Sharon Tate

Sharon Tate Images Rxstr (11)

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
Website: sharontate.net
Documents: Autopsy Report

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).

Tate and Sebring

Jay Sebring

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.

Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski

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.

Sharon Tate at 10050 Cielo Drive

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.

Sharon Tates Funeral

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.

Sharon Tates Grave Stone

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”.

Sharon Tate With Her Dog Prudence

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.

The Two Puppies Were Found Hiding in a Closet

Sharon Tate Photo Gallery

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10050 Cielo Drive

In 1994, the house at 10050 Cielo Drive was demolished. But the memory of what happened there in the early morning hours of August 9, 1969, endures. Actress Sharon Tate (eight-and-a-half months pregnant), celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, aspiring screenwriter Wojciech Frykowski, and recent high school graduate Steven Parent were brutally murdered by members of the Manson Family.

History

The house was built in the late forties for French actress Michèle Morgan. The house was similar to the house which sat on its own plateau directly below 10050, 10048 Cielo Drive, which was called the Twin House. The properties were built at the same time.

By the end of World War II, Michèle Morgan had returned to France and in 1946 actress Lillian Gish moved in 10050 Cielo Drive with her mother while filming Duel in the Sun (1946).

Rudolph Altobelli, a talent manager, bought the house in the early 1960s and often rented the house out. Residents included celebrities like Cary Grant and Dyan Cannon, Henry Fonda, George Chakiris, Mark Lindsay and Paul Revere & the Raiders.

Candice Bergen and Terry Melcher

Charles Manson, Dennis Wilson and Terry Melcher

In the summer of 1966, Altobelli leased the Cielo Drive house to music producer Terry Melcher (the son of Doris Day) and actress Candice Bergen, whose time at the house would set the tragic events of August 9, 1969 into motion.

Beach Boy drummer Dennis Wilson had befriended Charles Manson. Dennis Wilson was so impressed by Manson’s charisma and musical talent that he introduced Manson to producer Terry Melcher and pressed Melcher to land Manson a record deal. Manson auditioned for Melcher but Melcher was not impressed and declined to sign Manson. After witnessing Manson getting in a fight with a drunk at Spahn Ranch both Wilson and Melcher ended their friendship with Manson.

Not long after ending his friendship with Manson, Melcher and Bergen moved out of Cielo Drive. On February 12, 1969, Roman Polanski and his pregnant wife Sharon Tate signed a lease for the house on 10050 Cielo Drive. They moved in three days later.

The Tate Murders

Contrary to popular belief, Terry Melcher and Candice Bergen were never the targets of the August 9 murder spree carried out by Manson’s followers. Manson knew very well that Melcher moved out of Cielo Drive.

On the night of August 8, 1969, 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.

When they arrived at the entrance of the Cielo Drive property, Watson climbed a telephone pole near the gate and cut the phone line to prevent telephone access from the house. At this point it was after midnight, August 9, 1969.

Just then, headlights approached. Watson ordered the women to lie in the bushes. He then stepped out and ordered the approaching driver to halt. Eighteen-year-old student Steven Parent had been visiting the property’s caretaker, William Garretson, who lived in the property’s guest house. Watson first lunged at Parent with a knife, giving him a defensive slash wound on the palm of his hand, then shot him four times in the chest and abdomen.

Steven Parents Car

The group then proceeded to the main house. Watson told Kasabian to keep watch down by the gate. Watson cut the screen of a window and entered through the window, and let Atkins and Krenwinkel in through the front door.

They found Frykowski sleeping on the living room couch. Watson kicked him in the head. When Frykowski asked him who he was and what he was doing there, Watson replied: “I’m the devil, and I’m here to do the devil’s business.”

Atkins and Krenwinkel searched the house and found Tate, Sebring and Folger and forced them to the living room. Watson began to tie Tate and Sebring together by their necks with rope and slung the rope up over one of the living room’s ceiling beams. Sebring’s protested to the rough treatment of the pregnant Tate. Watson then shot Sebring and stabbed him seven times.

Abigail Folgers Bedroom at Cielo Drive

Frykowski’s hands had been bound with a towel. Freeing himself, Frykowski began struggling with Atkins, who stabbed at his legs with the knife with which she had been guarding him. As he fought his way toward and out the front door, onto the porch, Watson caught up with Frykowski and struck him over the head with the gun multiple times, stabbed him repeatedly, and shot him twice.

Around this time, Kasabian was drawn up from the driveway by “horrifying sounds”. In an effort to stop the massacre, she falsely told Atkins that someone was coming.

Meanwhile, Folger had escaped from Krenwinkel and fled out a bedroom door to the pool area. Krenwinkel ran after Folger, caught her, stabbed her, and tackled her to the ground. Watson joined Krenwinkel and they stabbed Folger 28 times. In the meantime Frykowski struggled across the lawn. Watson went over to Frykowski and then stabbed him to death. Frykowski was stabbed a total of 51 times.

In the house, 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 vary). Tate was stabbed 16 times. Watson later wrote that as Tate was being killed, she cried for her mother.

Using the towel that had bound Frykowski’s hands, Atkins wrote “pig” on the house’s front door in Tate’s blood.

In a photo published in Life magazine days after the murders, Roman Polanski sits on the veranda, next to the front door that has been covered with his wife’s blood. According to the photographer, Julian Wasser, Polanski wanted the Polaroid shots to be given to a psychic to track down the then-unknown killers.

Nine Inch Nails “Le Pig” Studio at 10050 Cielo Drive

Nine Inch Nails – The last resident of Cielo Drive

The last resident of the original house was Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. Reznor began renting the house in 1992 for a reported $11,000 a month, and set up a recording studio in the house. The studio, dubbed “Pig”, a reference to Susan Atkins writing “Pig” in Tate’s blood on the front door of the house, was the site of recording sessions for most of the Nine Inch Nails album The Downward Spiral. Reznor moved out of the house in December 1993, explaining “there was too much history in that house for me to handle.” Reznor took the front door of the house with him when he moved out and installed it at the New Orleans headquarters of his record label, Nothing Studios, which had been converted from a funeral home.

Demolition of 10050 Cielo Drive

Demolition

In 1994, the original house was demolished. A new house was build on the property called Villa Bella, with a new street address of 10066 Cielo Drive. The owner of the property as of 2013 is Hollywood producer Jeff Franklin.

Sharon Tate With Her Dog Prudence at the Cielo Drive Swimming Pool

Cielo Drive’s Survivors: The Dogs (and cats, a lot of cats)

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.

After the murders 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.

Fun fact: There was a population of about 26 cats on the Cielo Drive property.

Sharon Tate having fun at Cielo Drive with her dog Prudence
Police Remove Dogs From Cielo Drive. The two puppies Were Found Hiding in a Closet

Debra Tate:
After the murders, police found the two puppies hiding in a closet. “They were scared to death, We took Prudence home and found a home for Tom. I wouldn’t leave him behind.”

The Dog on the right is Rudi Altobelli’s Weimaraner Christopher

Debra Tate:
“I’ve been told that people want to know what happened to Prudence. I accidentally ran over Prudence in my parent’s driveway and killed her. It was awful! I was leaving after a visit, backing out of the driveway and I didn’t realize that she’d run outside. I was twenty six when this happened so it was ten years after Sharon died. So now you know –Prudence is with Sharon.”

Sharon’s Mother Doris Tate Holds then senior Prudence

Sharon Tate with Prudence at Cielo Drive

Cielo Drive Images

Jay Sebrings Porsche and Abigail Folgers Firebird at Cielo Drive
Candice Bergen Talks About Living At Cielo Drive (Click To Enlarge)