Encyclopedia Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes)

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Daily Express
19 March 1963

Peter Evans talks to the new Sabrina


Caption: Sabrina rests on a couch surrounded by the spoils of three years' work - a fortune in mink furs.

THE last time I saw Sabrina was three o'clock in the morning. She was sitting rather forlornly at the white baby grand piano in her Hollywood apartment not too far from Sunset Boulevard.
With one bejewelled finger she was picking out a tune: "I've Got The World On A String."
She made it sound sad. There was nothing else in the room. Just Sabrina and the piano.


"You know," she said, picking her words as carefully as she picked out the tune, "when I finally do go back to London. I'm going back big. You know? I'll make those people who laughed at me laugh on the other sides of their faces.
"For a long time I didn't know what It was I wanted. Now I know.
"I wanted respect. Just a little respect. It goes a long way. It was the one thing I was short on, I guess. Respect.


She walked over to the window and looked out into the night. "When I go back," she repeated almost to herself. "I'll go back big."

I drove back to my hotel wondering If Sabrina would ever come home again. Somehow I doubted it. Her terms were too hard.
The next day I left Hollywood and didn't see her again until last night.
She has set herself up In a Mayfair hotel. Big deal. On Sunday she will star in the Palladium show.
I reminded her of that night in Hollywood and asked whether she now felt she had met her own uneasy terms.
" Listen. I got butterflies in my stomach already about Sunday. I've been away nearly five years and nobody stands still. Sure. I reckon I'm ready otherwise I wouldn't be taking this chance. You know?"

She wore shocking pink tights and the kind of sweater that draws the eyes. I said she certainly didn't look any different from the Sabrina who went away.
She made an impatient circle with her bare foot. "Look. I look the same. Sure. The old image sticks. Like mud It sticks. But I tell you, I'm more mature inside."
I asked her what made her happy.

Sad story

"I've got eight minks." she said, looking happy. "They cost me three years' work. Not one gift among the lot. It's a very sad story to tell you the truth.
"That's one good reason why I feel so secure now." she said. " No, eight good reasons."
I said. "But are they enough to soft-cushion your fall if you flop on Sunday night?"
She thought about that for a long moment. Then finally she said: "If I am a flop on Sunday night, then I have misjudged myself pretty badly.
"I suppose I could go back to South America. I was a big hit there and they didn't understand a word I was saying.


"Either way, I don't care. I have this terrible wanderlust. I can't put down roots. I'm 26* and I can't put down roots.
"Remember that Hollywood apartment? It never did get furnished. I started, then got scared, and started running."

* It's interesting that here in 1963, Sabrina quotes her age accurately. She was later to 'optimise' it by 3 years - Mark.

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