Sharon Tate: 5 Things To Know About The Actress Played By Margot Robbie In ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’

With the release of 'Once Upon A Time In Hollywood,' many younger movie goers are going to learn about tragic actress Sharon Tate, murdered by the Manson family.

Sharon Tate and Margot Robbie
View gallery
Image Credit: AP/Shutterstock/Sony Pictures

While many younger movie goers have probably heard of the horrific Charles Manson family murders that happened nearly 50 years ago, they may not know about actress Sharon Tate, who was one of the victims. She’s being portrayed by Margot Robbie in Quentin Tarantino‘s new film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. It was at the the home of the actress that the Manson’s killers broke into and brutally slaughtered five people on Aug. 8, 1969, including Sharon who was pregnant at the time and two weeks away from giving birth. We’ve got five things to know about the doomed movie star.

1. Sharon constantly moved around from city to city in childhood and teen years as her dad was a U.S. Army Colonel. 

By the age of 16, Sharon had lived six different cities after being born in Dallas, TX, due to her father Paul Tate‘s transfers and promotions. As a result, she ended up graduating from high school abroad in Verona, Italy at Vicenza American High School in 1961.

2. After graduating, Sharon moved to L.A. to seek work in TV and film.

She was featured as an extra in several movies that filmed around Verona while in high school, and that sparked her wanting to be part of the industry.  She got small roles on TV shows like Mister Ed and The Beverly Hillbillies, but it took her several years to gain enough experience for directors to hire her for anything big.

3. Sharon’s breakout role was in the 1967 film Valley of the Dolls.

Sharon landed her first major film role in the 1966 occult thriller Eye of the Devil and followed it up with several more lesser known motion pictures. But it was the 1967 cult classic Valley of the Dolls based on the best selling novel that put her on the map. While the movie received terrible reviews, critics gushed over Sharon’ s beauty and talent in her role as Jennifer North. She even received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in the film.

Sharon Tate
Actress Sharon Tate poses for a portrait in 1968. A year later she would be murdered by members of the Manson family. She’s being portrayed by Margot Robbie in Quentin Tarantino’s new film ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.’
Margot Robbie
Margot Robbie in character as doomed actress Sharon Tate in Quentin Tarantino’s new film ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.’

4. Sharon married director Roman Polanski in 1968.

She starred in his 1967 film The Fearless Vampire Killers, where they fell in love on set. The couple married in a ceremony in London on January 20, 1968 and she became pregnant with their first child by the end of that year. In Feb. of 1969, Sharon and Roman moved into a home in LA’s Benedict Canyon previously owned by their friends, record producer Terry Melcher and actress Candice Bergen.

5. Sharon was brutally murdered by members of Charles Manson’s cult in 1969 in that home.

On Aug. 8 while Roman was away filming in London, Sharon — who was two weeks away from giving birth — went out to dinner with friends, hairdresser Jay SebringWojciech Frykowski, and coffee heiress Abigail Folger. The four returned back to Sharon’s home, where around midnight members of Charles Manson’s cult broke in the home and brutally stabbed all of them to death after shooting  an 18-year-old in his car who had been visiting the property’s caretaker. Sharon was stabbed 16 times with “five of the wounds were in and of themselves fatal” according to the coroner. The victims did not know their killers, as they had been sent by Manson to the home because he believed record producer Melcher still lived there and he had once turned down Manson for a recording contract.

More From Our Partners