Encyclopedia Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes)

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Boom then bust for sizzling Sabrina

June 2, 2000, Melbourne Herald-Sun

Sabrina boom

The magnificent Sabrina, English model and, er, actor was two of the biggest drawcards on Australia's variety circuit of the late 1950s. She became, fleetingly, the most famous woman in the nation - thanks to her 41-19-36 figure. Inches, of course. Nobody measured Sabrina any other way.

But then, she was gone: the latest entry in her hefty Herald/Sun cuttings is from 1960. And her former manager, Ray Bolwell, 66, who lives on Queensland's Gold coast, hasn't heard a word in 20 years.

On June 14, however, a cache of showbiz memorabilia that belonged to the late Evie Hayes is to be auctioned by Downie's in Melbourne: in it is a signed photograph of Sabrina - with a reserve price of $150. How quickly we forget...

In 1957, Sabrina insured her bust for £AUS125,000. It was typical of the stunts she pulled to keep the punters interested.

"She was all sizzle. There was no sausage," Bolwell said yesterday. Some sizzle, though.

Sabrina toured Australia for 15 months in 1958-59, making a mind-numbing £500 a week. She was mobbed at airports, and played at charity cricket matches.

She visited Parliament House, Melbourne in December '58 and lunched with a few lucky members - all Liberals.

Despite which, she was fined for making an illegal U-turn in Punt Rd in June 1959.

"The last time I saw Sabrina she was living in Los Angeles, married to a doctor," said Bolwell.

"She still looked a million dollars. And she still couldn't sing, couldn't dance, couldn't act, and was the first to admit it.

"But as soon as a camera pointed towards Sabrina, everything happened."

There's even an old Melbourne snap of a young Bert Newton gazing mesmerised into Sabrina's cleavage.

So, I'll bet Bert remembers her, eh?"

Page Created: February 9, 2003

Last Changed: Monday 2018-02-26 16:58

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