Edit
Sybil Jason Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (15) | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (3)

Born in Cape Town, South Africa
Died in Northridge, California, USA  (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Birth NameSybil Jacobson

Mini Bio (1)

Sybil Jacobson was born on November 23, 1929, in Cape Town, South Africa. By age 2 she had learned to play the piano, and she also demonstrated a remarkable talent for singing, dancing and mimicry. She moved to Great Britain as a small child, and by age 5 was singing, dancing, playing the piano or doing uncanny imitations of Maurice Chevalier in London nightclubs. She also performed on radio with her uncle, Harry Jacobson, and his popular orchestra. During a show at the Palace Theater a movie producer noticed Sybil and cast her in her first film, Barnacle Bill (1935). Warner Bros. Pictures studio head Jack L. Warner was so impressed with her performance that in 1935 he brought Sybil to Hollywood as his studio's answer to Shirley Temple. Aware of Shirley's popularity and golden curls, Warner did not allow Sybil to see Shirley's films for fear that she might copy her. Despite her obvious talent, Sybil failed to achieve the success that Warner had anticipated, and in 1938 the studio did not renew her contract. However, during her time at Warner Brothers, Sybil made ten films and caught the eye of Darryl F. Zanuck, the head of 20th Century-Fox--the studio that had Temple under contract. Zanuck cast Sybil opposite Shirley in two films, The Little Princess (1939) and The Blue Bird (1940). Sybil's role in "The Blue Bird" was her most dramatic, and her older sister and guardian, Anita Jacobson, hoped that it would boost her career. However, many of Sybil's scenes were cut from "The Blue Bird", and it would be her final film.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Snow4849 (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)

Spouse (1)

Anthony Drake (31 December 1947 - 2006) (his death) (1 child)

Trivia (15)

With her first US movie, Little Big Shot (1935), she had the distinction of being Warner Bros. Studios' only child star.
Child actress in 1930s US films. (Her first film was Barnacle Bill (1935), in the UK.).
Sybil is an active honorary member of the International Al Jolson Society.
Sybil was once escorted and "guarded" at a benefit in Chicago by G-Man Eliot Ness.
Sybil had her own fan club: the International Sybil Jason Fan Club, began in 1985 and ended December 2010.
Sybil's cockney accent in The Little Princess (1939) was coached by Wendy Hiller of Pygmalion (1938) fame.
Sybil and Anthony's son-in-law Phillip W. Rossi is a producer for The Price Is Right (1972).
Met husband, Anthony Drake, a Navy man, during rehearsals for a stage play of The Wizard of Oz. They married shortly after on December 30, 1947. They had one daughter, Toni Maryanna, and the union lasted for 58 years, until his death.
Her first form of entertainment was mimicking the stars of the day: Mae West, Maurice Chevalier, Greta Garbo and Jimmy Durante.
Sybil's father was in the shoe business. He provided her with ballet shoes when she was young.
According to an in-depth article by Sandra Grabman for Classic Images (October 2010), Sybil was primarily raised by older sister, Anita, due to their mother's delicate health. Anita was her prime coach for singing, acting and dancing. She also made Sybil's costumes, and was her sister's constant companion.
Daughter, Toni Maryanna (Drake) Rossi.
Grandson, Daniel Rossi.
Is very active in film festivals and reunions. [January 2002]
Her uncle was the orchestra pianist Harry Jacobson.

Personal Quotes (3)

[on the premiere of The Blue Bird (1940)] The premiere was held at Grauman's Chinese Theater, but after hearing the sad news that most of my work would not be shown on the screen, the decision was made that Anita and I would not attend. Shirley [Shirley Temple] and I were never to work together again.
[on working with Shirley Temple] Everyone kept an eye out for an attitude or signs of competition that might have arisen between us two little girls. But that's just what we were, two little girls who worked well together.
Obviously, my life as a child star during Hollywood's "Golden Era" was wonderful, and to this day has its heartwarming residual effects. I am in awe over all of the icons that I worked with or just met during my career days. They imparted so much wisdom that helps me stand up to challengers to this day.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page