Sharon Tate

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I'd like to be a fairy princess — a little golden doll with gossamer wings, in a voile dress, adorned with bright, shiny things. I see that as something totally pure and beautiful.

Sharon Marie Tate (24 January 19439 August 1969) was an American actress, model, wife of Roman Polański, and the most famous murder victim of Charles Manson and his followers.

Quotes[edit]

I can't play games. … They tell me I am being foolish. Well, foolish I am.
Everything that's realistic has some sort of ugliness in it. Even a flower is ugly when it wilts, a bird when it seeks its prey, the ocean when it becomes violent...
On TV, the children can watch people murdering each other, which is a very unnatural thing, but they can't watch two people in the very natural process of making love. Now, really, that doesn't make any sense, does it?
  • When I was in school, I dreamed about becoming a psychiatrist or a ballerina. Like most girls I would dream about being a movie star too. But those dreams are the impossible kind, the kind you don't really set your heart on.
    • As quoted in Screen Stories magazine (1967)
  • I guess you could say that I was somewhat withdrawn from my classmates. I spent a good deal of time being a loner. I suppose that had something to do with the way we lived — always on the move, never living in one town very long. It's very hard to make lasting friendships that way. And my father was rather strict with me and my two younger sisters. He insisted on proper behaviour and very often vetoed our choices of boyfriends. There was always a curfew whenever my sisters or I would go out on a date — we had to be home on time or else. But I never resented his authority. In fact, I'm thankful for my strict upbringing; I feel it has helped me learn discipline — and that's very important in this business.
    • As quoted in Screen Stories magazine (1967)
  • Martin Ransohoff had to sell Roman on the idea of even considering me for the film. He arranged for the two of us to have dinner. Roman never said a word to me, we just sat there and ate and he just looked at me. Then we had a second dinner meeting and the same thing happened. Later he took me to his apartment. He lit some candles and then excused himself and left me standing there alone. A short while later he came storming into the room like a madman and he was wearing a Frankenstein mask. I let out a blood-curdling scream and while I was still crying from the scare, he was calling Ransohoff to tell him that the part in the film was mine.
  • I can't play games. I have friends, older women, who tell me I'm foolish to let Roman know how deeply I care about him. They tell me all sorts of things like "keep a man guessing", "men become bored with too much devotion". They tell me I am being foolish. Well, foolish I am.
    • As quoted in New Castle News (9 December 1967)
  • I'd like to be a fairy princess — a little golden doll with gossamer wings, in a voile dress, adorned with bright, shiny things. I see that as something totally pure and beautiful. Everything that's realistic has some sort of ugliness in it. Even a flower is ugly when it wilts, a bird when it seeks its prey, the ocean when it becomes violent. I'm very sensitive to ugly situations. I'm quick to read people, and I pick up if someone's reacting to me as just a sexy blonde. At times like that, I freeze. I can be very alone at a party, on the set, or in general, if I'm not in harmony with things around me.
    • As quoted in "Who I'd Like To Be In My Next Life"] featuring celebrity responses to that question, Eye magazine Vol. 2 No. 1 (January 1969) - online text and images
  • Please — please don't kill me — I don't want to die. I just want to have my baby.
    • Court testimony of Virginia Graham as to what her confessed murderer Susan Atkins (aka Sadie Mae Glutz) had said were among her last words (9 August 1969). Atkins said she responded to this with: "Look, bitch, you might as well face it right now, you're going to die, and I don't feel a thing behind it."
  • I honestly don't understand the big fuss made over nudity and sex in films. It's silly. On TV, the children can watch people murdering each other, which is a very unnatural thing, but they can't watch two people in the very natural process of making love. Now, really, that doesn't make any sense, does it?
    • Quoted in Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders (2000), by Greg King

Quotes about Tate[edit]

Sharon is too nice. She doesn't believe in her beauty. Once when I was very poor in Poland, I had got some beautiful shoes, and I immediately became ashamed of them. All my friends had plain, ordinary shoes, and I was embarrassed to walk in front of them. That's how Sharon feels about her beauty. She's as embarrassed by it. ~ Roman Polanski


  • Dear God, she was beautiful. Sharon was more beautiful as a teenager than she was in her twenties; in Europe people would turn around on the street just to look at her.
  • I know I was horrible at times, I was. I really kept a tight rein on, I had to. I felt fine about Sharon being a star, as long as I was close by. You cannot protect your kids, you just can't. There are twenty-four hours in a day.
  • Until you have lost a child, you don't know what it is. Parents are supposed to die first. When your child is gone before you for an abnormal reason, it creates a whole abnormal situation... It was three years before I could even... I couldn't even look at Roman. Because, you see, I still expected Sharon to be with him, so I was playing games in my mind... Roman really loved Sharon, I know that, and he was very, very grieved.
  • This could destroy Roman. Marriage vows mean nothing to him but few men have adored a woman as much as he adored Sharon.
  • It's weird. I always had the premonition that Sharon belonged to me just for a little while.
  • She was the least hypocritical woman you could ever meet: once, when an executive told her that we should ask for single cabins in the transatlantic that brought us to the United States, she simply said, "Why? Everybody knows that we live together."
  • Sharon is too nice. She doesn't believe in her beauty. Once when I was very poor in Poland, I had got some beautiful shoes, and I immediately became ashamed of them. All my friends had plain, ordinary shoes, and I was embarrassed to walk in front of them. That's how Sharon feels about her beauty. She's as embarrassed by it.
  • I'm forced to mix with people of this industry and I can swear that is really difficult to meet people with her nature and her spirit. Generally, everybody is opportunistic here. Sharon had grace and charm; she knew how to make anybody's life easier. When somebody was busy, she was there in a discreet manner to serve you a drink or a coffee.
  • Without her I feel lost, I can't explain this in words. However there are things that I just can't stand thinking of; the way she and our son died.
  • Sharon — it was fantastic what they were attributing to her. In death, they made a monster out of her. A monster out of the sweetest, most innocent, lovable human being. She was kindness itself to everybody and everything around her — people, animals, everything. She just didn't have a bad bone in her body. She was a unique person. It's difficult to describe her character. She was just utterly good, the kindest human being I've ever met, with an extreme patience. To live with me was proof of her patience, because to be near me must be an ordeal. She never had a bad temper, she was never moody. She enjoyed being a wife. The press and the public knew of her physical beauty, but she also had a beautiful soul, and this is something that only her friends knew about.
  • Sharon Tate came up and introduced herself. She said, quietly, "I must tell you something before we start working together. I can't act, but I somehow get by without anyone realizing, so don't worry."
    • Actor Terry-Thomas, on meeting his co-star on 12 + 1, in Terry-Thomas Tells Tales (1992)
  • Sharon Tate is divine, a real find. Just wait and see what happens when the critics and public see her in Valley of the Dolls. Sharon has everything Marilyn Monroe had - and more. She has the fascinating, yet wholly feminine strength of a Dietrich or a Garbo, a classically beautiful face, an exciting figure, the kind of sex appeal and personality appeal to become as glittering a star as Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, Elizabeth Taylor.
    • Costume designer William Travilla, in Screen Stories magazine (1967)
  • While I was working on Downward Spiral, I was living in the house where Sharon Tate was killed. Then one day I met her sister. It was a random thing, just a brief encounter. And she said: "Are you exploiting my sister's death by living in her house?" For the first time, the whole thing kind of slapped me in the face. I said, "No, it's just sort of my own interest in American folklore. I'm in this place where a weird part of history occurred." I guess it never really struck me before, but it did then. She lost her sister from a senseless, ignorant situation that I don't want to support. When she was talking to me, I realized for the first time, "What if it was my sister?" I thought, "Fuck Charlie Manson." I went home and cried that night. It made me see there's another side to things, you know?

Roman by Polanski (1984, 1985)[edit]

Autobiography of Roman Polański
  • Sharon was more than just stunning to look at. She wasn't naive or stupid or a cliche starlet. What had impressed me most about her, quite apart from her exceptional beauty, was the sort of radiance that springs from a kind and gentle nature; she had obvious hang-ups yet seemed completely liberated. I'd never met anyone like her before.
  • There was far more to Sharon than a lovely face and a sexy figure. What enchanted me about her as much as anything was her immutable good nature, her high spirits, her love of people and animals-of life itself. Over-demonstrative, over-solicitous women had always made me uneasy, but Sharon struck the perfect balance between affection and concern. Though more a spectator than a participant in our gags and shenanigans, she had a great sense of humour. She was also a born housewife. Aside from cooking like a dream, she used to cut my hair, a skill acquired from Jay Sebring. She liked to pack my bag whenever I had to take a trip. She always knew exactly what to put in-so much so that I can never pack or unpack, even today, without thinking of her.
  • She once told me to define my ideal woman:
    "You're it," I told her.
    She laughed. "Come on!"
    "Seriously," I said.
    "What would you like me to be that I'm not?"
    "Nothing," I said with complete sincerity. "I wouldn't want you different in any way."

Interview with Sheliah Wells[edit]

In the six years time that I knew her, she never said an unkind word about anyone.
To know Sharon, to really know her, was to love her. There is just no way that anyone who knew her could have hurt her so.
Interview by Marcia Borie Screenland (November 1969)
  • Sharon Tate was my best friend. Once, we were roommates. She introduced me to my husband. She was the godmother to my baby daughter who is named for her. In the six years time that I knew her, she never said an unkind word about anyone.
  • My friends used to tease me. 'How can you wake up in the morning and look at that face of hers?' It was a good question. Sharon was so over whelmingly, so incredibly beautiful that anyone not knowing her might think it took a lot to live with such a beauty. But you see that was another thing about Sharon. With all her beauty, everyone loved her. I never heard anyone say a bad word about her, not even another actress. And in this town that's not only a rarity, it's an impossibility!
  • Sharon was the type of a girl who had no defenses, no pretenses, she was just herself all the time... She was so trusting, so eager to accept people as they were, so generous... Sharon never shut her door to anyone.
  • She always had a way of finding such goodness in others. If someone hurt her, she'd say, "Oh, Sheliah, I'm sure they didn't mean to.' She'd always make excuses for others. Sharon was just totally loving and also totally vulnerable. She was just a remarkable person, she never gave up on anybody.
  • As far as Sharon's marriage was concerned, all I can tell you is that Sharon and Roman were in love. They were a combination of beauty and genius.
  • She was always going out on a limb for everyone. Everyone but herself. There was an ethereal quality about her. She had this thing I sometimes wished I'd had, even though I knew that eventually it might be bad for me. Do you understand? She had this kind of beauty and fragility, and you just knew she was bound to get hurt because of it. But still you couldn't help but admiring that quality in her. She was just such a special person.
  • In just the last few months Sharon was beginning to come into her own. She never cared about being beautiful. She never even really cared about acting. She just wanted to love and be loved. And have her baby. I know that if she'd lived and had the baby everything would have been different for her. Because that is what Sharon really wanted. She was just a little girl from Texas who was so incredibly beautiful that she got swept up in all of the Hollywood nonsense. But all she ever wanted was what every woman wants — a man to love and a baby of her own. I can't believe that the murderers knew her. To know Sharon, to really know her, was to love her. There is just no way that anyone who knew her could have hurt her so.

External links[edit]

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