Publicity photo of Tate in Valley of the Dolls, 1967.
Sharon Marie Tate
January 24, 1943
|Died||August 9, 1969 26) (aged|
|Resting place|| Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City |
Roman Polanski (m. 1968)
Sharon Marie Tate Polanski (January 24, 1943 – August 9, 1969) was an American actress and model. During the 1960s, she played small television roles before appearing in films and was regularly featured in fashion magazines as a model and cover girl. After receiving positive reviews for her comedic and dramatic acting performances, Tate was hailed as one of Hollywood's most promising newcomers.
She made her film debut in 1961 in Barabbas with Anthony Quinn. She was next seen in 1966 with the occult-themed Eye of the Devil . Her most remembered performance was as Jennifer North in the 1967 cult classic film, Valley of the Dolls, earning her a Golden Globe Award nomination. Tate's last completed film, 12+1 , was released posthumously in 1969, with the actress receiving top billing.
Barabbas is a 1961 religious epic film expanding on the career of Barabbas, from the Christian Passion narrative in the Gospel of Mark and other gospels. The film stars Anthony Quinn as Barabbas, features Silvana Mangano, Katy Jurado, Arthur Kennedy, Harry Andrews, Ernest Borgnine, Vittorio Gassman, and Jack Palance, and was distributed by Columbia Pictures. It was conceived as a grand Roman epic, was based on Nobel Prize-winning Pär Lagerkvist's 1950 novel of the same title. A previous film version of the novel, in Swedish, had been made in 1953.
Antonio Rodolfo Quinn Oaxaca, known as Anthony Quinn, was a Mexican-born American actor, painter, writer and film director. He starred in numerous critically acclaimed and commercially successful films, including La Strada, The Guns of Navarone, Zorba the Greek, Guns for San Sebastian, Lawrence of Arabia, The Shoes of the Fisherman, The Message, Lion of the Desert, Last Action Hero and A Walk in the Clouds. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor twice: for Viva Zapata! in 1952 and Lust for Life in 1956. In addition, he received two Academy Award nominations in the Best Leading Actor category, along with five Golden Globe nominations. In 1987, he was presented with the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award.
Eye of the Devil is a 1966 British mystery/horror film with occult and supernatural themes directed by J. Lee Thompson and starring Deborah Kerr, David Niven and Sharon Tate. The film is set in rural France and was filmed at the Château de Hautefort and in England. Eye of the Devil is based on the novel Day of the Arrow by Robin Estridge and was initially titled Thirteen.
On January 20, 1968, Tate married Roman Polanski, her director and co-star in 1967's The Fearless Vampire Killers . On August 9, 1969, Tate and four others were murdered by members of the Manson Family in the home she shared with Polanski. At the time of her death, she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant with the couple's son.
Rajmund Roman Thierry Polański is a French-Polish film director, producer, writer, and actor. Since 1978, he has been a fugitive from the U.S. criminal justice system, having fled the country while awaiting sentencing in his sexual abuse case, in which he pleaded guilty to statutory rape.
The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in My Neck is a 1967 horror comedy film directed by Roman Polanski, written by Gérard Brach and Polanski, produced by Gene Gutowski and starring Polanski with his future wife Sharon Tate, along with Jack MacGowran and Alfie Bass, and featuring Ferdy Mayne.
The Tate murders were a mass murder conducted by members of the Manson Family on August 8–9, 1969, which claimed the lives of five people. Four members of the Manson Family invaded the rented home of married celebrity couple, actress Sharon Tate and director Roman Polanski at 10050 Cielo Drive in Los Angeles. They murdered Tate, who was eight and a half months pregnant, along with three friends who were visiting at the time, and an 18-year-old visitor, who was slain as he was departing the home. Polanski was not present on the night of the murders, as he was working on a film in Europe.
A decade after Tate's murder, the actress' mother, Doris Tate, in response to the growing cult status of the killers and the possibility of them being granted parole, organized a public campaign that resulted in amendments to the California criminal law. Tate's mother went on to say that the law would "help transform Sharon's legacy from murder victim to a symbol of victims' rights". A book by Tate's sister, Debra Tate,titled Sharon Tate: Recollection, was released in 2014.
Doris Gwendolyn Tate, was an American activist for the rights of crime victims, was best known as the mother of actress Sharon Tate. After Sharon Tate and several others were murdered by members of the Manson Family in 1969, Doris Tate began working to raise public awareness about the U.S. corrections system. She was influential in a court decision that amended California criminal laws relating to the rights of victims of violent crime.
California criminal law generally follows the law of the United States. However, there are both substantive and procedural differences between how the United States federal government and California prosecute alleged violations of criminal law. This article focuses exclusively on California criminal law.
Sharon Marie Tate was born on January 24, 1943 in Dallas, Texas, the eldest of three daughters to Colonel Paul James Tate (1922–2005),a United States Army officer, and his wife, Doris Gwendolyn (née Willett, 1924-1992). At six months of age, Tate won the "Miss Tiny Tot of Dallas Pageant", but her parents had no show business ambitions for their daughter. Paul Tate was promoted and transferred several times. By the age of 16, as a military brat, Tate had lived in six cities and reportedly found it difficult to maintain friendships. Her family described her as shy and lacking in self-confidence. As an adult, Tate commented that people would misinterpret her shyness as aloofness until they knew her better.
The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.
Tate attended Chief Joseph Junior High School (now Chief Joseph Middle School) from September 1955 to June 1958, and Columbia High School (now Richland High School) in Richland, Washington, from September 1958 to October 1959. She attended Irvin High School in El Paso, Texas, from late fall 1959 to April 1960; and Vicenza American High School in Vicenza, Italy, from April to June 1961. Tate graduated from Vicenza American High School in 1961.
Richland is a city in Benton County in the southeastern part of the State of Washington, at the confluence of the Yakima and the Columbia Rivers. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 48,058. July 1, 2017, estimates from the Census Bureau put the city's population at 57,303. Along with the nearby cities of Pasco and Kennewick, Richland is one of the Tri-Cities, and is home to the Hanford nuclear site.
El Paso is a city in and the county seat of El Paso County, Texas, United States, in the far western part of the state. The 2018 population estimate for the city from the U.S. Census was 682,669. Its metropolitan statistical area (MSA) covers all of El Paso and Hudspeth counties in Texas, and has a population of 840,758.
Vicenza is a city in northeastern Italy. It is in the Veneto region at the northern base of the Monte Berico, where it straddles the Bacchiglione River. Vicenza is approximately 60 kilometres (37 mi) west of Venice and 200 kilometres (120 mi) east of Milan.
As she matured, people commented on Tate's beauty; she began entering beauty pageants, winning the title of "Miss Richland" in Washington in 1959. She spoke of her ambition to study psychiatry, and also stated her intention to compete in the "Miss Washington" pageant in 1960; however, before she could do either, her father received orders to be stationed in Italy. With her family relocating in Verona, Tate learned that she had become a local celebrity owing to the publication of a photograph of her in a swimsuit on the cover of the military newspaper Stars and Stripes . She discovered a kinship with other students at the American school she attended in nearby Vicenza, recognizing that their backgrounds and feelings of separation were similar to her own, and for the first time in her life began to form lasting friendships.
The Miss Washington competition is the pageant that selects the representative for the state of Washington in the Miss America pageant.
Verona is a city on the Adige river in Veneto, Italy, with 258,108 inhabitants. It is one of the seven provincial capitals of the region. It is the second largest city municipality in the region and the third largest in northeast Italy. The metropolitan area of Verona covers an area of 1,426 km2 (550.58 sq mi) and has a population of 714,274 inhabitants. It is one of the main tourist destinations in northern Italy, because of its artistic heritage and several annual fairs, shows, and operas, such as the lyrical season in the Arena, the ancient amphitheater built by the Romans.
Stars and Stripes is an American military newspaper that focuses and reports on matters concerning the members of the United States Armed Forces. It operates from inside the Department of Defense, but is editorially separate from it, and its First Amendment protection is safeguarded by the United States Congress, to whom an independent ombudsman, who serves the readers' interests, regularly reports. As well as a website, Stars and Stripes publishes four daily print editions for the military service members serving overseas; these European, Middle Eastern, Japanese, and South Korean editions are also available as free downloads in electronic format, and there are also seven digital editions. The newspaper has its headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Tate and her friends became interested in the filming of Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man , which was being made nearby with Paul Newman, Susan Strasberg, and Richard Beymer, and obtained parts as film extras. Beymer noticed Tate in the crowd and introduced himself, and the two dated during the production of the film, with Beymer encouraging Tate to pursue a film career. In 1960, Tate was employed by the singer Pat Boone and appeared with him in an episode of the television series The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom that was filmed in Venice.
Later that year, when Barabbas was being filmed near Verona, Tate was once again hired as an extra. Actor Jack Palance was impressed by her appearance and her attitude, although her role was too small to judge her talent. He arranged a screen test for her in Rome, but this did not lead to further work. Tate returned to the United States alone, saying she wanted to further her studies, but tried to find film work. After a few months, Doris Tate, who feared for her daughter's safety, suffered a nervous breakdown and her daughter was persuaded to return to Italy.
The family returned to the United States in 1962, and Tate moved to Los Angeles, where she contacted Richard Beymer's agent, Harold Gefsky. After their first meeting, Gefsky agreed to represent her, and secured work for her in television and magazine advertisements. In 1963, he introduced her to Martin Ransohoff, director of Filmways, Inc., who signed her to a seven-year contract. She was considered for the role of Billie Jo Bradley on CBS's sitcom Petticoat Junction , but Ransohoff believed that she lacked confidence and the role was given to Jeannine Riley. Ransohoff gave Tate small parts in Mister Ed and The Beverly Hillbillies to help her gain experience, but was unwilling to allow her to play a more substantial role. "Mr. Ransohoff didn't want the audience to see me till I was ready," Tate was quoted in a 1967 article in Playboy .
During this time, Tate met the French actor Philippe Forquet and began a relationship with him in 1963. They became engaged, but their relationship was volatile and they frequently quarreled. Career pressures drove them apart and they broke up the next year in 1964.
In 1964, she met Jay Sebring, a former sailor who had established himself as a leading hair stylist in Hollywood. Tate later said that Sebring's nature was especially gentle, but when he proposed marriage, she declined. She said she would retire from acting as soon as she married, and at that time she intended to focus on her career.
In 1964, Tate made a screen test for Sam Peckinpah opposite Steve McQueen for the film The Cincinnati Kid . Ransohoff and Peckinpah agreed that Tate's timidity and lack of experience would cause her to flounder in such a large part, and she was rejected in favor of Tuesday Weld.She continued to gain experience with minor television appearances, and after she auditioned unsuccessfully for the role of Liesl in the film version of The Sound of Music , Ransohoff gave Tate walk-on roles in two motion pictures in which he was the producer: The Americanization of Emily and The Sandpiper . In late 1965, Ransohoff finally gave Tate her first major role in a motion picture in the film Eye of the Devil , costarring David Niven, Deborah Kerr, Donald Pleasence, and David Hemmings.
Tate and Sebring traveled to London to prepare for filming, where she met the Alexandrian Wiccan High Priest and High Priestess Alex and Maxine Sanders.Meanwhile, as part of Ransohoff's promotion of Tate, he arranged the production of a short documentary called All Eyes on Sharon Tate, to be released at the same time as Eye of the Devil. It included an interview with Eye of the Devil director J. Lee Thompson, who expressed his initial doubts about Tate's potential with the comment, "We even agreed that if after the first two weeks Sharon was not quite making it, we would put her back in cold storage," but added he soon realized Tate was "tremendously exciting".
Tate played Odile, a witch who exerts a mysterious power over a landowner, played by Niven, and his wife, played by Kerr. Although she did not have as many lines as the other actors, Tate's performance was considered crucial to the film, and she was required, more than the other cast members, to set an ethereal tone. Niven described her as a "great discovery", and Kerr said that with "a reasonable amount of luck" Tate would be a great success.In interviews, Tate commented on her good fortune in working with such professionals in her first film and said that she had learned a lot about acting simply by watching Kerr at work. Much of the filming took place in France, and Sebring returned to Los Angeles to fulfill his business obligations. After filming, Tate remained in London, where she immersed herself in the fashion world and nightclubs. Around this time, she met Roman Polanski.
Tate and Polanski later agreed that neither of them had been impressed by the other when they first met. Polanski was planning The Fearless Vampire Killers , which was being coproduced by Ransohoff, and had decided that he wanted the red-headed actress Jill St. John for the female lead. Ransohoff insisted that Polanski cast Tate, and after meeting with her, he agreed that she would be suitable on the condition that she wore a red wig during filming.
The company traveled to Italy for filming where Tate's fluent Italian proved useful in communicating with the local crew members. A perfectionist, Polanski had little patience with the inexperienced Tate, and said in an interview that one scene had required 70 takes before he was satisfied. In addition to directing, Polanski also played one of the main characters, a guileless young man who is intrigued by Tate's character and begins a romance with her.
As filming progressed, Polanski praised her performances and her confidence grew. They began a relationship, and Tate moved into Polanski's London apartment after filming ended. Jay Sebring traveled to London, where he insisted on meeting Polanski. Although friends later said he was devastated, he befriended Polanski and remained Tate's closest confidante. Polanski later commented that Sebring was a lonely and isolated person, who viewed Tate and himself as his family.
Tate returned to the United States to film Don't Make Waves with Tony Curtis, leaving Polanski in London. Tate played the role of Malibu and the film was intended to capitalize on the popularity of beach movies and the music of such artists as the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean. Tate's character, billed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer publicity as "Malibu, Queen of the Surf", wore little more than a bikini for most of the film. Disappointed with the film, she began referring to herself sarcastically as "sexy little me". Before the film's release, a major publishing campaign Coppertone sunscreen featured Tate. The film opened to poor reviews and mediocre ticket sales, and Tate was quoted as confiding to a reporter, "It's a terrible movie", before adding, "Sometimes I say things I shouldn't. I guess I'm too outspoken."
Polanski returned to the United States, and was contracted by the head of Paramount Pictures, Robert Evans, to direct and write the screenplay for Rosemary's Baby , which was based on Ira Levin's novel of the same name. [ citation needed ] A frequent visitor to the set, she was photographed there by Esquire and the resulting photographs generated considerable publicity for both Tate and the film.Polanski later admitted that he had wanted Tate to star in the film and had hoped that someone would suggest her, as he felt it inappropriate to make the suggestion himself. The producers did not suggest Tate, and Mia Farrow was cast. Tate reportedly provided ideas for some of the key scenes, including the scene in which the protagonist, Rosemary, is impregnated.
A March 1967 article about Tate in Playboy began, "This is the year that Sharon Tate happens ..." and included six nude or partially nude photographs taken by Roman Polanski during filming of The Fearless Vampire Killers. Tate was optimistic: Eye of the Devil and The Fearless Vampire Killers were each due for release, and she had been signed to play a major role in the film version of Valley of the Dolls . One of the all-time bestsellers, the film version was highly publicized and anticipated, and while Tate acknowledged that such a prominent role should further her career, she confided to Polanski that she did not like either the book or the script.
Patty Duke, Barbara Parkins, and Judy Garland were cast as the other leads. Susan Hayward replaced Garland a few weeks later when she was dismissed.Director Mark Robson was highly critical of the three principal actresses, but according to Duke, directed most of his criticism at Tate. Duke later said Robson "continually treated [Tate] like an imbecile, which she definitely was not, and she was very attuned and sensitive to this treatment". Polanski later quoted Robson as saying to him, "That's a great girl you're living with. Few actresses have her kind of vulnerability. She's got a great future."
In interviews during production, Tate expressed an affinity for her character, Jennifer North, an aspiring actress admired only for her body. Some magazines commented that Tate was viewed similarly and Look published an unfavorable article about the three lead actresses, describing Tate as "a hopelessly stupid and vain starlet".Tate, Duke, and Parkins developed a close friendship that continued after the completion of the film. During the shooting of Valley of the Dolls, Tate confided to Parkins that she was "madly in love" with Polanski. "Yes, there's no doubt that Roman is the man in my life," Tate was quoted as saying in the New York Sunday News. Tate promoted the film enthusiastically. She frequently commented on her admiration for Lee Grant, with whom she had played several dramatic scenes. Tate was quoted as saying, "I learned a great deal about acting in [Valley of the Dolls], particularly in my scenes with Lee Grant.... She knows what acting is all about and everything she does, from little mannerisms to delivering her lines, is pure professionalism."
A journalist asked Tate to comment on her nude scene, and she replied,
I have no qualms about it at all. I don't see any difference between being stark naked or fully dressed — if it's part of the job and it's done with meaning and intention. I honestly don't understand the big fuss made over nudity and sex in films. It's silly. On TV, the children can watch people murdering each other, which is a very unnatural thing, but they can't watch two people in the very natural process of making love. Now, really, that doesn't make any sense, does it?
An edited version of The Fearless Vampire Killers was released, and Polanski expressed disgust at Ransohoff for "butchering" his film. Newsweek called it "a witless travesty", and it was not profitable. Tate's performance was largely ignored in reviews, and when she was mentioned, it was usually in relation to her nude scenes. Eye of the Devil was released shortly after, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer attempted to build interest in Tate with its press release describing her as "one of the screen's most exciting new personalities". The film failed to find an audience, and most reviews were indifferent, neither praising nor condemning it. The New York Times wrote that one of the few highlights was Tate's "chillingly beautiful but expressionless performance".
The All Eyes on Sharon Tate documentary was used to publicize the film. Its 14 minutes consisted of a number of scenes depicting Tate filming Eye of the Devil, dancing in nightclubs, and sightseeing around London, and also contained a brief interview with her. Asked about her acting ambitions, she replied, "I don't fool myself. I can't see myself doing Shakespeare." She spoke of her hopes of finding a niche in comedy, and in other interviews she expressed her desire to become "a light comedienne in the Carole Lombard style".She discussed the type of contemporary actress she wanted to emulate and explained that there were two in particular that she was influenced by: Faye Dunaway and Catherine Deneuve. Of the latter, she said, "I'd like to be an American Catherine Deneuve. She plays beautiful, sensitive, deep parts with a little bit of intelligence behind them."
Later in the year, Valley of the Dolls opened to almost uniformly negative reviews. Bosley Crowther wrote in The New York Times, "all a fairly respectful admirer of movies can do is laugh at it and turn away". ... Parkins, Duke, and Tate would more likely have been playing the hat check girls than movie-queens; they are totally lacking in style, authority, or charm." The Hollywood Reporter provided some positive comments, such as, "Sharon Tate emerges as the film's most sympathetic character ... William H. Daniels' photographic caress of her faultless face and enormous absorbent eyes is stunning." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times praised Tate as "a wonder to behold", but after describing the dialogue in one scene as "the most offensive and appalling vulgarity ever thrown up by any civilization", concluded that, "I will be unable to take her any more seriously as a sex symbol than Raquel Welch."Newsweek said that the film "has no more sense of its own ludicrousness than a village idiot stumbling in manure", but a later article read: "Astoundingly photogenic, infinitely curvaceous, Sharon Tate is one of the most smashing young things to hit Hollywood in a long time." The three lead actresses were castigated in numerous publications, including The Saturday Review, which wrote, "Ten years ago
In late 1967, Tate and Polanski returned to London and were frequent subjects of newspaper and magazine articles. Tate was depicted as being untraditional and modern, and was quoted as saying couples should live together before marrying. They were married in Chelsea, London, on January 20, 1968, with considerable publicity. Polanski was dressed in what the press described as "Edwardian finery", while Tate was attired in a white minidress. ... Cool, nomadic, talented, and nicely shocking."The couple moved into Polanski's mews house off Eaton Square in Belgravia, London. Photographer Peter Evans later described them as "the imperfect couple. They were the Douglas Fairbanks/Mary Pickford of our time
While Tate reportedly wanted a traditional marriage, Polanski remained somewhat promiscuous and described Tate's attitude to his infidelity as "Sharon's big hang-up". He reminded Tate that she had promised that she would not try to change him.Tate accepted Polanski's conditions, though she confided to friends that she hoped he would change. Peter Evans quoted Tate as saying, "We have a good arrangement. Roman lies to me and I pretend to believe him."
Polanski urged Tate to end her association with Martin Ransohoff, and Tate began to place less importance on her career until Polanski told her he wanted to be married to "a hippie, not a housewife." The couple returned to Los Angeles and quickly became part of a social group that included some of the most successful young people in the film industry, including Warren Beatty, Jacqueline Bisset, Leslie Caron, Joan Collins, Mia Farrow, Jane Fonda, Peter Fonda, Laurence Harvey, Steve McQueen, Joanna Pettet and Peter Sellers; older film stars like Yul Brynner, Kirk Douglas, Henry Fonda and Danny Kaye; musicians such as Jim Morrison and The Mamas & the Papas; and record producer Terry Melcher and his girlfriend, actress Candice Bergen. Jay Sebring remained one of the couple's more frequent companions. Polanski's circle of friends included people he had known since his youth in Poland such as Wojciech Frykowski and Frykowski's girlfriend, coffee heiress Abigail Folger. Tate and Polanski moved into the Chateau Marmont Hotel in Los Angeles for a few months — "to the point of recklessness" — and that she had been alarmed by it.until they arranged to lease Patty Duke's home on Summit Ridge Drive in Beverly Hills during the latter part of 1968. The Polanski house was often full of strangers, and Tate regarded the casual atmosphere as part of the "free spirit" of the times, saying that she did not mind who came into her home as her motto was "live and let live." Her close friend Leslie Caron later commented that the Polanskis were too trusting
In the summer of 1968, Tate began The Wrecking Crew (1969), a comedy in which she played Freya Carlson, an accident-prone spy, who was also a romantic interest for star Dean Martin, playing Matt Helm. She performed her own stunts and was taught martial arts by Bruce Lee. The film was successful and brought Tate strong reviews, with many reviewers praising her comedic performance. The New York Times critic Vincent Canby criticized the film, but wrote, "The only nice thing is Sharon Tate, a tall, really great-looking girl."Martin commented that he intended to make another "Matt Helm" film and that he wanted Tate to reprise her role.
Around this time Tate was feted as a promising newcomer. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award as "New Star of the Year – Actress" for her performance in Valley of the Dolls.
She placed fourth behind Mia Farrow, Judy Geeson and Katharine Houghton for a "Golden Laurel" award as the year's "Most Promising Newcomer" with the results published in the Motion Picture Exhibitor magazine. 's poll for "The Star of Tomorrow," in which box-office drawing power was the main criterion for inclusion on the list. These results indicated that her career was beginning to accelerate, and for her next film, Tate negotiated a fee of $150,000.She was also runner-up to Lynn Redgrave in the Motion Picture Herald
She became pregnant near the end of 1968, and on February 15, 1969, she and Polanski moved to 10050 Cielo Drive in Benedict Canyon.The house previously had been occupied by their friends Terry Melcher and Candice Bergen. Tate and Polanski had visited it several times, and Tate was thrilled to learn it was available, referring to it as her "love house." At their new home, the Polanskis continued to be popular hosts for their large group of friends, although some of their friends still worried about the strange types who continued to show up at their parties. Encouraged by positive reviews of her comedic performances, Tate chose the comedy Twelve Plus One (1969) as her next project, as she later explained, largely for the opportunity to co-star with Orson Welles. In March 1969, she traveled to Italy to begin filming, and Polanski went to London to work on The Day of the Dolphin (1973). Frykowski and Folger moved into the Cielo Drive house.
After completing Twelve Plus One, Tate joined Polanski in London. She posed in their apartment for photographer Terry O'Neill in casual domestic scenes such as opening baby gifts, and completed a series of glamour photographs for the British magazine Queen . A journalist asked Tate in a late July interview if she believed in fate, to which she replied, "Certainly. My whole life has been decided by fate. I think something more powerful than we are decides our fates for us. I know one thing — I've never planned anything that ever happened to me."
She returned from London to Los Angeles on July 20, 1969, traveling alone on the QE2 . Polanski was due to return on August 12 in time for the birth, and he had asked Frykowski and Folger to stay in the house with Tate until his return.
On August 8, 1969, Tate was two weeks from giving birth. She entertained two friends, actress Joanna Pettet and singer Barbara Lewis, for lunch at her home, confiding in them her disappointment at Polanski's delay in returning from London. That afternoon, Polanski telephoned her as did her younger sister, Debra, who called to ask if she and their sister, Patti, could spend the night with her. Tate declined, offering to have them over another time. Later that evening, Tate dined at her favorite restaurant, El Coyote Cafe, with Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, and Abigail Folger, returning at about 10:30 p.m.
Shortly after midnight, they were murdered by members of Charles Manson's "family". Their bodies were discovered the following morning by Tate's housekeeper, Winifred Chapman. Police arrived at the scene to find the body of a young man, later identified as Steven Parent, shot dead in his car, which was in the driveway. Inside the house, the bodies of Tate and Sebring were found in the living room; a long rope tied around each of their necks connected them. On the front lawn lay the bodies of Frykowski and Folger. All of the victims, except Parent, had been stabbed numerous times. The coroner's report for Tate noted that she had been stabbed sixteen times, and that "five of the wounds were in and of themselves fatal".
Police took the only survivor at the address, the property's caretaker William Garretson, in for questioning. Garretson lived in the guest house that was located on the property, but a short distance from the house, and not immediately visible. As the first suspect, Garretson was questioned and submitted to a polygraph test. Garretson stated that Parent had visited him at approximately 11:30 p.m. and left shortly thereafter. Garretson informed police that he had no involvement in the murders and did not know anything that could help the investigation. Police accepted his explanation and he was released.
Polanski was informed of the murders and returned to Los Angeles where police, unable to determine a motive, questioned him about his wife and friends. On Wednesday, August 13, Tate was interred in the Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California, with her son, Paul Richard Polanski (named posthumously for Polanski's and Tate's fathers), in her arms. Sebring's funeral took place later the same day; the funerals were scheduled several hours apart to allow mutual friends to attend both.
Life magazine devoted a lengthy article to the murders and featured photographs of the crime scenes. Polanski was interviewed for the article and allowed himself to be photographed at the entrance of the house, next to the front door with the word "PIG"—written in Tate's blood—still visible.Widely criticized for his actions, he argued that he wanted to know who was responsible and was willing to shock the magazine's readers in the hope that someone would come forward with information.
Curiosity about the victims led to the re-release of Tate's films, achieving greater popularity than they had in their initial runs. Some newspapers began to speculate about the motives for the murders. Some of the published photographs of Tate were allegedly taken at a Satanic ritual, but were later proven to have been production photographs from Eye of the Devil. Friends spoke out against the portrayal of Tate by some elements of the media. Mia Farrow said she was as "sweet and pure a human being as I have ever known", while Patty Duke remembered her as "a gentle, gentle creature. I was crazy about her, and I don't know anyone who wasn't." Polanski berated a crowd of journalists at a news conference, saying that many times they had written that Tate "was beautiful. Maybe the most beautiful woman in the world. But did you ever write how good she was?"Peter Evans later quoted the actor Laurence Harvey, who commented on Polanski immediately after the murders, "This could destroy Roman. Marriage vows mean nothing to him, but few men have adored a woman as much as he adored Sharon."
Polanski later stated that, in the months following the murders, he suspected various friends and associates, and his paranoia subsided only when the killers were arrested. Newspapers claimed that many Hollywood stars were moving out of the city, while others were reported to have installed security systems in their homes. Writer Dominick Dunne later recalled the tension:
The shock waves that went through the town were beyond anything I had ever seen before. People were convinced that the rich and famous of the community were in peril. Children were sent out of town. Guards were hired. Steve McQueen packed a gun when he went to Jay Sebring's funeral.
In September 1969, members of the Manson "Family" were arrested on unrelated charges, eventually leading authorities to a breakthrough on the Tate case as well. They explained that the motive for the murders was not the identity of the victims, but rather the house at that address, which had previously been rented to record producer Terry Melcher, an acquaintance of Manson.
In 1994, the Tate-Polanski house was demolished and a new house was constructed on the site with the street address changed to 10066 Cielo Drive.
In the early 1980s, Stephen Kay, who had worked for the prosecution in the trial, became alarmed that Manson Family member Leslie Van Houten had gathered 900 signatures on a petition for her parole. He contacted Tate's mother, Doris, who said she was sure she could do better, and the two mounted a publicity campaign, collecting over 350,000 signatures supporting the denial of parole.Van Houten had been seen as the most likely of the killers to be paroled; following Kay's and Tate's efforts, her petition was denied. Doris Tate became a vocal advocate for victims' rights and, in discussing her daughter's murder and meeting other crime victims, assumed the role of counselor, using her profile to encourage public discussion and criticism of the corrections system.
For the rest of her life, she strongly campaigned against the parole of each of the Manson killers, and worked closely with other victims of violent crime. Several times, she confronted Charles Manson at parole hearings, explaining, "I feel that Sharon has to be represented in that hearing room. If they're (the killers) pleading for their lives, then I have to be there representing her." She addressed Tex Watson directly during her victim impact statement in 1984: "What mercy, sir, did you show my daughter when she was begging for her life? What mercy did you show my daughter when she said, 'Give me two weeks to have my baby and then you can kill me'? ... When will Sharon come up for parole? Will these seven victims and possibly more walk out of their graves if you get paroled? You cannot be trusted."
In 1992, President George Bush recognized Doris Tate as one of his "thousand points of light" for her volunteer work on behalf of victims' rights. By this time Tate had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and her health and strength were failing; her meeting with Bush marked her final public appearance. When she died later that year, her youngest daughter, Patricia Gay Tate, known as Patti, continued her work. She contributed to the 1993 foundation of the Doris Tate Crime Victims Bureau, a nonprofit organization that aims to influence crime legislation throughout the United States and to give greater rights and protection to victims of violent crime.In 1995, the Doris Tate Crime Victims Foundation was founded as a nonprofit organization to promote public awareness of the judicial system and to provide support to the victims of violent crime.
Patti Tate confronted David Geffen and board members of Geffen Records in 1993 over plans to include a song written by Charles Manson on the Guns N' Roses album "The Spaghetti Incident?" . She commented to a journalist that the record company was "putting Manson up on a pedestal for young people who don't know who he is to worship like an idol."
After Patti's death from breast cancer in 2000, her older sister Debra continued to represent the Tate family at parole hearings. Debra Tate said of the killers: "They don't show any personal responsibility. They haven't made atonement to any one of my family members."She has also unsuccessfully lobbied for her sister to be awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Colonel Paul Tate preferred not to make public comments; however, he was a constant presence during the murder trial, and in the following years attended parole hearings with his wife, and wrote letters to authorities in which he strongly opposed any suggestion of parole. He died in May 2005.
Roman Polanski gave away all of his possessions after the murders, unable to bear any reminders of the period that he called "the happiest I ever was in my life." He remained in Los Angeles until the killers were arrested. After, he fled to Europe to evade criminal charges of raping a 13-year-old girl. His 1979 film Tess was dedicated "to Sharon", as Tate had read Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles during her final stay with Polanski in London and had left it for him to read with the comment that it would be a good story for them to film together. He tried to explain his anguish after the murder of his wife and unborn son in his 1984 autobiography Roman by Polanski, saying "Since Sharon's death, and despite appearances to the contrary, my enjoyment of life has been incomplete. In moments of unbearable personal tragedy some people find solace in religion. In my case the opposite happened. Any religious faith I had was shattered by Sharon's murder. It reinforced my faith in the absurd."
In July 2005, Polanski successfully sued Vanity Fair magazine for libel after it alleged that he had tried to seduce a woman on his way to Tate's funeral. Among the witnesses who testified on his behalf were Debra Tate and Mia Farrow. Describing Polanski immediately after Tate's death, Farrow testified, "Of this I can be sure—of his frame of mind when we were there, of what we talked about, of his utter sense of loss, of despair and bewilderment and shock and love—a love that he had lost." At the conclusion of the case, Polanski read a statement, saying in part, "The memory of my late wife Sharon Tate was at the forefront of my mind in bringing this action."
The murders committed by the Manson "Family" have been described by social commentators as one of the defining moments of the 1960s. Joan Didion wrote, "Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true. The tension broke that day. The paranoia was fulfilled."
Tate's work as an actress has been reassessed after her death, with contemporary film writers and critics, such as Leonard Maltin, describing her potential as a comedian. A restored version of The Fearless Vampire Killers more closely resembles Polanski's intention. Maltin lauded the film as "near-brilliant" and Tate's work in Don't Make Waves and The Wrecking Crew as her two best performances, as well as the best indicators of the career she might have established.Eye of the Devil with its supernatural themes, and Valley of the Dolls, with its overstated melodrama, have each achieved a degree of cult status.
Tate's biographer, Greg King, holds a view often expressed by members of the Tate family, writing in Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders (2000): "Sharon's real legacy lies not in her movies or in her television work. The very fact that, today, victims or their families in California are able to sit before those convicted of a crime and have a voice in the sentencing at trials or at parole hearings, is largely due to the work of Doris [and Patti] Tate. Their years of devotion to Sharon's memory and dedication to victims' rights ... have helped transform Sharon from mere victim, [and] restore a human face to one of the twentieth century's most infamous crimes."
In 2012, the book Restless Souls was published. Authored by Alisa Statman, a close friend of Patti Tate, two short chapters in the book are written by Sharon's niece, Brie Taylor Ford, daughter of the late Patti Tate Ford. The book contains portions of the unfinished autobiographies of Sharon's father, mother and sister, Patti, along with Statman's own "personal interpretation[s]."Debra Tate has questioned the book's veracity.
On June 10, 2014, a coffee table book by Debra Tate, called Sharon Tate: Recollection, was released. It is the first book about Tate that is devoted exclusively to her life and career without covering her death, its aftermath, or the events that led to it.
in 2009, American contemporary artist Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell presented a comprehensive mixed media art exhibition ICON: Life Love & Style of Sharon Tate: In honor of the 40th anniversary of Tate's passing. With the blessing of the Tate family, Corbell created a 350-piece historic art exhibition celebrating Tate's style and life. The art and fashion based presentation showcased images of Tate's never-before-revealed wardrobe by designers such as Christian Dior, Thea Porter, Ossie Clark, and Yves Saint Laurent.Sharon was also mentioned in Jim Carrol's song "It's Too Late".
|Barabbas||1961||Patrician in Arena||Uncredited|
|Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man||1962||Burlesque Queen||Uncredited|
|The Beverly Hillbillies||1963–65||Janet Trego||TV series, 15 episodes|
|The Americanization of Emily||1964||Beautiful Girl||Uncredited|
|The Man from U.N.C.L.E.||1965||Therapist||Episode: "The Girls of Nazarone Affair"|
|Eye of the Devil||1966||Odile de Caray|
|The Fearless Vampire Killers||1967||Sarah Shagal|
|Don't Make Waves||1967||Malibu|
|Valley of the Dolls||1967||Jennifer North||Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer – Female|
|The Wrecking Crew||1968||Freya Carlson|
| The Thirteen Chairs |
(also known as 12+1)
|1969||Pat||Released posthumously, (final film role)|
Charles Milles Manson was an American criminal and cult leader. In mid-1967, he formed what became known as the Manson Family, a quasi-commune based in California. Manson's followers committed a series of nine murders at four locations in July and August 1969. According to the Los Angeles County district attorney, Manson plotted to start a race war, though Manson and others involved long disputed this motive. In 1971, he was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the deaths of seven people. Although the prosecution conceded that Manson never literally ordered the murders, they contended that his ideology constituted an overt act of conspiracy. Manson was also convicted of first-degree murder for the deaths of Gary Hinman and Donald Shae.
Thomas John Kummer, known professionally as Jay Sebring, was an American celebrity hair stylist, and the founder of the hairstyling corporation Sebring International. Sebring was murdered by members of the Manson Family along with his friend Sharon Tate.
Patricia Dianne Krenwinkel is an American murderer and a former member of Charles Manson's "Family". During her time with Manson's group, she was known by various aliases such as Big Patty, Yellow, Marnie Reeves and Mary Ann Scott, but to The Family she was most commonly known as Katie.
Susan Denise Atkins was a convicted American murderer who was a member of Charles Manson's "Family". Manson's followers committed a series of nine murders at four locations in California, over a period of five weeks in the summer of 1969. Known within the Manson family as Sadie Mae Glutz or Sexy Sadie, Atkins was convicted for her participation in eight of these killings, including the most notorious, the Tate murders in 1969. She was sentenced to death, which was subsequently commuted to life imprisonment when the California Supreme Court invalidated all death sentences issued prior to 1972. Atkins was later incarcerated until her death in 2009. At the time of her death, she was California's longest-serving female inmate.
Leslie Louise Van Houten is an American convicted murderer and former member of the Manson Family. Van Houten was arrested and charged in relation to the 1969 killings of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. She was convicted and sentenced to death. The California Supreme Court decision on People v. Anderson then ruled in 1972 that the death penalty was unconstitutional, resulting in her sentence being commuted to life in prison. Her conviction was then overturned in a 1976 appellate court decision which granted her a retrial. Her second trial ended with a deadlocked jury and a mistrial. At her third trial in 1978, she was convicted of two counts of murder and one count of conspiracy and sentenced to seven years to life in prison. In relation to her case, high courts, parole boards, and the state governor have said that an inexplicable or racial motive for murder could merit exemplary punishment and outweigh any evidence of subsequent reform.
The Manson Family was a desert commune and cult active in California in the late 1960s. Led by Charles Manson, the group consisted of approximately 100 of his followers who lived an unconventional lifestyle with habitual use of hallucinogenic drugs. Most of the group members were young women from middle-class backgrounds, many of whom were radicalized by Manson's teachings and drawn by hippie culture and communal living.
Linda Darlene Kasabian is a former member of Charles Manson's "Family". She was the key witness in District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi's prosecution of Manson and his followers for the Tate murders in 1969.
Charles Denton Watson Jr., better known as Tex Watson, is an American murderer who was a central member of the "Manson family" led by Charles Manson. On August 9, 1969, Watson and other Manson followers murdered pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four other people at 10050 Cielo Drive in Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles. The next night, Watson traveled to Los Feliz, Los Angeles, and participated in the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, as part of Manson's "Helter Skelter" vision. Watson was found guilty of murder and imprisoned in 1971.
Terrence Paul Melcher was an American musician and record producer who was instrumental in shaping the 1960s California Sound and folk rock movements, particularly during the nascent counterculture era. His best known contributions were producing the Byrds' first two albums Mr. Tambourine Man (1965) and Turn! Turn! Turn! (1965), as well as most of the hit recordings of Paul Revere & the Raiders and Gentle Soul. He is also known for his brief association with Charles Manson, a songwriter and cult leader who was later convicted of several murders.
Robert Kenneth Beausoleil is an American murderer who was given the death sentence for killing his friend Gary Hinman, a fellow associate of Charles Manson and members of his communal "Family", on July 27, 1969. He was later granted commutation to a life sentence when the Supreme Court of California issued a ruling that invalidated all death sentences issued in California prior to 1972.
10050 Cielo Drive is the street address of a former luxury home in Benedict Canyon, a part of Beverly Crest, north of Beverly Hills, California, where the Charles Manson "family" committed the Tate murders in 1969.
Benedict Canyon is an area in the Westside of the city of Los Angeles, California.
"Look at Your Game, Girl" is a song written by Charles Manson from his album Lie: The Love and Terror Cult (1970). A folk rock and psychedelic folk ballad about an insane woman, the song was included on a tape that Manson sent to record companies. His version of the song received mostly positive reviews from critics, who felt that the track had musical merit and drew connections between its lyrics and the ways in which Manson manipulated his followers.
Mary Theresa Brunner is an American woman who was a former member of the "Manson Family" who was present during the 1969 murder of Gary Allen Hinman, a California musician and UCLA Ph.D. candidate in sociology. Brunner was subsequently arrested for numerous offenses, including credit card theft and armed robbery, and served a prison sentence at the California Institution for Women.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a 2019 comedy-drama film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Produced by Columbia Pictures, Bona Film Group, Heyday Films, Visiona Romantica and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing, it is an international co-production between the United States and the United Kingdom. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, alongside Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Austin Butler, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, and Al Pacino. The film is set in 1960s Los Angeles in an alternate timeline where an aging television actor and his stunt double embark on an odyssey to make a name for themselves in the Hollywood film industry. It features a large ensemble cast who star in "multiple storylines in a modern fairy tale tribute to the final moments of Hollywood's golden age."
Wolves at the Door is a 2016 American horror film directed by John R. Leonetti and written by Gary Dauberman. The film is loosely based on the murder of Sharon Tate, the wife of Roman Polanski, and her friends in 1969 by members of the Manson Family. The cast features Katie Cassidy, Elizabeth Henstridge, Adam Campbell and Miles Fisher as four friends who are stalked and murdered by a group of intruders at a farewell party.
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