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Encyclopedia Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes)

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What I Think About Men

TV Mirror, October 13, 1956

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LADIES… and any gentlemen who may be in the audience listening to me as I stand on this TV MIRROR Soap-Box !

Because I did not utter a single word when I first appeared on television, the idea got around that I would have to start on words of one syllable and work my way up!

Sabrina on her soap boxNow I have stepped on to the Soap-Box to address you on the subject of MEN. And that's a one-syllable word to begin with. People talk as if men have a special reaction to just seeing me, and as if I understand that reaction and know all about it.

Frankly, I don't. Most of the TV world now knows my real name is not Sabrina, but Norma Sykes. Sabrina is a glamorous name. Norma is just one name in a million. And my eternal problem IS that professionally I have to remain "Sabrina." Yet in my inner, private self I am Norma Sykes, whose head
whose head is not turned by all the luck I've had.

I know I'm talking about myself, and not about men. But if you want to know what Norma Sykes really thinks and feels about men, then you must first try to understand the things that make up the real "me." Otherwise the whole thing becomes a falsie... And that's foreign to my nature, I assure you!

In my life as Sabrina I am surrounded by men, crowded by men, engulfed with men. But as Norma Sykes I'm quite lonely. I have many boy friends, but no "steady." The reason for this is that a long time ago I set high standards for myself, and today I like to see those same standards reflected in my friends -especially my men friends.

The other day I was delighted to switch on the radio to the Bob Hope hour and hear Bob describe Zsa Zsa Gabor as "the Sabrina of Hollywood." I've only been in the business a little over a year, so while I still walk in the public limelight of 'Sabrina," most of my private longings and likings are those of Norma. I've had plenty of boy-friends whom I've been happy to date with again. But nobody permanent. It seems to be harder than ever to find a man measuring up to my standards.

Tall, dark and handsome? Homespun? The nearest to my ideal superficially, and judged by appearance and screen character alone, is the film actor Richard Egan.

Richard Egan
Richard Egan: was replaced by an little chap called Elvis in the starring role in "Love Me Tender"
Sabrina and Johnny Ray
Sabrina and Johnny Ray from
'Sex-quisite'

But I've never met him in person, and maybe he's happily married already! As a general type, I go for the Johnny Rays. I like men to be dynamic.

I do not think foreigners have much to teach Britons. Personally I haven't much use for suave "Continental" polish. I'm never likely to be swept off my feet by an Italian count. Much of that supposed continental gentility always looks phoney to me. And I hate a falsie...

I want a boy with whom I can sit around at home, and play records. I don't expect a genius or a champion. I'd be awfully unhappy with Mr. Chattaway, or Mr. Laker. I'd be worried stiff if I were married to Donald Campbell, Stirling Moss, or Sir Edmund Hillary.

Of course I admire a sense of adventure in a man. That's another reason why I think British boys are best. But if and when I really love a man, I want him to keep his neck and body all in one piece.

A big part of my make-up is still very romantic; well, why not, for I'm still only a kid. So I want a man who knows how to love. And to go on loving...

I blame MEN for the failure of many marriages. They stop loving after they've walked down the aisle. They try so hard to capture a girl's heart, and then ...well you know the words of the song with which I started my first stage presentation. .. After You Get What You Want You Don't Want It ...

I want a man to want me, for all time, and it would break my heart if our romance stopped short. Anyway, I am still waiting for the ideal man to appear. My heart is wide open. And to those of you who think I shouldn't be making this soap-box speech on the subject of men as I haven't a real one of my own, I can only reply: Romeo wasn't built in a day!

I expect a man to be a good provider. The world generally rewards a man according to his work, and I want a man who does a worthwhile job. I'll probably go on working, anyway. I've worked since I was a child, and would probably be unhappy if I stopped.

Although I've not so far met my ideal man (and Hollywood's such a long way, Mr. Egan!), I keep discovering in different men I meet the elements of what I hope to find all lumped together in one gorgeous masculine frame.

For instance, I like my father's interest in sport ... I love Arthur Askey's sense of fun, which is such powerful armour against worry ... I adore the artistry of my friend Hutt, the cartoonist and portrait painter…

The sort of men I am NOT interested in are those who see me only as curvaceous Sabrina, and are not interested in knowing Norma. How could I possibly admire the thousands of unknown, sex-starved men who send me proposals of marriage? They're not in love with ME but with some strange image in their secret mind.

They write to me the most stupid things, and call me their "Queen of the undieworld." Men of this sort live in a strange world of which I want to know nothing. I suppose their own private and home lives are so drab and dull they seek escape. If I were REALLY to meet them and accept their proposals. most of them would be scared stiff !

You might like to visit the Dating Sabrina page to see who she DID go out with!

Or Why Sabrina Stopped Playing with Playboys (1958)

Back to Sabrina's home page

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