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Encyclopedia Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes)

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Carole Lesley

A career spookily like and unlike Sabrina's

I'd never heard of Carole Lesley until I discovered that Sabrina found the 1958 novel Cinderella Nightingale by Robert Muller libellous and went on to sue him and his publisher and having all copies withdrawn from sale. In my investigations (see here) I found mentions that the novel bore resemblances to Diana Dors and Carole Lesley (but not Sabrina!) Having found that Carole stood to star in a movie of the book, I followed up her biography... and it bears spooky resemblances to Sabrina's life story. Make of it what you will.

Biography copied from http://www.glamourgirlsofthesilverscreen.com/show.php?id=162 and archived here for posterity
27 May 35

born Maureen Rippingale in Chelmsford, Essex, England

Sabrina was born Norma Ann Sykes in May 1936

51

runs away from home at age 16, wearing her father's shirt and with two and fourpence in her pocket, to break into show business. Gets a job in a cabaret and becomes a good dancer.

Sabrina went to London at the age of 16. The reasons why are unclear. Her mum suggested it was to seek medical treatment. I don't think Sabrina was entirely sure why she went.
?

decides to go to Paris to try modeling

?

is a pinup model under the name of Leslie Carol

Norma Sykes also changed her name.

57 attends the World Charity Premiere of Good Companions at the Warner Cinema at Leicester Square, London.
Attends the premiere of Chase a Crooked Shadow at the Warner Theatre at Leicester Square, London
Mar 58

will star in the upcoming Cinderella Nightingale and is on the cover of Picturegoer

This, however, never came about.

22 May 58

attends a Variety Club garden party held at Battersea Park, London

Sabrina attended the same event!

Sabrina at the Battersea variety club garden party


May 58

arrives at the Cannes Festival on the same plane as Jayne Mansfield. The sole representative of British glamour at the Festival, she isn't even noted by the press, who just have eyes for Jayne Mansfield and Italian Rosanna Schiaffino.

WATCH Sabrina mixing with French stars in London, 1956


May 58

Her frequent escort is actor Richard Todd

Sabrina's escort was Steve Cochran

4 Aug 58

Iis among the judges of a beauty competition held at the Southend, London
Sabrina judges a beauty contest

Sabrina judges a beauty competition, 1956

58 / 59 attends the Associated British Picture Corporation film festival in Brussels, Belgium, with fellow U.K. starlets Ann Dickens and Betty McDowell
1 June 59

attends the premiere of Look Back in Anger at the Empire Cinema at Leicester Square, London, together with John Kennedy, the manager of teen star Tommy Steele. Princess Margaret is among the guests.


August 59 attends the Moscow Film Festival together with fellow U.K. actors Richard Todd, Tommy Steele, and Peter Arne
17 Sep59

attends a Variety Club race meeting in Sandown Park, Surrey, with fellow actresses Jackie Rae and Jeanette Scott

Sabrina was guest speaker at a Variety Club luncheon

Sabrina at the variety club luncheon

25 Jan 60

attends the gala opening of the new bowling alley at Stamford Hill, London

Sabrina officiated at the opening of many shops and establishments.

31 Mar 60

attends a Royal Film Performance at the Odeon Theater at Leicester Square London. Among the guests are Leslie Caron, Mylene Demongeot, Nancy Kwan, Marla Landi, and Kenneth More.

WATCH Sabrina at the premiere of Diana Dors' film Yield to the Night, 1956

14 Apr 60 attends the gala premiere of Hell is a City at the Apollo Theater in Manchester
26 May 60 attends the reopening of the funfair at Festival Gardens, Battersea Park, London, with actor Paul Massie
18 Dec 60 attends the opening of The Princess Bowling Centre in Dagenham, Essex
61 is among the judges at the "Glamorous Grandmother" beauty contest final in Bognor Regis, Sussex
3 Sept 62

attends a charity race at the racecourse in York, North Yorkshire, with fellow actresses Rita Tushingham, Liz Fraser, and June Thorburn

Sabrina went to Ascot.

28 Feb 63 attends the premiere of Sparrows Can't Sing at the Genesis Cinema, London. Lord Snowdon, Richard Todd, Stanley Baker, and Sylvia Syms also attend.
August 64

marries Michael Dalling

Sabrina married US surgeon Harold Melsheimer in 1967

28 Feb 74

commits suicide with an overdose of sleeping pills at age 38 in New Barnet, England

Sabrina did not do this!


Carole Lesley and Sabrina also appeared in the same edition of Photoplay magazine (Sep 1958)

Page Created: 9 October 2011

Last Changed: Tuesday, November 3, 2015 2:49 PM

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