Sybil Jason (Sybil Jacobson)
Photos with Sybil Jason
BiographyCape Town, South Africa
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. Read more... 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.