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Encyclopedia Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes)

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The day Sabrina Blew Her Stack

Confidential (USA)
September 1963

ENGLISHMEN are as proud of Sabrina as they are of the Queen and Sir Winston Churchill.

They proudly point her out to visitors along with such other sightseeing attractions as the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace. They call her "Britain's finest hourglass," "England's Maid of the Mountains," "Queen of the Big Top" and "The Juliet with the Built-in Balcony."

The conservative weekly Observer even went so far as to call her "an hourglass blown by a master." And Picture Post described her as "a seaside postcard brought to life, a national tonic, the average Englishman's Goddess of Glamour."

A king-sized temper

Overlooked in all these effusions is that, besides her king-sized proportions, the blonde beauty also possesses a king-sized temper that seems to have an uncanny capacity for exploding with the men in her life.

The facts show that beneath Sabrina's busty exterior beats the heart of an East End kid-capable of slugging anyone who crosses her path. One English gentleman who can attest to Sabrina's fiery tantrums is a London playing cards distributor. In the wake of her phenomenal success as a TV and musical hall personality, Sabrina forgot leaner days when she had posed in the raw.

Then she learned that her nude photos were flooding Britain and the Continent by the millions, just like Marilyn Monroe's naked calendar art.

Playing cards were among the popular art forms on which her undraped charms were displayed. Convinced she was getting a bad deal as the girl on the burning decks, Sabrina visited the office of the distributor and systematically proceeded to wreck the joint.

Sabrina complained to Scotland Yard.

"I was only a kid of 16 when those photos were taken," she sobbed to Detective Superintendent Steve Glander.

[Hmmmm... a suspiciously jocular name - Ed.]

13 July 2003 - Update: No, it's not an invented name! D.S. Steve Glander's grandson emailed to say how excited he was to read of his granddad - who was (unsurprisingly) quite a "ladies' man" !

"I was not going to admit defeat to my parents and ask them for train fare home. Please stop them from publishing pictures of me in the nude. I will do anything to stop them from being circulated."

Casting an official eye over the evidence, Superintendent Glander assured her: "I will not rest until I have the full collection on my desk. I am treating it as a matter of priority ."

His crack detectives volunteered to help with the photo round-up. .And while Scotland Yard probed the Stacked Deck, Sabrina went on to other adventures and a tour of Australia.

During her Australian act, she often would invite a young man from the audience to join her on stage while she crooned love songs. The idea was to pick a shy chap who would be embarrassed by the sight of a near-naked bosom heaving passionately as she sang "Persuade Me." [Click to hear it]

A roundhouse right that knocked him cold

But one night she picked a guy who didn't need any persuading. He was a 19-year.old hairdresser named Michael (like Sabrina, he didn't use a last name). Sabrina was wearing a skin tight red dress with the usual double exposure. When she started singing, Michael started grabbing. He pulled her to him, chest to chest, and kissed her full on the lips.

Trying to break out of his embrace, the blonde almost busted out of her gown. She fell to the floor, then jumped up and fled to the wings, hiding her over-exposed bosom and lipstick-smeared face with her hands. Michael returned to his seat with a smug smile. The audience applauded. Sabrina had lost the round, but not the fight. Next day, Michael's boss brought him to her theatre dressing room to apologise. The handsome hairdresser refused.

"She asked for it," he said.
"Well, you asked for THIS," Sabrina snapped - and returned his smack on the kisser with a roundhouse right that knocked him cold.

[Read Sabrina's account of this event]

Michael wasn't the only hair stylist to receive a bust in the mouth from Sabrina. In New York a couple of years ago Sabrina blew her stack and bopped a beautician named Raven.

The check promptly bounced

Raven de Rouchard served as Sabrina's personal hairdresser during her New York engagement. For taking care of her platinum tresses and the wigs she used with costume changes, he was supposed to get $50 a day. He was the only person Sabrina allowed to dress her.

"At the end of two weeks, I presented her with a bill for $500-my total fee for 10 days' work," Raven told CONFIDENTIAL. "She smiled and said, 'Raven, I'm in a terrible financial pinch right now. I can only give you $80 cash. But I've contracted to take my act to the Boulevard in Queens (a night club across the East River from Manhattan). I'll make big money there. If you come along with me, I'll pay you all the money I owe you, plus $50 a day while I'm there,plus a bonus. So Raven went along and stayed with her another two months. Then he submitted a new bill. So what happened?

"She gave me a check to cover all my time, labor and expenses-totalling more than $2500. The check promptly bounced. And I was thrown out of my apartment for non-payment of rent.
"She flew off to Florida for another nightclub engagement. When I wrote her there, telling her I was broke, she sent another check-which also bounced."

But Raven still had the only falsies Sabrina ever wore - her wigs. Returning to New York on her way home to London, she phoned and asked for the hair pieces. Raven agreed to meet her in the lobby of his New York hotel that evening.

She undulated into the lobby

Promptly at eight o'clock, she undulated into the lobby wearing pink stretch pants and a white sweater, both stretched to the limit. Raven had the wigs in a hat box, but he refused to hand them over until she paid at least part of what she owed him. Sabrina lunged for the box, but he sidestepped her and she crashed into the lobby wall. Then, as he tried to get out of her way, she grabbed his coat and tore it off his back.

She punched him, clawed at his face and tried to rip off his trousers. Raven was saved by two hotel employees who grabbed the furious showgirl and gave her the heave-ho.
This coiffeur consultant, for one, has had his fill of the bosomy bundle from Britain.
Would he ever work for Sabrina again? Quoth the Raven: "Nevermore."

How Sabrina came by her rough right hand

Looking backward it's not too difficult to see how Sabrina came by her rough right hand. She's more than a babe with a big bust. She is a real life Eliza Doolittle, right out of Shaw's Pygmalion who has fought every inch of the way and can honestly take personal responsibility for her success.

Only Eliza, the saucy cockney wench who became the belle of London society, had a dull and unexciting transformation compared to what Sabrina went through.

Her real name is Norma Sykes. She was born 27 years ago in Blackpool, Lancashire, [no - it was Stockport -Ed] where her parents were factory workers. As a child, she was poor and not particularly pretty .

Doctors feared she would be crippled for life

Then, at the age when girls begin to discover boys and vice versa, Norma was stricken by polio. She spent two years in a hospital. Doctors feared she would be crippled for life, but prescribed a rugged series of exercises to develop her muscles. Each day, she spent hours swimming in a heated pool and performing bodybuilding feats.

Her remarkable chest expansion is a direct result of these workouts. From a 97-pound weakling, she became an anatomical wonder. Besides her overdeveloped pectoral muscles, she also built powerful arms and legs. When she finally left the hospital, she was as strong as she was healthy.

She set out for London

She had lost touch with most of her schoolmates during her long illness and she didn't want to return to school with younger classmates, so she set out for London to show off her new physique. Her curves were Continental, but her walk and talk marked her as a girl from the sticks. She went to work as a waitress in a seamy section of London.

Between meals, she was kept busy serving slaps and roundhouse rights to the spivs, toffs and Teddy boys who kept trying to find out if her measurements were real.
When she tired of slinging punches as well as hash, she got a job as a housemaid. And there she encountered the same old pinches and pats, though in a more genteel way. In England, this diversion is sometimes called a "slap and tickle." And when her employer tried to tickle her, she floored him with a resounding slap.

Out of work again, she turned to cheesecake modeling.

Askey highlighted her tremendous frontage

One of her photos appeared on the cover of a girlie magazine. British comic Arthur Askey saw it and was even more impressed than most viewers. He was looking for a bosomy blonde to adorn his TV show. She didn't have to act. She didn't have to sing or dance.
On his next show, Askey highlighted her tremendous frontage. The cameras explored her development from neck to navel. What wasn't fully exposed was wrapped so tightly that every luscious line was displayed to best advantage.

And that's how the English Dagmar was born. Next day, the British Broadcasting Co. was Hooded with phone calls and letters from outraged women and happy men. They all asked the same question: "Who is the blonde with the bust?"
BBC didn't dare answer "Norma Sykes from Blackpool." After a hasty consultation, somebody changed her name to Sabrina. Somebody else began measuring her for even more revealing gowns.

Sex revolution

Sabrina set off a sex revolution on the staid and proper BBC. Next time the Askey program appeared, its male audience had doubled.
"Sabrina's certainly one of the most extraordinary things that has ever happened in Show Business," Askey said with typical British understatement.

For a time, she was a bosom buddy of Hollywood actor Steve Cochran. They traveled to the French Riviera together, probably to see how she stacked up against Continental cuties in a bikini. Needless to say, she won - straps down.

But their romance cooled when he returned to Hollywood and she went to Australia to show the natives that kangaroos aren't the only mammals with well-stuffed pouches.
Steve hasn't expressed himself on the question of Sabrina of late-but he does rate a merit badge of some sort.

He's one fellow Sabrina didn't clobber.

Page Created: February 11, 2003

Last Changed: Sunday, April 10, 2016 12:35 PM

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