Sharon Tate: the ‘kind soul’ behind the Manson murder victim

Sharon Tate’s legacy endures, her tragic narrative recounted through various mediums like literature, documentaries, and cinematic productions. Rising to prominence in the 1960s, Tate, alongside her controversial director husband Roman Polanski, commanded attention in Hollywood.

In 1969, Tate, along with Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, and Wojciech Frykowski, fell victim to the brutal violence of the Manson Family. Their senseless murders sent shockwaves across Hollywood and the nation, leaving an indelible mark on American history.

Reflecting on that tumultuous period, actor George Hamilton remarked on the widespread fear and uncertainty that gripped Hollywood, transforming the once vibrant scene into a somber landscape. Now, over five decades later, some members of the Manson Family are being released from prison after serving their sentences.

Today, Leslie Van Houten, a former Manson follower involved in the LaBianca murders, has been released after 53 years behind bars. Her release reignites discussions surrounding the Manson Family crimes and their enduring impact on society.

Sharon Tate fell victim to members of the Manson family, including Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Linda Kasabian, on the eve of the LaBianca murders. Although Leslie Van Houten was not directly involved in Tate’s death, two of her killers, Tex Watson and Patricia Krenwinkel, remain incarcerated today.

The recent release of Van Houten has sparked renewed interest in Tate’s story, which also garnered attention in 2019 with the release of Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” While the film doesn’t solely focus on Tate’s tragic demise, it does feature her character. Set during the same year as Tate’s murder, Tarantino’s film revolves around TV star Rick Dalton and his stunt double Cliff Booth as they navigate the changing landscape of Hollywood’s golden era. Margot Robbie portrays Sharon Tate, who coincidentally resides next door to Dalton.

Discussing Tate in an interview with Deadline, Tarantino lamented that she has been primarily defined by the circumstances of her death. He expressed a desire to delve deeper into her identity and character, emphasizing the importance of portraying “who she was, the person.”

Who was Sharon Tate?

Sharon Tate was a rising star of the 1960s, known for her roles in films like “Valley of the Dolls” and “The Fearless Vampire Killers,” directed by her husband Roman Polanski. Born in 1943 in Dallas, Texas, Tate was the daughter of US Army Colonel Paul James Tate and Doris Gwendolyn Tate, who later became a prominent activist following her daughter’s tragic death.

Tate’s beauty and charisma garnered attention from a young age, leading her to participate in pageants and pursue a career in modeling. Growing up as a military child, she traveled extensively with her family and attended an American high school in Verona, Italy, in 1961, where she learned to speak Italian.


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