Sharon Tate


Sharon Tate

Original Name Sharon Marie Tate
Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA
Death 9 Aug 1969 (aged 26)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Culver City, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Saint Ann's Section, L152, 6
Memorial ID 1019 View Source
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Actress. The daughter of Army intelligence officer Paul James Tate and housewife Doris Willett Tate, she won the Miss Tiny Tot of Dallas beauty contest at the age of 6 months. She won other beauty contests such as Miss Autorama in Richland, Washington, appeared atop a missile for a cover of the military magazine "Stars and Stripes," and was nominated homecoming queen of her high school, Vicenza 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 or 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 U.S.) 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 Parkins as Sharon's maid of honor). In late-1968/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"). Before leaving London to return to L.A. to give birth, she read 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 "To Sharon" during the opening credits. Despite claims from numerous celebrities that they were invited to an alleged party in the Cielo Drive property the night of August 8th, there in fact was no party. Two of Sharon's friends joined her for lunch, she then phoned Roman in London (who was working on the script for the movie "Day of the Dolphin"), and took a nap. On the night of the 8th, 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

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Our Loving Daughter
& Beloved Wife Of Roman


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 1019
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sharon Tate (24 Jan 1943–9 Aug 1969), Find a Grave Memorial ID 1019, citing Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .