Blackpool’s blonde bombshell Sabrina was lonely recluse

Sabrina pictured at the height of her fame in the 1950s
Sabrina pictured at the height of her fame in the 1950s

Blackpool’s blonde bombshell Sabrina died alone after living as a recluse in a shabby Hollywood bungalow, it has been revealed.

Although she died 10 months ago, it has only just been discovered that Norma Ann Sykes was the British film TV star of the 50s, famous for her 41ins bust.

Norma, who died aged 80, shot to fame after being discovered in Blackpool by comedy legend Arthur Askey.

Her mum owned a boarding house in the resort and Norma had dreamed of a life in showbiz.

Askey’s manager renamed her Sabrina after a 1954 film starring Audrey Hepburn.

Within weeks of leaving Blackpool in 1955, Sabrina began a six-week run on TV show Before Your Very Eyes with Askey.

In his autobiography he unkindly remembered: “She had a lovely face and figure, but could not act, sing, dance or even walk properly.”

However, her fame grew and thousands turned up for personal appearances, for which she charged £100 – more than 12 times the average weekly wage at the time.

She starred in a number of UK films, including Blue Murder at St Trinians and insured her famous bust for £100,000.

She moved to the United States , performing in cabaret with Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra and even on TV with Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 1959.

However, the star – nicknamed the ‘British Bosom Lady’ in the US – effectively destroyed her career when she went to Communist Cuba to visit Castro years later.

She married a millionaire Hollywod gynaecologist and enjoyed the celebrity lifestyle for many years appearing before thousands of fans in Australia.

Tragedy struck when she became paralysed in the 1970s after unsuccessful back surgery and in the last three decades was a virtual recluse.

Although she was once a famous name, it took months for people to realise she had once been Sabrina, such was her withdrawal from public life.