- She said she would only have to show up in court and let people see her for them to realise how wrong and defamatory the article was. She said people in supermarkets ask her if she's a movie star, so she can't be looking as 'bloated', senile and horrible as the article purported.

- The only one she's 'nasty to' is Steve, her friend. He calls her 'BT' for 'Bloody Trouble.'


- Sabrina still has a pronounced Cheshire accent. Quite a surprise considering how long she's been living in America.

- The reason Sabrina took so long getting in touch with me is she is a 'procrastinator.' She rang, rather than wrote, because she is 'a perfectionist' and would rewrite letters ten times if there were the smallest of mistakes.

- She thinks the Sabrina Site is great. She was impressed.

- Sabrina is not computer-literate but Steve, her friend, has a laptop and an internet connection.

- She doesn't like the pictures of herself.

- She has hundreds of other pictures, and wondered if there was a market for them.

[The sabrinastuff site Sabrina might consent to letting us scan the photos and post them here... moves are afoot!]

- She didn't think anyone remembered her.

- She was amazed to see the baby picture of herself. There was only ever one copy.

- In a letter I sent her (which she received, courtesy of Fiona Wingett) I asked her 'Who are you now? Sabrina says, "I'm still me, only better and smarter."

- She never thought she competed with Marilyn Monroe - MM was Sabrina's idol.

- Sabrina thought Jayne Mansfield was "over the top"

- Diana Dors was a "good character"

- Sabrina noted that of all the blonde busty bombshells of the era, she is the only one left.

- When asked how her early hospitalisation affected her, she said it made her "happy to be alive."

- She would be interested in helping with a book about herself.

- She discussed two films she appeared in that until this historic moment have never been associated with her:

* Phantom Gun Slinger (shot in Mexico) - err, the film was shot there, not the gunslinger.

* Mountains of the Moon - a two-part Tarzan TV episode with Ethel Merman and Ron Ely as Tarzan. (part 1 first screened 24 Nov 1967. Part 2 first screened 1 Dec 1967 - Ed. Source)

- She said she would love to get a copy of her songs and newsreel appearances on CD. The Sabrina Site, of course, has been delighted to provide those.

- And finally, for now, the big one. The Long-Running investigation into Sabrina's address is now officially closed. The address was posted here for a while, because Sabrina didn't mind, but it has now been removed. Stevie, Sabrina's friend, thinks having it in public might attract Californian nutters, and he's probably right.

If you are really keen to contact Sabrina, email me and I'll pass on your email..

Well, it has been quite a morning! And to think that just yesterday I was considering putting the Sabrina Site into hiatus because of lack of activity from Sabrinafans...


Thanks to all Sabrina Fans for your continued interest in The Lady of the Lumps. Steve, her friend, emailed to say:

If there was one good thing that came out of that horrible 'Mail on Sunday' article is that she now realises that there are still people out there who are interested and care about her. This has been very encouraging for her.

Want more? See 'In Touch With Sabrina' for other Sabrina contacts

Feedback


From - R A Chatwin (Badajoz, Spain) on Sunday, April 20, 2003 at 05:58:07

Just read your 'First Contact With ...', Mark. The first decent and uplifting news for days...

A petition for two OBE's for Sabrina -- 2 would be the appropriate number, I think -- for her services to Britain's manufacturers of long trousers.

(My Spanish friends see my copy of Queen Victoria in high heels, and really go away not quite sure that it is not a historical document.)

From alt.fan.goons...

... Great news. It has cheered me up to hear _good_ news.

Mike.

Phwooooaaarrr, mate, that's all I can say! Phwooooaaarrr! You've been amply rewarded for your dedication.

It's a pity you weren't prepared, you could have recorded the whole conversation and posted it as a mp3!

Screens! Buckets!

Martin.

I hope Sabrina becomes a contributor, receives a medal of honour and thanks you for bringing her back to life for her many admirers particularly those down here.

We all look forward to learning and seeing more of her.

Stuart

It is VERY good news to hear that she is in fine fettle and not ill etc.
What will really catch everybody's attention is that reference to her having
lots of pics and her wondering if there was a market for them. Is she
kidding? We need those pics on the nylon site as soon as possible.

Nigel

From Michael, the master address sleuth

I just read the site (I don't know why, I just suddenly got a feeling that you might have managed to contact Sabrina, and punched in your URL) ...

It's the SabrinaVibes! (as my mother would say) - Ed.

Congratulations!

First of all, it is great news to hear that Sabrina herself is alive and apparently fairly well - and that you've succeeded once and for all with your search... I for one would love to hear more about Sabrina's life, and see some of the pictures she mentions on Nylon.net. I'm sure there would be a market for copies of them to be sold to Sabrina fans around the globe - heck, perhaps you could arrange with her to scan them all for the site, and then sell good-quality copies printed on a good photo printer. :-)

What really made my eyes pop out, though, was that in my past emails to you, I'd managed to identify her exact address - only to pass it up for one of the other three I'd told you about.

Ah well - I can't win them all, I guess - but my sleuthing certainly turned up the real address, even if I didn't realise it at the time ;- )

Now, did that British Sabrina fan whom I sadly sent to the wrong address make it back alive? :D

Here, courtesy of the miracles of the Internet, is a satellite photo of Sabrina's house in 1994. Congratulations again - Sabrina fans around the world are rejoicing... :D

Cheers
Michael

Congratulations! I think it's finally worth all your hard work with this site that she has seen it. That should make this even more special to you and to her to make it known she is more than just a bombshell. May we read or see more of her now and in the future. Best wishes to you and great job!

Tom

Just viewed the site and learned that Sabrina has been in touch - and talking! She must have been chuffed - it's an amazing site. It will be interesting to hear what extra information she provides.

Sir H

You might want to hear the Sabrina Interview!

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