Hollywood Remains to Be Seen

Sharon Tate
1943 - 1969

Holy Cross Cemetery

Sharon Tate, an actress and wife of director Roman Polanski, is probably best known as one of the murder victims of the followers of Charles Manson.

The daughter of a military man, Tate traveled around the world as a child. She graduated from high school in Italy -- where she was voted Homecoming Queen -- and appeared in an extra in several Italian films before coming to Hollywood in the early 1960s. Her first big break came when she was cast as a bank secretary in "The Beverly Hillbillies," and appeared in 15 episodes of the television comedy from 1963 to 1965.

Tate was originally cast in the role of Billie Jo Bradley in the television series "Petticoat Junction," but she was dropped after it was discovered that she had posed nude in Playboy magazine.

After uncredited bit parts in several films, including "The Wheeler Dealers" (1963), "The Americanization of Emily" (1964) and "The Sandpiper" (1965), Tate appeared in "The Fearless Vampire Killers" (1967), written and directed by Polanksi. Tate had her biggest screen role later that year in the filmed version of Jacqueline Susann's best-selling trashy novel, "Valley of the Dolls" (1967), and she was nominated for a Golden Globe award as Most Promising Female Newcomer.

Tate and Polanski were married in early 1968, and Tate next appeared in "The Wrecking Crew" (1969), a spy spoof starring Dean Martin and Elke Sommer.

On Aug. 9, 1969, Tate, who was eight-months pregnant, and several houseguests were brutally murdered in her Los Angeles home by followers of Charles Manson. Tate had been stabbed 16 times, and a nylon cord was tied around her neck. After the murder, Tate's mother, Doris Tate, became an outspoken advocate for the rights of crime victims, and helped pass a law to give victims and the relatives of victims the right to speak at trials and parole hearings. The Doris Tate Crime Victims Bureau is named in her honor. After Doris Tate's death in 1992, her daughter, Patricia Tate, continued her work until her death in 2000.

Tate is buried with her unborn baby, Paul Richard Polanski, who was killed at the same time; her mother, Doris Gwendolyn Tate (1924 - 1992); and her sister, Patricia Gay Tate (1957 - 2000).

Tate was born Jan. 24, 1943, in Dallas, TX. She died Aug. 9, 1969, in Los Angeles, CA.

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