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Interview With Sharon

NEW YORK, Aug. 14 – It was an April morning in London in 1966 that I had breakfast at the Savoy with a “secret sex missile” named Sharon Tate.

I thought of her as a very lucky girl then, a Cinderella. Out of thousands, she’d been tapped by producer Marty Ransohoff to be made a star.

I’m not accustomed to interviewing girls at breakfast. But I was leaving London in a few hours. Sharon, having been kept “under wraps” for a couple of years, was soon to explode upon the world as the new Marilyn Monroe.

It was the week Lee Marvin won the Oscar crediting it to “a horse out in the Valley.”

Even at breakfast she was beautiful, and serious — and she confessed a fear.

“Where are you from?” I asked her.

“Everywhere,” she answered lightly.

She reeled off Dallas, San Francisco, Washington, both city and state, Verona, Italy and New York where she’d studied “under wraps.”

She’d lived at the Henry Hudson Hotel. I could have discovered her myself.

Her fear was that she would change, get too sophisticated.

She’d auditioned for a cigarette commercial. They’d told her the job was “for a girl who’s been around…you look like a baby”

“I have had to retain those things Marty saw in me the first time . . the big mistake some girls make is to change themselves into somebody else,” she told me then.

Around this time Sharon lost out on “Petticoat Junction” because she’d posed nude for Playboy.

“I want to live . . .I’m open for everything,” she was quoted.

Some people said she was obsessed with her own beauty. Men were obsessed with it too. She was more beautiful then ever when I saw her in Hollywood a few months ago with Roman Polanski. She was now quite obviously “living.” The summing up might be, “She died trying to live.”

She was just one of the girls who “got a lucky break and was picked for stardom.” They include Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield and Carole Landis, who all died tragically.

Were they really lucky? No. The real Cinderella often is the girl the producer turned down. She married the druggist and lived-unhappily ever after, always wishing she’d become a star, never knowing how lucky she was when she lost the audition.

Jay Sebring was “still madly in love” with Sharon Tate and would have married her if she were free, says New Yorker Dennis Stem. Sebring told him recently, “You’ve got to find me another Sharon.” One Sebring eccentricity, he allowed only five people his phone number.

By Earl Wilson

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