Name: Sharon Marie Tate Polanski
Date of Birth: 01/24/1943
Date of Death: 08/09/1969
Place of Birth: Dallas, Texas
Place of Death: Cielo Drive, Los Angeles
Cause of Death: Multiple Stab Wounds
Place of Burial: Holy Cross Cemetery
During the ’60s, Tate 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.
Tate’s early life was one of constant moving as her father served in the military. When she lived in Italy, she was voted “Homecoming Queen” of her high school. After being an extra in a few Italian films, Sharon moved to Hollywood. Her first big break came when she was cast as the shapely bank secretary in the television series The Beverly Hillbillies.
She made her film debut in 1961 in Barabbas. She was seen next in 1966 with the occult-themed Eye of the Devil. Her most remembered performance was in the 1967 cult classic, Valley of the Dolls. Tate’s last film, Twelve Plus One , was released posthumously in 1969.
Tate became close friends with her Valley of the Dolls costars, Patty Duke and Barbara Parkins. Parkins later served as Sharon’s Maid of Honor when she married Roman Polanski in 1968.
The Barbie Doll Malibu Barbie was based on Sharon Tate’s character in Don’t Make Waves (1967).
Jay Sebring was introduced to Sharon Tate at a party in Los Angeles in 1964. They fell in love and started dating. The relationship lasted for about two years. Tate went to London in 1966 to work on The Fearless Vampire Killers with director Roman Polanski. Polanski wrote in his autobiography that the two bonded during an LSD trip one night, and by dawn, they were in love.
Tate ended her relationship with Sebring over the phone. Sebring immediately traveled to London to win her back, however Tate decided to be with Polanski. Eventually Sebring and Polanski became friends. After Sebring and Sharon parted as a couple they continued to see each other as close friends. It was no secret that Sebring was still in love with Sharon and he stayed in love with her until the day he died.
On January 20, 1968, Tate married Roman Polanski in London. The star-studded wedding was followed by a reception at the Playboy club, a Supreme’s concert, and a honeymoon in the Alps.
While Tate reportedly wanted a traditional marriage, Polanski remained promiscuous and described Tate’s attitude to his infidelity as “Sharon’s big hang-up”. Polanski was never faithful to Tate. Not when they were dating, and not after they were married.
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.”
The couple returned to Los Angeles and quickly became part of a social group that included some of the most successful people in the entertainment industry, including Warren Beatty, Jacqueline Bisset, Joan Collins, Mia Farrow, Jane Fonda, Peter Fonda, Kirk Douglas, Jim Morrison, Steve McQueen, Peter Sellers and record producer Terry Melcher and his girlfriend, actress Candice Bergen.
10050 Cielo Drive
Tate became pregnant near the end of 1968. On February 12, 1969, Polanski and Tate signed a lease for the house on 10050 Cielo Drive. They moved in three days later.The house previously had been occupied by their friends Terry Melcher and Candice Bergen.
In March of 1969, Tate flew to Italy to film Twelve Plus One. After completing the movie, Tate joined Polanski in London.
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.”
When Tate returned from London, Polanski, who was still in Europe, asked Wojciech Frykowski if he and Abigail Folger would stick around until Polanski came back from Europe. Abigail and Wojciech decided to stay with Tate at the Cielo Drive residence, who was in the eighth month of her pregnancy.
Last Day: August 8, 1969
On August 8, 1969, Tate was two weeks from giving birth.
Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Wojciech and Abigail Folger went to dinner at El Coyote, a Mexican restaurant. After diner the four returned to Cielo Drive. Wojciech fell asleep on the living room couch, Abigail retired to her bedroom to read a book, while Jay sat and talked with Sharon in her bedroom.
That same night Charles Manson told Tex Watson to take some of the girls and to go to “that house where Melcher used to live” and to “totally destroy everyone inside, as gruesome as you can” and Manson told Watson to “leave a sign, something witchy”. Tex Watson took Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, and Patricia Krenwinkel to Cielo Drive.
Pregnant Tate Was The Last To Die
Tate pleaded to be allowed to live long enough to have her baby, and even offered herself as a hostage in an attempt to save the life of her unborn child. Susan Atkins told Tate as she begged, “Look, bitch, I don’t care about you. I don’t care if you are having a baby. You are going to die and I don’t feel a thing about it.” At this point either Atkins, Watson, or both killed Tate (testimonies differ). Tate was stabbed 16 times. Watson later wrote that as Tate was being killed she cried for her mother.
Tate’s unborn son was named Paul Richard Polanski. Tate’s tombstone bears both Paul’s name and her own. Sharon Tate and her unborn baby are buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California, beside her mother and sister.
The last book Tate read was Thomas Hardy’s “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” which she convinced Roman Polanski would make a great film one day. Polanski’s film Tess (1979) is dedicated simply “For Sharon”.
Cielo Drive Survivor: Sharon Tate’s Dog Prudence
There were several dogs present at the time of the murders in the Cielo Drive house, most notably Sharon’s Dog Prudence. Roman Polanski bought puppy Prudence for Sharon after Wojciech Frykowski accidentally ran over Sharon’s Yorkshire terrier, Sappy, on the driveway of Cielo Drive.
The morning after the murders Prudence was found hiding in a closet. Prudence was adopted by Sharon Tate’s mother and sister. Unfortunately, 10 years after Sharon was murdered, Prudence was killed in a car accident. Debra Tate, Sharon’s sister, accidentally ran over Prudence in the driveway of her parents house.
Sharon Tate Photo Gallery