Brown - Light
Dallas, Texas, USA
Place of Death
Beverly Hills, California, USA
Cause of Death
Claim to Fame
Valley of the Dolls, wife of Roman Polanski
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Profile Bio Text
Sharon Marie Tate (January 24, 1943 – August 9, 1969) was an American film actress. During the 1960s she played small roles in television, before starting her film career. She appeared in several films that highlighted her physical beauty, and after receiving positive reviews for her comedic performances, was hailed as one of Hollywood`s promising newcomers, and earned a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in Valley of the Dolls in 1967. Tate's celebrity status increased following her marriage to the film director, Roman Polañski, and fashion magazines began featuring her as a model and cover girl. 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 at the time.
A decade after the murders, her mother Doris Tate, appalled at the growing cult status of the killers and the possibility that any of them might be granted parole, joined a public campaign against what she considered to be shortcomings in the state corrections system. This was one of the catalysts which led to amendments to California criminal law in 1982, and allowed crime victims and their families to make victim impact statements during the sentencing of convicts and at their subsequent parole hearings. She became the first person to make such an impact statement under the new law, when she spoke at the parole hearing of one of her daughter's killers, Charles "Tex" Watson. She later said that she believed the changes in the law had afforded her daughter dignity which had been denied her before, and that she had been able to "help transform Sharon's legacy from murder victim to a symbol of victim`s rights".
Early life and becoming an actress
Sharon Tate was born in Dallas, Texas, the first of three daughters, to Paul Tate, a United States Army officer and his wife, Doris. At six months of age, Sharon Tate won the "Miss Tiny Tot of Dallas Pageant", but the Tates did not hold any show-business ambitions for their daughter. Paul Tate`s military career progressed, and he was promoted and transferred several times. By the age of 16, Sharon Tate had lived in six different American cities, and because of the frequent moves and unsettled lifestyle, had found it difficult to maintain friendships. Her family described her as shy and lacking in self-confidence as a result, and as an adult Sharon Tate commented that people often misinterpreted her shyness and considered her to be aloof until they came to know her better.
As she matured, people commented on her beauty; she began entering beauty pageants, winning the title of "Miss Richland, Washington" in 1959. She spoke of her ambition to study psychiatry, and also stated her intention to compete in the "Miss Washington" pageant in 1960, but before she could follow either course of action, Paul Tate was transferred to Italy, taking his family with him.
Upon her arrival in Verona, Sharon Tate learned that she had become a local celebrity due to the publication of a photograph of her in a bathing suit, which appeared on the cover of the military newspaper, Stars and Stripes. She discovered a kinship with other students at the American school she attended, recognizing that their backgrounds and feelings of separation were similar to her own, and for the first time in her life began to form lasting friendships. Tate and her friends became interested in the filming of Adventures of a Young Man, which was being made nearby with Paul Newman, Susan Strasberg and Richard Beymer, and they obtained parts as film extras. Beymer noticed Tate in the crowd and introduced himself, and the two dated during the production of the film, with Beymer offering Tate encouragement to pursue a film career. In 1961, Tate was employed by the singer Pat Boone, and appeared with him in a television special he made in Venice.
Tate (at right wearing a dark wig) as Janet Trego in a 1965 episode of The Beverly Hillbillies with Max Baer, Jr. and Nancy Kulp. Later in the year, when Barabbas was being filmed near Verona, once again Tate was cast as an extra. The actor Jack Palance was impressed with her appearance and her attitude, although her role was too small to judge whether she had talent. He arranged a screen test for her in Rome, but this did not lead to further work. Tate returned to the United States alone, saying she wanted to further her studies, but tried to find film work. After a few months, Doris Tate, who feared for her daughter`s safety, suffered a nervous breakdown and Sharon Tate returned to Italy.
The Tate family returned to the United States in 1962, and Sharon Tate moved to Los Angeles, California, where she contacted Richard Beymer's agent, Harold Gefsky. After their first meeting Gefsky agreed to represent her, and secured work for her in television and magazine advertisements. In 1963 he introduced her to Martin Ransohoff, director of Filmways, Inc.
Vicenza American High School, Vicenza, Italy
Full Name at Birth
Sharon Marie Tate
Page Display = 2 (Legacy)
Coppertone lotion (spokesperson)
George Vreeland Hill
Paul Richard Polanski (Unborn Son)
Sharon Marie Tate (January 24, 1943 – August 9, 1969) was an American actress and model. During the 1960s she played small television roles before appearing in several movies. She also appeared regularly in fashion magazines as a model and cover girl.
Kathy Kersh, Barbara Parkins
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Chevrolet automobile TV commercial, Santa Fe Cigarette TV comercial
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