• Stars Attend Services for Slain Actress Sharon Tate



Stars Attend Services for Slain Actress Sharon Tate

(LEFT) RITES FOR EL MONTE YOUTH – Friends carry the body of slain Steven Parent, 18, to a hearse outside the Church of the Nativity in El Monte. (CENTER) SISTER PRESENT – Patricia Tate, sister of the slain actress, attends cemetery rite. (RIGHT) GRIEVES FOR WIFE – Roman Polanski is consoled by his doctor, Peter Thomas, at the funeral of his wife, actress Sharon Tate.

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 14 – At Holy Cross Cemetery, Roman Polanski stared a long moment at the silver casket, then leaned over and kissed it in a farewell to his wife, Sharon Tate.

Across the city, at an El Monte church, six teen-age youths carried the body of their friend, 18-year-old Steven Parent, to a waiting hearse.

In the affluent San Francisco Bay Area suburb of Portola Valley, a Requiem Mass was offered for coffee heiress Abigail Folger.

At the Wee Kirk o’ the Heather at Forest Lawn Memorial-Park, film stars gathered for nonsectarian services for wealthy hair stylist Jay Sebring.

Wednesday was a day of farewell to the victims of a killer who, five days before left a trail of dead scattered about the Benedict Canyon estate of actress Sharon Tate and her film director husband.

Police reported no developments in the search for the killer of Miss Tate, Parent, Miss Folger, Sebring and Voityck Frokowsky, 37, for whom funeral arrangements were still pending.

There were no police bulletins out for arrest of any suspects. No progress report was given on the results of the work of a 19-man team of detectives.

Rumors spread through Hollywood circles that the victims of the multiple murders were horribly mutilated by the killer. Police declined to comment. But it was learned that:

— The women were stabbed only. There were many stab wounds — more than a dozen in the body of Miss Tate — but no mutilation.

— Sebring and Frokowsky were both stabbed and shot. They were not mutilated. Sebring’s cause of death was stabbing, but he was also shot, a fact not earlier released. In addition Frokowsky was beaten in the face, possibly with a pistol. Broken pieces of pistol grip were found in the home.

Investigators denied other rumors that evidence of weird sex rites were found in Miss Tate’s home.

Many members of the Hollywood colony attended the funeral for Miss Tate at the chapel atop the flower-dotted slopes at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City.

Kirk Douglas, Stuart Whitman, Warren Beatty, James Coburn, Yul Brynner and Peter Sellers were among those who paid last respects.

In the front at the right of the chapel sat the actress parents, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Tate, Polanski and the Tate’s two daughters, Patricia and Deborah.

The family sat in quiet composure as the Rev. Peter O’Reilly of Good Shepherd Church in Beverly Hills began a brief service. Tate, an Army colonel who has been stationed in San Francisco, looked straight ahead. Mrs. Tate stared across the church toward the ceiling.

“She was a fine person,” said Father O’Reilly, whose church Miss Tate sometimes attended, “and we were in no small measure devoted to her…”

Polanski, a small man with long, tangled brown hair, gave a slight shudder. Mrs. Tate put her arm around him, then patted his hair with a black-gloved hand.

She retained her poise until Father O’Reilly, the service completed, stepped to the casket and said:

“Goodbye, Sharon, and may the angels welcome you to heaven, and the martyrs guide your way…”

The mother broke into sobs. As the family stood up to say a last farewell before the closed casket, it was Polanski who comforted Mrs. Tate and helped her to her feet.

He stood facing the casket a long moment, blinking, but seemingly composed. Then he kissed the casket. Funeral director Richard Cunningham handed Mrs. Tate five pink roses from the large spray of roses and carnations atop the casket, and the family left the church.

The 150 persons in the church stood, then began to file out. Brynner, who had been seated in a front row, stepped toward the casket, paused, looked at it, then turned and followed the rest of the throng from the church and into the bright sun beyond.

There was no Mass. “The family wanted only a brief ceremony,” said Father O’Reilly. Flowers sent by friends were piled on the lawn in front of the chapel.

“Mr. James Coburn asked us to put these at either end of the casket,” a deliveryman from a Sunset Strip florist told Charles L. Mercer, a funeral attendant, before the service began. The deliveryman and an aide held two tall, pedestal-mounted bouquets of marguerites.

“The church, not the mourners, make the arrangements,” Mercer said. “There are to be no flowers in the chapel.”

“I’ll try anyway,” the deliveryman said.

“You’ll be stopped,” said Mercer.

He wasn’t. There was no one at the door as the deliveryman entered. The only flowers for Sharon Tate in the chapel — except those the family placed upon the casket itself — were Coburn’s two bouquets to the left and right of the casket.

Barely two hours after Miss Tate’s funeral, an obviously grief-stricken Polanski appeared at services for the 35-year-old Sebring. Polanski was supported at either arm by a friend.

Sebring’s funeral drew an overflow crowd of fellow hair stylists and a number of Sebring’s customers who had become his close friends. Among them were Steve McQueen, who delivered a brief eulogy, Henry Fonda, Peter Fonda. Paul Newman, Alex Cord, George Hamilton and singer Keely Smith.

A friend, Alvin Greenwald, also eulogized Sebring as “an individual human person who earned and deserved the trust and respect of us all.”

Many mourners — men and women — wept openly as they were ushered from the flower-banked chapel. In a black limousine in the funeral procession, three beautiful young women sat sobbing, their mini-skirted legs stretched before them, crossed and barefooted, on the lowered jump seat.

In El Monte, earlier, there was a similar rite in a smaller chapel.

The funeral for Steven Parent was held at the Church of the Nativity, the El Monte Catholic church which young Parent had attended.

He had met William E. Garretson, caretaker at the Tate-Polanski estate, two-weeks ago when he picked Garretson up as a hitchhiker. Garretson had invited him to visit his guest house at the property.

On Friday Parent had visited Garretson — and, as he was leaving the property, was shot to death at the wheel of his car.

“Steve was a credit to his family, to his parish and to his school,” the Rev. Paul L. Peterson told the mourners.

Parent’s mother, Mrs. Wilfred Parent, wept inconsolably as she followed the casket from the church toward a waiting hearse.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Stars Attend Services for Slain Actress Sharon Tate

  1. Martin Cahill says:

    Good bless them all…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *