Tragic final years of 'Britain's Marilyn Monroe': How 1950s glamour girl Sabrina died a poverty-stricken paraplegic recluse in LA after botched back surgery destroyed her life

Born Norma Ann Sykes 'Sabrina' went from humble beginnings in a terraced house in Stockport to Hollywood.

She had little discernible talent but soon realised her voluptuous 41in bust and 18in waist were her best assets.

The 'dumb blonde' knew Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Fidel Castro and received 1,000 fan letters a week.

She died last year a recluse in LA but news of her death last November has only just come to light

Britain's answer to Marilyn Monroe, who once insured her breasts for 100,000 died aged 80 in November last year, but her death has only just come to light.

Born Norma Ann Sykes in a terraced house in Stockport in May 1936, 'Sabrina' had humble beginnings, but went on to shoot for the stars.

However she vanished from the limelight by the 1970s and in her later years lived as a paraplegic recluse in a scruffy house in north Hollywood. She died of respiratory failure.


Born Norma Ann Sykes in Stockport in 1936, she moved to London aged 16.



Sabrina (pictured in July 1957) landed the part as Arthur Askey's sidekick in Before Your Very Eyes in 1955.

The buxom blonde was brought up in a terraced house in Heaviley, an area of Stockport, the daughter of mechanical engineer Walter Skyes and seamstress Annie.

A strong swimmer, at nine years old she swam a mile a day at the local baths.

She contracted rheumatic fever and polio in childhood and spent long periods in hospital. After one operation there were fears a leg may have to be amputated. She wore callipers and had scars for life.

Doctors prescribed a series of exercises to build up her muscles, and she spent hours every day swimming in a heated pool and some bodybuilding exercises. Apparently her chest expansion was a result of these workouts.

She left Stockport at the age of 12, when her parents took over a boarding house in Blackpool. She moved to London aged 16 where she soon realised her voluptuous figure, with a 41in bust and 18in waist, was her best asset.

After her first nude photoshoot did not go the way she hoped, she eventually hit the big time, becoming like Diana Dors and June Wilkinson - Britain's equivalent of Marilyn Monroe.

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