Sharon’s Fame Like Storybook
Sunday, August 10th, 1969
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 10 – Sharon Tate found slain with four other persons Saturday, was a honey-blonde actress who rose to stardom in storybook fashion.
The wife of producer Roman Polanski, she liked to refer to herself among friends as “sexy little me.” One of her first roles, in “The Dance of the Vampires,” had her bathing nude in a bathtub.
During her early career, she shied away from nude scenes, but recently told newsmen she’d like to make love on the screen.
“It could be done as a thing of beauty,” she said, “and not embarrassment, then I would do it with pleasure. But it cannot be presented as dirty or pornographic.”
Her movie career — reaching its zenith in the role of Jennifer in “Valley of the Dolls,” — began when she tried out for a bit part in the “Beverly Hillbillies” television series.
According to Hollywood legend, she was spotted by producer Martin Ransehoff who persuaded her to sign a seven-year contract, reportedly telling her “Stick with me Baby, and I’ll make you a star.”
Ransehoff browbeat Polanski into meeting his discovery. The director, who later became famous for “Rosemary’s Baby,” had dinner with Miss Tate one night at his apartment.
He excused himself from the room and put on a Frankenstein mask. Then he crept up behind her, raised his arms and let forth a blood-curdling moan. Miss Tate screamed then wept for an hour.
Of her romance with Polanski — who left London on a flight to Los Angeles after learning of her death — Miss Tate once said:
“I’m one of those mad, irrational characters who simply loves men. I don’t like to compete against them or play games. It’s a waste of time.”
Of Jay Sebring, a former boyfriend found slain with her, Miss Tate said in an interview three years ago:
“Before Roman, I guess I was in love with Jay. But the truth is I was no good for Jay. I’m not organized. I’m too flighty. Jay needs a wife. And at 23, I’m not ready for wifehood. I still have to live, and Roman is trying to show me how.”
DONALD H. HARRISON