Encyclopedia Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes)

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The Curious Incident when

Sabrina Was Assaulted in Perth

17 June 1959 - Sabrina is assaulted onstage by a fan in Perth. Source .
Important enough to also be reported in the Ottawa Citizen .

Preferred Force To Persuasion

PERTH, Australia (Reuters)— British actress - singer Sabrina purred "Persuade Me" to a man she invited up from the audience to join her on stage Tuesday night — but the volunteer performer chose a more direct approach.

He grabbed the busty singer and tried to kiss her. Sabrina tried to push him away but tripped up in her form-fitting red dress and toppled to the floor. The man continued to embrace her as she struggled to get to her feet.

She finally got up and wiggled off stage, her lipstick smeared and her blonde hair mussed. The man returned to his front - row seat.

Sabrina came back later for her finale, still with one shoe missing and obviously upset by the incident.

In Australia Post , Sabrina is reported to have said of the incident:

"This night I had hardly got the words out over the microphone asking for a man to come up on to the stage to help me out, when a dark young man [Michael] leaped out of his seat, rushed down the theatre aisle and up on to the stage.

As soon as I started my song I had a feeling that tonight was going to be different.

Suddenly, he took a step forward and kissed me full on the lips – with an audience of 1500 watching.

The slinky, very low-cut tight fitting evening dress that I was wearing was definitely not made for this sort of thing.

I did not dare to struggle too hard in case I came out of the dress altogether. At any moment I felt the audience were going to be able to see for themselves that my bust owed nothing to artifice.
I was furious when I picked up a newspaper the following day. In big black type there was an interview with the man who had kissed me! Dragging my reluctant manager with me, I took a taxi to his business address.

I was so angry that I stepped forward and gave him a stinging right hand slap on the face.

Honor was satisfied. I swept out feeling a different woman."

[ See another report of this Sabrina episode ]

From Confidential - 1963

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.

1 July 1959 - Daily Express

Sabrina slaps kissing youth
PERTH, Western Australia. Tuesday — Sabrina finally caught with with a 19-year-old youth who jumped on stage and kissed hen She found the youth, known only as Michael, in the hair-dressing salon where he works. She slapped him hard with her right hand. He wept.


Why did she really clobber him? This might be a clue...

28 December 1959 - From 'Cold Shoulder In Hollywood For Sabrina' on the Sabrina Life page...

"My year in Australia has probably convinced some people I'm dead. That's why I clobbered that man during my act a few months back.

"I knew It would make the papers in London. I needed publicity.

In a followup to the incident...

1 July 1959 - The Age (Melbourne)

Sabrina slaps youth who annoyed her

PERTH, Tuesday.—Sabrina and her manager, Ray Bolwell, were involved in an off-stage "display" late yesterday.
They had read that the young man who wrestled with Sabrina on the stage nearly a fortnight ago was a 19-year-old women's hair-dresser.
Other information they had gleaned earlier about the youth's approximate place of employment in the city enabled them to visit the right salon yesterday.
After some discussion in which Mr. Bolwell called for an apology to Sabrina, the show girl hit the youth in the face and sent him reeling.
Then she stalked away leaving a salon full of confusion.
"I did what any other woman would have done," said Sabrina. "He'd knocked me down so I slapped him.
"I'm not very experienced at that sort of thing otherwise I would have hit him harder.
"I just saw red and hit him.
"He wouldn't apologise. He seemed so sure of himself, so smug."
The hairdresser is reported to be seeking legal advice, but so far no summons has been issued.

2 July 1959 - The Sun (Melbourne)

Bosomy English actress Sabrina hunted down a man who kissed her on stage in Perth, Australia, found him after two weeks... and WHAM.
The platinum blonde stalked into a posh hairdressing salon and sent the unidentified man sprawling among the hairdressers.

He had roused her ire by coming on stage — at her invitation — to stand beside her while she sang the teasing song: Persuade Me.

He was persuaded.

Sabrina found herself thoroughly kissed, (struggling valiantly) and wound up on the floor with the man on top of her. Stagehands in the show did the detective


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