Sharon Tate was born to Paul James Tate (1922-2005), a colonel in the US Army and Doris Gwendolyn Willett (1924-1992, died of brain tumor). She had two sisters: Debra, born in 1952 and Patti (1957-2000), who died of breast cancer. The military career of her father led the Tate family to numerous displacements, so much so that by the age of 16 she had already lived in six different cities. Due to these constant transfers, she had a lot of difficulties in making friends, so much so that in the family she was considered a shy and insecure girl.
Sharon Tate and Roman Polasnki, love and death at Cielo Drive
At the age of six Sharon won the Miss Tiny Tot of Dallas Pageant. As she grew up, she began to stand out in beauty and participate in various competitions, winning the title of “Miss Richland, Washington” in 1959. She also intended to participate in the “Miss Washington” contest in 1960 and undertake psychiatry studies, but her father was transferred with her family, this time to Italy. The Tate family went to live in Verona and it was here that Sharon gained notoriety thanks to the publication of her photographs in Stars and Stripes magazine.
In 1961 Sharon and her friends, following the shooting of the film The adventures of a young man, played by Paul Newman, Susan Strasberg and Richard Beymer, who were shooting some scenes in Verona, got the roles of extras. Beymer noticed Sharon and encouraged her to pursue a film career, finding her first two jobs: for singer Pat Boone and later in a special with him for television shot in Venice. The same year, in Verona, the shooting of the film Barabbas began and Sharon participated again as an extra
The Tate family returned to the United States in 1962 and Sharon moved to Loscc Angeles, where she contacted Richard Beymer’s agent, who got her jobs on television and advertisements in newspapers. In 1963 she introduced her to Martin Ransohoff, director of the production company Filmways, who hired her on a seven-year contract. She started off by getting small parts on TV series. It was around this time that she met the French actor Philippe Forquet, with whom she had an affair In 1964 she met Jay Sebring, a Hollywood hairdresser with whom she became engaged
In 1965 he landed his first major role in the film Ceremony for a Crime, starring David Niven, Deborah Kerr, Donald Pleasence and David Hemmings. Tate went to London for filming and here she met Alex Sanders, founder of Alexandrian Wicca, who initiated her into the neo-pagan Wiccan religion. Much of the filming took place in France, where she was left alone after Sebring returned to Los Angeles for work commitments.
After the shooting Sharon remained in London, where she frequented the circles of fashion and discos. Around this time she met director Roman Polański, who cast her in a new film Please don’t bite me on the neck! (1967) Sharon moved to Polański’s apartment in London and broke off the relationship with Jay Sebring, who later befriended Polański and remained close to her.
Tate returned to the United States to shoot the movie Piano, Piano Don’t Get Fussed! (1967) with Tony Curtis and Claudia Cardinale, which however had little success, and was joined shortly after by Polański, contacted to direct the film Rosemary’s Baby – Red Ribbon in New York, based on the novel of the same name by Ira Levin. He later admitted that he wanted Sharon Tate to star in the film, but the producers chose Mia Farrow.
At the end of 1967, Tate and Polański returned to London They married in the Chelsea neighborhood of London on January 20, 1968, with great public attention. Polański was dressed in what the press described as “Edwardian glitz”, while Sharon wore a white minidress. The couple moved to Belgravia
In the summer of 1968 Sharon began shooting the new film, Mission accomplished stop. She kisses Matt Helm, a comedy for which she garnered critical acclaim, and she was nominated for a Golden Globe for Breakthrough Actress of the Year for her portrayal of her in Valley of the Dolls. At the end of 1968 she became pregnant and on February 15, 1969 she and Polański moved to their new residence on Cielo Drive.
Encouraged by the positive reviews about her performance in comedic roles, Tate chose to work in the Italian film Una su 13, in which she had the opportunity to star with Orson Welles and the already well-known Italian actor Vittorio Gassman .. after finishing filming in Rome. , Sharon Tate and Polański found themselves in their London apartment to pose with photographer Terry O’Neill in occasional domestic scenes.
Sharon Tate then returned to Los Angeles on July 20, 1969, traveling on the Queen Elizabeth 2 ocean liner, while Polański was due to return on August 12 in time for the birth of their son. Meanwhile he asked his friends Wojciech Frykowski and Abigail Folger to stay with Sharon in their home.
On August 8, 1969, Sharon Tate was only two weeks after giving birth. In her villa, she had invited two friends for lunch, the actress Joanna Pettet and Barbara Lewis, confiding to them her sorrow for her husband Roman’s delay from London, despite the fact that he had phoned her in the afternoon. . In the evening, however, she went to her favorite restaurant, El Coyote, with her friends Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski and Abigail Folger, returning home at approximately 10:30 pm.
During that same night, Sharon Tate was murdered in her mansion along with Folger, Sebring and Frykowski by members of the Manson Family. The massacred bodies were only discovered the next day by Winifred Chapman, Sharon’s maid. Arriving at the scene of the crime, the police also found the body of a young man, later identified as Steven Parent, shot dead in his car, parked on the street, in a failed escape attempt.