Sharon Tate lived out Hollywood fairytale before violent death in Manson Murders
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Sharon Tate has become an iconic figure known for the brutal circumstances of her death, but she lived a life full ahead of her horrific death.
Born on January 24, 1943 as the eldest of three daughters to Colonel Paul James Tate and his wife Doris Gwendolyn, Sharon spent much of her youth moving around cities in the US before heading to Italy at the age of 17.
Studying in Verona, Tate and friends became fascinated by the filming of Paul Newman film Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man nearby and got jobs as extras in the film.
Meeting actor Richard Beymer, Sharon began dating the star and he encouraged her to pursue acting.
Sharon had already found some success modelling in beauty paegants.
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Despite further work as an extra, screen tests, and an early trip to the US for film work, Sharon did not find much more work.
It was not until the family moved back full-time to the US and Sharon moved to Los Angeles that her career took off thanks to meeting Beymer's agent, Harold Gefsky.
Sharon Tate (centre, back) in a 165 television role on THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E
(Image: NBC via Getty Images)
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Amidst her new flurry of television parts, Sharon dated and became engaged to Philippe Forquet, a French actor and son of an aristocrat in 1963 but they split in 1964 due to conflicts over their careers.
In 1964, Sharon began dating hair stylist to the stars, Jay Sebring.
Despite Jay proposing to her, Sharon turned him down as she was focused on her career and planned on retiring once married and centred on her family.
Jay Sebring, hairdresser to the stars, and developer of mens' hair care products. He was murdered along with Sharon Tate and others by the Manson family.
Sharon Tate, Actress and Model, aged 22 years old, pictured at her apartment in Belgravia, London, Friday 15th October 1965.
(Image: Daily Mirror)
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Following failed auditions for films and further television work, Sharon was cast in 1966 film Eye of the Devil, opposite established stars David Niven and Deborah Kerr, whom she learned a lot from.
She travelled to London with Jay for the film, but as he returned to the US for work, she stayed in London and became entrenched in the local cultural scene.
This was when she met then up-and-coming Polish director Roman Polanski.
The Fearless Vampire Killers, which starred Sharon and future husband, director Roman Polanski
(Image: LMPC via Getty Images)
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Being cast in his 1967 film The Fearless Vampire Killers, the pair initially had a rather difficult relationship due to his perfectionism as a director and her inexperience.
However, the pair soon struck up a romance and Sharon moved in with Roman in London.
Jay returned to find that his beloved Sharon had moved on, but remained a close friend to her and became friends with Roman too.
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Following a disappointing role alongside Tony Curtis in Don't Make Waves, Sharon was cast as Jennifer North in the iconic film Valley Of The Dolls.
Despite the film's poor reviews, Sharon was met with praise and her star was clearly on the rise as she secured a Golden Globe nomination for most promising newcomer.
In early 1968, Sharon and Polanski married in London with considerable publicity, having returned the previous year to much media focus.
Polish film director Roman Polanski and American actress Sharon Tate (1943 – 1969) at their wedding
(Image: Getty Images)
Wedding reception of Polish film director Roman Polanski and his bride, American actress Sharon Tate, held at the London Playboy Club following their wedding at Chelsea Register Office. The bride and groom cutting the cake at the reception surrounded by well-wishers, 20th January 1968
(Image: Getty Images)
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While a well-recognised couple, the pair had their differences, with Sharon wanting a traditional marriage and Roman wanting to be free to have sex outside of their relationship.
Peter Evans quoted Tate as saying, according to The Sunday Times : "We have a good arrangement. Roman lies to me and I pretend to believe him."
In 1968, Sharon filmed comedy film The Wrecking Crew with Dean Martin and trained in martial arts with Bruce Lee himself.
The film received middling reviews, but Tate's comedic talents were praised.
Mia Farrow, Dean Martin and Sharon Tate as they appear on the movie set of The Wrecking Crew
(Image: Bettmann Archive)
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Sharon was at this point on the brink of superstardom as she was recognised as one of Hollywood's greatest up and coming talents.
During her final years, Sharon mixed amongst the biggest names in film and music.
She, Roman, and Jay partied with the likes of Peter Sellers, Steve McQueen, Mia Farrow, Warren Beatty, Kirk Douglas, Jim Morrison, the Mamas and the Papas, and Joan Collins.
Tate became pregnant by Polanski towards the end of 1968, and on February 15, 1969, moved into 10050 Cielo Drive in Benedict Canyon, California, which was previously the home of friends record producer Terry Melcher and girlfriend Candice Bergen.
The pair regularly held parties in their home, but the mix of starry and strange characters caused concern among some.
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Among their circle was also Roman's friend Wojciech Frykowski and his coffee heiress girlfriend Abigail Folger, who moved into Cielo Drive when Roman and Sharon were in London.
While Roman stayed in London, Sharon returned to the US and was joined at home by Frykowski and Folger.
On August 8, 1969, she dined out with Jay, Frykowski and Folger at El Coyote Cafe before returning home at 10.30pm.
Shortly before midnight, all four of them – including the heavily pregnant Sharon – were murdered by associates of Charles Manson – Charles "Tex" Watson, Susan Atkins, and Patricia Krenwinkel.
Sharon had begged to be allowed to live long enough to have her child, but was stabbed numerous times.
The grave of Sharon Tate and her unborn son Paul
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After her death, Sharon was interred with her unborn son Paul Richard Polanski in her arms.
Sharon Tate had been 26 when she died and in 2021 would have turned 78.
Sharon Tate (January 24, 1943 – August 9, 1969)
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