If you haven’t heard of Sharon Tate then you’ve almost definitely heard of Charles Manson, the infamous Hollywood cult leader who ordered the brutal killing that would end her life and that of her unborn child.
Next year marks the 50th anniversary of Tate’s death, and with the world captivated by her story, there are currently three films in the works centring around her life and her tragic death.
Who was Sharon Tate?
Tate was a Texas-born beauty queen-turned-actress who after a number of small films scored her breakout role in the 1967 cult film Valley Of Dolls which catapulted her into stardom and earned her a Golden Globe nomination.
In 1968 she married her The Fearless Vampire Killers co-star and director Roman Polanski and fell pregnant with their first child that same year.
The couple moved into a home on Cielo Drive in Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles, which had once belonged to music producer Terry Melcher.
When was she murdered?
After having joined her husband in London after wrapping up filming on Twelve Plus One, the 26-year-old visited her husband who was working in London, before returning to their LA home on July 20, 1969. Polanski was due to arrive home in mid-August, in time for the birth.
On August 9, Tate, who was eight months pregnant at the time, hosted friends hairstylist Jay Sebring, Polanski’s friend Wojciech Frykowski and his partner, the coffee heiress Abigail Folger, over for dinner. Music producer Quincy Jones had been meant to attend but reportedly forgot about the invite.
Who murdered Sharon Tate?
Crazed-cult leader Charles Manson had ordered "family" members Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian and Patricia Krenwinkel to go to the house and ‘totally destroy everyone in it, as gruesome as you can’, reports the Daily Mail.
However, Manson had reportedly believed Melcher still lived in the house.
The group attacked everyone in the home, including a guest of the property's caretaker, 18-year-old Steven Parent.
Tex Watson later revealed that Tate had reportedly begged to live so she could give birth to her son, yet he went on to stab her 16 times.
He said her final words were: “Mother, mother” and they carved a cross into her stomach and used her blood used to scrawl the word “Pig” on the front door, reports The Sun.
The cult members were all sentenced to death for the murders, however, this was then changed to life after California abolished the death penalty. Manson died in prison in 2017 as did Susan Atkins, while other "family members" are still serving out their life sentences.
There are currently 3 movies being made about Sharon Tate's life
There are currently three Hollywood movies in the works in line with the 50th anniversary of her death next year.
Quinten Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood stars Aussie actress Margot Robbie as the slain actress.
Tarantino says the project, which stars Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead roles, doesn’t focus in the Manson murders and Tate so much as Hollywood in the year of 1969.
He describes is as “a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood. The two lead characters are Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), former star of a Western TV series, and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Both are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don’t recognize anymore. But Rick has a very famous next-door neighbour… Sharon Tate.”
The project was previously scheduled for release on August 9, 2019, however after backlash from Sharon Tate’s sister, Debra Tate, they have moved it forward by two weeks.
Tate has since given her blessing to this project.
Kate Bosworth and her husband Michael Polish are also currently filming Tate, which Bosworth describes as a “celebration of her life”.
Debra Tate has come on board this project as a producing partner, to ensure her sister’s legacy is looked after.
“We will not violate her or exploit her death,” Bosworth wrote in a statement on Instagram. “For too long this beautiful woman made of light has had to endure tragedy. It is time to take away the microphone from the maniac.”
“It’s her time. Thank you Debra Tate for joining us in sharing your sister’s life. I know, with you as our producing partner - we will do right. I love you.”
And finally Hilary Duff takes on the role of Tate in The Haunting of Sharon Tate written and directed by Daniel Farrands, of The Amityville Murders and The Haunting in Connecticut fame.
According to IMDB the film follows Tate in the lead up to her death and has the pregnant actress plagued by visions of her imminent death. It is reportedly scheduled for release later this year.
Debra Tate, however, has not endorsed this project, describing it as “tasteless”.