Sharon Marie Tate (January 24th, 1943 - August th, 1969) was an American actress, model and 1960s sex symbol.
Tate began appearing in television roles and several motion pictures at the beginning of her career. She quickly recieved praise for her performances and was declared one of Hollywood's most promising newcomers.
After this, Tate travelled to London for more roles in films, where she met Roman Polanski, when auditioning for a role in one of his films. Initially, Polanski was doubtful about her, but their feelings for each other gradually grew, resulting in them starting a relationship.
Tate continued to be an infuencial figure in the media, regularly appearing in fashion magazines as a model and cover girl.
Tate and Polanski married in early 1968 at the Playboy Club in London, attended by many famous names.
In 1969, they moved into a house at Cielo Drive, which was the former home of Terry Melcher, who cult leader, Charles Manson had recently had had a dispute with.
Murder and Legacy
In July 1969, Tate travelled back to Los Angeles from London on the QE2, while Polanski was in Europe finishing a project, but would return for the birth of their baby.
Tate and several friends, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski and Abigail Folger, stayed at the Cielo Drive house on 9th August. That night, the houses was raided by members of Charles Manson's "family" and all of them brutally murdered, including heavily pregnant Tate. Their bodies were discovered the following morning by the housekeeper. Polanski was informed and returned to Los Angeles. Tate's funeral took place not long after and she was buried with her son in her arms.
Their were rumours about Tate's murder in some of the media, that her death was a Satanic ritual, having becoming involved in Satanism, but this was strongly rebuffed by those close to her, Mia Farrow stating she was as "sweet and pure a human being as I have ever known".
Later in the year, the Manson family were all captured after recently convicted Susan Atkins bragged about killing Sharon Tate. All of the members were subsequently put on trial, and found guilty of the murders. They were all sentenced to death, which was commuted to life in prison.
A decade later, Tate's mother, Doris organized a public campaign against the parole of murderers. She strongly opposed the release of any of the Manson murderers and attended and spoke at their parole hearings, after a new law was passed granting crime victims and their families the power to do so. It was seen that these changes in the law gave her daughter the dignity she had been denied before. After Doris's death, Sharon's sisters Debra and Patti continued the campaign.
In 2014, Debra Tate released a coffee table book called Sharon Tate: Recollection.