Encyclopedia Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes)

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Picture Digest, October 1956

Sabrina on cover of Picture Digest


What's the secret of Sabrina's fabulous success?
She admits she can't sing, dance or act, but she's a hit.
Here's how Britain's curvy Venus does it.

THE LONDON office of the Postal Censor for Great Britain was its usual, quietly austere self that Winter morning. The members of the board, used to many a bizarre offering crossing their desks, were passing on the propriety of a number of questionable items with typical British understatement.' Do -- won't do,' was the usual sole comment as they unemotionally separated the zesty material into proper classification.

a loud gasp came from one of the censors

Suddenly, a loud gasp came from one of the censors. He rose, a look of astonishment on his face. He was examining a deck of apparently ordinary playing cards, except that the backs were decorated with "art studies" of beautiful girls. Nothing unusually shocking about that, but one photo that caught his eye made him gasp with recognition. The girl on the five of spades, a more than amply endowed blonde, was Britain's famous star of stage, screen and television -- Sabrina !

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes
Here's Sabrina on the playing card that shocked censors.
She put on a great act of indignation herself.

she's got a shrewd head on her shoulders

The story reached the press, and both Sabrina and her mother loudly bemoaned this supposed blow to the curvy blonde's career. Of course, the publicity did as much damage to Sabrina as the earlier calendar revelations had done to Marilyn Monroe. An American actor [we assume it to be Steve Cochran - Ed.] who got to know Sabrina quite well on a recent London visit claimed Sabrina even welcomed the exposure. "She saw her chance for a terrific piece of Marilyn Monroe kind of publicity and grabbed it," he grinned. "Nothing wrong in that. Sabrina may act like a dumb blonde in public, but she's got a shrewd head on her shoulders."

Sabrina had been in show business only five months at time of this foto, but was a hit of large dimensions.

That Sabrina's shrewd is apparent by her success. "I can't dance. I can't sing. And I can't act," Sabrina will tell you candidly with a breathtaking shrug of her beautiful shoulders. "But I'm making a lot of money on the stage, in TV, and in films."


Her smash popularity in Europe has made Hollywood producers line up with offers.

She could add that a year ago she was eating baked beans out of a can and today dines royally on filet mignon and champagne at such ultra fashionable London bistros as La Rue's and the Dorchester. Nor does she dine alone. Of the impressive list of men eager to pick up the tabs, one, crooner Johnnie Ray, gave the simplest explanation. "Lunching with you, Sabrina," he once told her, "the view is better than from that restaurant up in the Eiffel Tower."

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

The curvy British beauty demonstrates strength of her grip to actor Steve Cochran. Glass and bubbles fly as Sabrina crushes champagne glass with a one-handed squeeze.

See another article describe the blood-letting strongwoman act.

I'm just a dumb blonde

After posing for fotogs, Sabrina's rise seems to have begun backstage at her very first TV show. Reporters spied her charms and asked what she did in the show. "I don't know," she replied. "I'm just a dumb blonde." That did it, and it's been doing it ever since.

Sabrina on walkabout

Once she had clicked, Sabrina became the most photographed girl in England.

Nowadays she likes to tell stories of her job hunting days as plain Norma Sykes. She walked into the Labor Exchange, asked for a job as a maid. The stunned clerk asked, "MMMilkmaid?" When his gaze finally climbed to her face, Sabrina said, "No. Housemaid."

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

When she decided she wanted to learn the clarinet, top musician Frank Weir was eager instructor. Both finally decided Sabrina didn't need music talent to make her way.

She tells such tales with a wide-eyed innocence that pays off. Apparently it's profitable to put on the dumb act but, of course, it helps to have Sabrina's face and her fantastic figure.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

Her widely known face is every bit as beautiful as her figure is arresting.

Page Created: February 1, 2003

Last Changed: Saturday 2022-04-09 14:02

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