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Sharon Tate

Real name: Sharon Marie Tate
Birthdate: January 24, 1943
Status: Married
Partner: Roman Polanski

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Biography

Tate was murdered, along with four others, by followers of Charles Manson at her Benedict Canyon home. She was eight and a half months pregnant.

Tate played Odile, a witch who exerts a mysterious power over a landowner, played by Niven, and his wife, Kerr. Although she did not have as many lines as the other actors, Tate's performance was considered crucial to the film, and she was required, more than the other cast members, to set an ethereal tone. Niven described her as a "great discovery", and Kerr said that with "a reasonable amount of luck," Tate would be a great success. In interviews, Tate commented on her good fortune in working with such professionals in her first film, and said that she had learned a lot about acting simply by watching Kerr at work. Much of the filming took place in France, and Sebring returned to Los Angeles to fulfill his business obligations. After filming Tate remained in London where she immersed herself in the fashion world and nightclubs; it was in one of these clubs that she met Roman Polanski.Tate with Roman Polanski in The Fearless Vampire Killers.

Tate returned to the United States to film Don't Make Waves with Tony Curtis, leaving Polanski in London. Tate played the part of Malibu, and was the inspiration for the popular "Malibu Barbie" doll. The film was intended to capitalize on the popularity of beach movies and the music of such artists as the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean. Tate's character, billed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer publicity as "Malibu, Queen of the Surf", wore little more than a bikini for most of the film. Disappointed with the film, she began referring to herself sarcastically as "sexy little me". Before the film's release, a major publicity campaign resulted in photographs and life-sized cardboard figures of Sharon Tate being displayed in cinema foyers throughout the United States; a concurrent advertising campaign by Coppertone featured Tate. The film opened to poor reviews and mediocre ticket sales and Tate was quoted as confiding to a reporter, "It's a terrible movie", before adding, "Sometimes I say things I shouldn't. I guess I'm too outspoken."

In late 1967, Tate and Polanski returned to London, and were frequent subjects of newspaper and magazine articles. Tate was depicted as being untraditional and modern, often quoted that couples should live together before marrying. They were married in Chelsea, London on January 20, 1968 with considerable publicity. Photographer Peter Evans later described them as "the imperfect couple. They were the Douglas Fairbanks/Mary Pickford of our time... Cool, nomadic, talented and nicely shocking."

On August 8, 1969, Tate was two weeks from giving birth. She entertained two friends, actresses Joanna Pettet and Barbara Lewis, for lunch at her home, confiding in them her disappointment at Polanski's delay in returning from London. In the afternoon Polanski phoned her. Her younger sister Debra also called to ask if she and their sister Patti could spend the night with Tate. Tired, Tate refused. In the evening she went to her favorite restaurant El Coyote with Sebring, Frykowski and Folger, returning about 10:30 p.m.



 


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