Shirley Mason (aka Sybil)

For those who haven’t heard, Time Warner is doing a remake of the movie Sybil, with Jessica Lange. You can read all about it here.


Sybil (whose real name was Shirley Mason), became a poster child of sorts for MPD whose life story was told in the book by that name, and later in a TV movie starring Sally Field and Joanne Woodward. Much controversy surrounded both the book and movie, mainly for the sensationalistic portrayal of the disorder know as MPD–what is now known as DID, or Dissociative Identity Disorder.

In true Hollywood fashion, MPD was portrayed as something bizarre, if not downright scary. I’ve no idea how the remake handles the whole subject of multiplicity; let’s hope it’s not simply a tired re-hash of Hollywood’s typical approach to anything having to do with mental disorders.

If you’re interested in learning more about the real Sybil, particularly what her life was like in the aftermath of the publicity surrounding the book and movie, check out this site.


(For more of Sybil’s artwork, visit


6 thoughts on “Shirley Mason (aka Sybil)

  1. You have a wonderful site. I am always looking for more information on PTSD and dissociation. I love what you have done. Visit me some time.

  2. Phenomenal timing; last year I began remembering the movie and book from the 70s, and started trying to find a complete version of the film. Fortunately it was finally released this past summer, but not till after I paid $75. on ebay for a full-length VHS. I look forward to seeing how they re-tell this heart-wrenching and fascinating story

  3. Hi Karen,
    I don’t know when the re-make’s coming out. About a week ago I saw that Sybil was being aired on our satellite network. When I checked out the onscreen guide, it said that the movie was with Jessica Lange…I can’t remember who else. I got all excited thinking it was the new version of Sybil, but it was the old one with Sally Field. Bummer!

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