Sharon Tate is perhaps the most famous of all of the Manson Family murder victims. At the time, she was only 26 years old and on her way to becoming a huge star in Hollywood. Unfortunately, it is not really for her career she is remembered but rather for the gruesome way in which she and four others were murdered in the early morning hours of August 9, 1969. At the time of her death, the young actress was married to Roman Polanski and carrying his child. She was eight and a half months along at the time of the murder and begged the murderers to spare her child’s life but it was to no avail.
The actress was only credited in six films but with her talent and stunning looks, she was taking Hollywood by storm. She co-starred in Valley of the Dolls, which, at the time of the adaptation, was based on the fastest selling book of all time. For her role in the film, she was nominated for a Golden Globe. This was, sadly, only two years before her life was cut short.
Of course, many people know the general details of the brutal murders but there was much more to Tate rather than just that. There are also some spooky details about her life that, knowing how she met her end, may seriously creep you out.
Tate was cast in the role of Jennifer North in Valley of the Dolls. This was definitely odd considering the jarring similarities she had with the character. First of all, the character is one who constantly claims to have no real talent but still rises to the top of Hollywood because she is beautiful. While Tate did have actual talent, she often complained about being typecast because of her stunning looks.
3 She Called Her Home Her "Love House"
Upon finding out that they were expecting, Tate and Polanski looked for a larger house to call their home, which they would find in the house on 10050 Cielo Drive, located in a canyon just north of Beverly Hills. The beautiful home featured a loft living room, stone fireplaces, a pool and a guest house.
The scene police arrived to find was gruesome to say the least. A female victim, Abigail Folger, was found on the front lawn and had been stabbed 28 times. Wojciech Frykowski was also found on the front lawn and had been stabbed 51 times. From the details provided by the members of the Manson Family, Tate was the very last victim. Having seen was what done to her friends, Tate begged for her life and the life of her unborn child, who was eight and a half months along. She even went as far as to offer herself as a hostage so her child could live.
2 "The Million Dollar Baby"
1 The Year Sharon Tate Happens
In 1967, Playboy published an article claiming that "1967 was the year that Sharon Tate happens." With three films slated to premiere that year, it was easy to see why Playboy would make such a statement. Valley of the Dolls was released to harsh reviews but still managed to do well at the box office, which was expected since the book on which the film was based was the fastest selling book of all time. The Fearless Vampire Killers also came out. This film received better reviews and was directed by her then-boyfriend Roman Polanski. The third film was possibly the film that earned her the most attention. She starred in Don’t Make Waves with Tony Curtis but all the marketing for the film was based around her. The studio released photos and cardboard cutouts of her in her bikini and she even became a spokesperson for Coppertone.
Sharon Tate was not the only one to suffer at the hands of the Manson Family on the night of her death. She was among five people brutally murdered at her home on the night of August 8, 1969. That night, she had dinner with three friends at El Coyote, her favorite restaurant in LA which is still open today. The three friends returned with her to her home, where the Manson Family murdered them shortly after midnight.
Along with Tate, all three of the friends were murdered. Among them was Jay Sebring, a successful hair stylist, who was also Tate's ex. Despite the fact that her and Tate had a past, he was very close to both Tate and Polanski. The other two friends were Wojciech Frykowski and his girlfriend Abigail Folger. Frykowski was an aspiring screenwriter and Folger was the heiress to the Folger's fortune.
Before returning to the US, Sharon Tate left a copy of the book Tess of the d'Urbervilles with Roman Polanski, telling him that it would make a great film. Tate herself expressed interest in playing the role of Tess. Unfortunately, Tate would die a few days after her arrival in the US, never able to play the role of Tess. Polanski did, in fact, make the film, which was released in 1979. The film received positive critical acclaim, earned six Academy Awards nominations and went on to win three of the awards. There is a dedication to Sharon Tate at the beginning of the film.
Sources: Sharontate.net, Time.com, Imdb.com
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