Norma Ann Sykes, better known as Sabrina, was a 1950's English glamour model who progressed to a minor movie career. Born on May 19, 1936, her main claim to fame was her hourglass figure of prodigious 41-inch breasts coupled with a tiny 19-inch waist and 36-inch hips. Sabrina was one of "a host of exotic, glamorous starlets modelled on the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield and Lana Turner"; others included Diana Dors, Belinda Lee, Shirley Eaton and Sandra Dorne.
Sabrina was born in Stockport, Cheshire on May 19, 1936. At the age of 16 she moved to London, where she worked as a waitress and did some nude modelling.
In 1955 she was chosen to play a dumb blonde sidekick in Arthur Askey's new television series, Before Your Very Eyes (BBC 1952–56, ITV 1956–58), which soon made her a household name. She never spoke on the show, and was promoted by the BBC as "the bosomy blonde who didn't talk".
She made her motion-picture debut in Stock Car, in 1955. She then appeared in a small role in the 1956 film, Ramsbottom Rides Again. In her third movie, Blue Murder at St Trinian's (1957) she had a non-speaking role in which, despite sharing equal billing with the star Alastair Sim on posters and appearing in many publicity stills in school uniform, she was required only to sit up in bed wearing a nightdress, reading a book whilst the action took place around her.
Sabrina's penultimate movie role was in the western The Phantom Gunslinger (1970), in which she starred alongside Troy Donahue. Her final film was the horror movie The Ice House (1969) as a replacement for Jayne Mansfield, who had died in a car crash two years earlier.
In 1967 Sabrina married Dr Harold Melsheimer, a Hollywood gynecologist/obstetrician, though they divorced ten years later.
British aircrews of the 1950's Royal Air Force dubbed part of the Hawker Hunter jet fighter plane "Sabrinas" due to two large humps on the underside of the aircraft. Similarly, in the late 1950's the British truck manufacturer ERF produced a semi-forward control HGV with a short protruding bonnet... those vehicles were also nicknamed "Sabrinas" because they had "a little more in front." In 1974, the British motoring press gave the name "Sabrinas" to the oversized pairs of protruding rubber bumper blocks added to the MG MGB, Midget and Triumph TR6 sports cars, when US auto safety regulations mandated sturdier impact protection. The name stuck and is used worldwide.
- Stock Car (1955)
- Before Your Very Eyes (1955–58, ten episodes)
- Ramsbottom Rides Again (1956)
- Blue Murder at St Trinian's (1957)
- Make Mine a Million (1959)
- Satan in High Heels (1962)
- House of the Black Death (1965)
- Tarzan (one episode, 1967)
- The Ice House (1969)
- The Phantom Gunslinger (1970)
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