Sharon Marie Tate (Sharon Marie Tate)

Sharon Marie Tate

Actress, Manson Victim. Sharon Tate was the daughter of Army intelligence officer Paul and housewife Doris Willett. At the age of 6 months, she won the Miss Tiny Tot of Dallas beauty contest. She would go on to win the title of Miss Autorama, in Richland, Washington, appeared atop a missile for a cover of the military magazine “Stars and Stripes,” and would be nominated homecoming queen of her high school, Vincenza American High School in Vicenza, Veneto, Italy. Her stunning, natural beauty caught the eye of actor Richard Beymer who put her in touch with his agent, Hal Gefsky. She appeared in a crowd scene in “Barabbas” and began doing bit parts in Italian films. She went to Los Angeles in the early-1960s and got parts in TV commercials. Prior to her movie career, she played bit parts in TV shows such as “The Beverly Hillbillies” (where she played the recurring role of secretary Janet Trego in a black wig), “Petticoat Junction,” “Mr. Ed,” and “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” among others. She costarred in the films “Eye of the Devil,” (also billed as “13”), “Valley of the Dolls,” “The Wrecking Crew,” “Don’t Make Waves,” “The 13 Chairs” (also billed as “12+1”) and “The Fearless Vampire Killers” (also known as “Dance of the Vampires”). Her character of Freya Carlson in “The Wrecking Crew” served as inspiration for the character of Felicity Shagwell in the 1999 movie, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.” She met celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring at a Hollywood party in 1964. Upon his divorce, conflicting accounts abound of whether Jay proposed to Sharon and others that state that Sharon wanted to get married and Jay was hesitant. The matter was decided when Sharon went to London to film “Dance of the Vampires” (released as “The Fearless Vampire Killers or Pardon Me But Your Teeth Are In My Neck” in the US) and fell for the movie’s director, Roman Polanski. Instead of leading him on, Sharon phoned Jay to break up but, before he let her go, Jay wanted to meet Roman to make sure he was good enough for Sharon. After meeting him and being satisfied that he was indeed good enough for Sharon, Jay broke things off but remained within the couple’s close circle of friends. According to Polanski’s 1984 autobiography, “Roman,” he proposed in a roundabout way to Sharon at dinner in early-January 1968 and she enthusiastically accepted. They were married on January 20, 1968 in London (with “Valley of the Dolls” co-star Barbara Perkins as Sharon’s maid of honor). In early-1969, Sharon was overjoyed to learn she was pregnant and thought of nothing but the coming baby. During her pregnancy, she was reportedly very tired but never complained during the filming of her last movie, “The 13 Chairs” (released in the US as “12+1”). The last novel she read before leaving London to return to LA to give birth was Thomas Hardy’s “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” (1891). She suggested to Roman that it would make a good movie. In 1979, the film adaptation, considered to be the most successful of a Hardy novel, was released with the dedication “For Sharon” during the opening credits. On the night of August 8, 1969, Jay took Sharon, Abigail Folger and Wojiech “Voytek” Frykowski to dinner at a Mexican restaurant, El Coyote. The four returned to Cielo Drive where Voytek slept on the living room couch, Abigail went to her bedroom to read a book, and Sharon and Jay retired to the master bedroom to talk. Sharon pleaded for the life of her baby more than for her own to no avail (she reportedly even wanted the killers to let her have her baby and then kill her). Her baby, a boy, was posthumously named Paul Richard Polanski by Roman – Paul for Sharon’s father and Richard for Roman’s father. (bio by: Donna Di Giacomo)  Family links:  Parents:  Paul James Tate (1922 – 2005)  Doris Gwendolyn Willett Tate (1924 – 1992)  Children:  Paul Richard Polanski (1969 – 1969)*  Sibling:  Sharon Marie Tate (1943 – 1969)  Patricia Gay Tate (1957 – 2000)* *Calculated relationship Inscription:In Loving Memory OfOur Loving Daughter& Beloved Wife Of Roman


  • January, 24, 1943
  • USA


  • August, 08, 1969
  • USA


  • Holy Cross Cemetery
  • California
  • USA

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