Friday, July 31, 2009

Sharon "wanted everyone to feel comfortable."

I have met a person who met Debra a litte while ago but wants to stay anonymous. (Sorry folks).

Anyway, they said that Debra was "was very kind and soft spoken."

Debra said that "Sharon was so kind and friendly to every one. When you would come to her house you can be sure you're allowed to place your legs, feet in the middle of the table. Sharon wanted everybody to feel comfortable."

That was pretty much all that was said but I thought it was worth mentioning. The person did not have a lot of time and I did not want to intrude.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Another Great Poem for Sharon...

Beautiful Woman
by Fion Lim

Beautiful woman,
come out and play,
reveal your inner treasures.

The sparkle in your eyes,
the natural swing in your walk,
you radiate excitement and enthusiasm.

You need no latest fashion,
No expensive hair cuts,
No blinding big accessories.

You glow in your passions,
passionate in your pursuits,
you know what you are made of.

You are not easily bothered,
by the mindless opinions of others,
you know very well where you want to go.

you are a joy to watch,
an inspiration to others,
your pure soul an endless marvel.

Beautiful woman,
let your brilliance shine through,
your eyes speak of true inner beauty.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yet Another Who Thinks of Sharon As Just A Victim...

I saw this today on google:

Sharon Tate…macabre ICON Exhibit focuses on Charles Manson victim! August 8th…

Bizarre, yes!

In good taste?

You decide!

On August 8th, there will be an opening of a multi-media Art & Fashion tribute to celebrated beauty Sharon Tate (titled “ICON”) at High Profile Productions in Culver City.

The intriguing exhibit is being held to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the murder of the talented actress (who was married to director Roman Polanski when the shocking event took place in the Hollywood Hills at the hands of Charles Manson and his gang of demented followers).

Hosted by sister Deborah Tate (does that make it okay, somehow?), ICON will spotlight an exquisite selection of fashion flourishes by Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Ossie Clark and Thea Porter.

Artist Jeremy Corbell – inspired by the musings of the aforementioned designers – will unveil a collection of his original art pieces which include satin prints, mixed media canvases and a Polaroid installation of original photos and negatives from a previous Sharon Tate shoot.

Undoubtedly, Roman Polanski – a fugitive in this country arising from rape charges – will not attend.

I've heard of this event coming up, but most of the articles concentrate on Sharon as a fashion icon. Why people always think only of the macabre when thinking of Sharon is beyond me. However, that is exactly why these events need to occur: to make people think beyond the murder and think of who the person actually was and what she represented.

What is wrong with Deborah Tate hosting it and showing off her sister's fashions? I think Deborah is just wanting the same thing: for people to think of her sister in a much nicer and greater way.

Some appear to forget what a mark on the 1960s Sharon actually made. There were numerous reports and interviews done with her in the US and Europe, tons of photos taken of her, she loved wearing the latest fashions first (like the shortest mini skirts when they came out) and the fact that she appeared in successful films like, "Valley of the Dolls" and "The Fearless Vampire Killers." Yes, the Dolls film was considered campy but it did make a lot of money at the box office at the time and later became a cult film for many. While Fearless was a hit in Europe because Polanski's version was shown there while a lesser, cut version by Marty Ransohoff was shown here. The European version eventually did make it here, later in the 1970s at midnight movies becoming a hit then.

Some could also say that Sharon Tate was the very face of the 1960s. Innocent, beautiful, loving, experimental, and cultural for her time. Both her clothes and makeup accent this fact.

Hopefully, in the future, there will be a time when people think beyond the victim type of thing and Sharon will emerge as the woman she should be remembered as. It is up to us, the fans and people who knew her, to make it known to the world just how special she truly was.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sharon Tate's Mona Lisa Smile

I was thinking about Sharon's great smile today. I remember many stars commenting on it. I found a wonderful poem that goes so well with her smile:

A beautiful smile

by Erika Foley

Smiles light up the face
bringing life to sleepless eyes
and giving form to dimples.
Your smile radiates from your body
causing me to smile back
and making me feel your happiness.
Who can not return a smile
and feel better for the act
of raising the corners of the mouth?
A smile is so beautiful
a happy face that spreads sunshine
to all who see its greeting.
I think Sharon's smile definitely made those around her happy.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sharon's Friend Actress Ingrid Pitt

According to Hal Erickson from All Movie Guide:

Ingrid Pitt was born in 1937 in Poland. She survived the war to become a leading actress on the East Berlin stage. She made her film debut in a Spanish bullfighting film, then spent many years playing decorative roles in international productions filmed on location in Spain: Doctor Zhivago (1965), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966), Chimes at Midnight (1967), and Where Eagles Dare (1969), among others. Pitt did not attain her "cult" status in films of that nature; instead, she won the hearts of gothic horror fans for her sensuous, stylish work in such films as The Vampire Lovers (1971) -- in which, as lesbian vampire Carmilla, she literally loses her head to Peter Cushing --The House That Dripped Blood (1971), Countess Dracula (1973), and The Wicker Man (1977). Ingrid Pitt is most familiar to televiewers for her performance as Elvira in the 1982 British miniseries Smiley's People.

Pitt has fond memories of Sharon Tate as well:

A photograph which was particularly poignant was a small picture of me with Sharon Tate, standing in a hotel lobby, making a telephone call. I remember the evening well.

I was in Rome to audition for Frederico Fellini. Very exciting! Get a Fellini film and the world was your crustacean. The meeting didn't go well. He said I was too thin and wanted me to fatten up if he was to consider me for a part. It didn't appeal.

Back at the hotel I was introduced to Sharon Tate by the manager. She was so fragile and beautiful it brought out the mothering instinct in me. She had been invited to dinner that evening by a friend of her husband. She asked me if I would like to join her. It suited me. Her husband, film director Roman Polanski, was hot at the time. When we got to the restaurant there was half a dozen blokes with attitude, ready and waiting. Typical macho Italians. They instantly went into mating mode and made a lot of noise and swilled back the wine like storm drains. Very wearisome. By about eleven Sharon and I had had enough. On the pretext of 'powdering ' our nose, we grabbed our coats and rang for a taxi. We were spotted by a journalist who grabbed a picture.

For the next couple of days we 'did' Rome. Sharon was enthusiastic but didn't have a lot of stamina. It was an enjoyable few days. When Sharon left she made me promise that next time I was in Los Angeles I'd call her. The opportunity came sooner that expected. A couple of weeks later I rang Sharon to tell her that I had been invited to a sportscar race in Laguna Seca in Monterey and I asked her if she would like to join me. She didn't fancy it but suggested that I should spend a few days at her home in Benedict Canyon.

That suited me. It would give me another chance to meet her husband.

I had met Roman a year or so earlier at Brand Hatch during a testing session. It hadn't been a good time to button hole him and parade the highlights of my practically non-existent career but he might be more susceptible in a relaxed mood at home. So two days later I dumped my bags in the cool dark entrance hall of her beautiful home and prepared to settle in.

Sharon was her usual beautiful, spaced out self. As she showed me to my room she apologised for the fact that Roman had to go away for a few days. Ah well! You can't have everything. When we were in Rome I had noticed Sharon was in the habit of leaving the door to her room open. I warned her against it but she wasn't interested. She suffered from claustrophobia and couldn't stand having the doors shut. This was carried over to her house. I never saw a shut door all the time I was there. Not even to the bathroom.

The end of the week came and I thought I had better head for home. Sharon and I promised undying friendship and I never saw her again.

About six weeks later the Manson gang turned up at her house and murdered her and her unborn child as well as some of her friends who happened to be there at the time. It was awful. I couldn't bear to think of the suffering of that beautiful woman at the hands of the beasts who attacked her. Sharon really was a paid up member of the 'Beautiful People'. Generous and not an ounce of spite in her.

When I look at that picture of the two of us crammed into a phone box together I want to cry.

On the Official Sharon Tate Web page she tells it a little differently:

Roman was away somewhere and I stayed for about a week with Sharon. She had a touch of claustrophobia and hated shutting doors. Even in hotels. She was a lovely lady. I remember exactly when that photograph was taken. We had been invited to a charity in, I think, Fresno. It was pretty boring so we decided to leave and called a hired car to take us to the airport. Naturally the act of somebody doing something as exciting as phoning for a cab could not be passed up by the paparazzi so......

For it being so many years ago anyone can forgive a few mixed up details.

Even though you may not know it, Pitt and Tate share a few things in common:

Ingrid appeared as a vampire in a few films, Sharon in one, "The Fearless Vampire Killers." Ingrid appeared in Hammer films and Sharon played in a comedy spoof of them.

Ingrid appeared in "The Wicker Man," while Sharon was in what is now known as a precursor to that film, "Eye of the Devil." Both deal with human sacrifice in a supernatural way.

Pitt survived the Holocaust as did Sharon's husband, Roman Polanski.

Most who know her and even her fans say that Pitt is "one of the nicest people." This is something many also say about Sharon.

Both Pitt and Tate enjoyed traveling to Italy and spending time there.

If there are any other similarities please feel free to share them.

Please be sure to check out:

It lists a new film festival she will be appearing at this October!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

British Singer Duffy in Sharon Tate Style

Here are a few photos I found of Singer Duffy recently:

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 05: British singer-songwriter Duffy attends the Conde Nast Media Group's Fifth Annual Fashion Rocks at Radio City Music Hall on September 5, 2008 in New York City.

She reminded me of Sharon when she had her hair like that.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Venus on a Treadmill--Article and Interview with Sharon

Here is an interesting article I found on Sharon. It is from Photo Screen - June 1968:

Sharon Tate - Venus on a Treadmill

She is the new Venus and she is trapped in a Dream Factory. She is the Princess of the World – yet it is a world she never made.

She is shimmering blonde over high-cheeked pale. She is a cascade of hair She is lakewater hazel eyes that sing of innocence.

She is Sharon Tate, “a name to remember,” a talent to be reckoned with,” “a goddess who’s got everything.” She’s a cotton candy angel; a teddy bear’s sweetheart. She’s an aristocrat in mangy fox-skin, a muse in ermine.

She was 16 years old and the movie star came up to her and said something like “you oughta be in pitchers” and since she had always dreamed about Hollywood, she agreed.

And that's how a star is born...

She was 16 and a mess of blondeness and innocence and the hustler-producer took one look at her and said, “Put her under contract.”

And that's how a star is born...

Somebody told her to “stick out your boobs, Sharon” and she did. And somebody told her to take her clothes off for Playboy and she did that, too. And somebody told her to play “Jennifer” in Valley Of the Dolls.

And, suddenly, she didn't have to be born. She was a star!

It was all schemed, all planned to be so. But along the way something happened that wasn’t in the schedule-Sharon, the Success Machine, fell in love.

All of a sudden, it didn't seem so important to be a star anymore!

So she got married, to the trumpets of the stars, to the cheers of a world of her friends. And she went on a honeymoon to Paris and some wise guy grabbed her in the street. So her tiny, fragile husband defended her and the guy clobbered him but good and ran away.

And Sharon Tate realized the painful reality that she could never stop being a star!

Sharon Tate was born in Dallas, Texas, on January 24, 1943, the oldest daughter of U.S. Army Major Paul J. Tate. She lived the typical gypsy existence of an army brat for 16 years, moving from Dallas to Houston, El Paso, Tacoma, Washington, D.C., and Verona, Italy.

It was in Italy in 1959 that she met a handsome American actor named Richard Beymer who was making a film called Adventures of a Young Man.

“Richard told me ‘you oughta be in pictures’ and I believed in him,” says Sharon. “I always had Hollywood on my mind.”

Beymer introduced her to his agent and Major Tate paid her fare to Hollywood and gave her $ 42 to see her through two weeks rent. So Sharon flew home to the U.S.

Her perfect photogenic face, quite breathtaking body and total lack of experience made her a prime candidate for TV commercials.

A cigarette manufacturer hired her. She told them she didn’t smoke but they didn’t care. They were more interested in showing her firm and fully packed dimensions.

She was inexperienced. They shot and re-shot. She puffed and re-puffed. Finally, she fainted from smoke inhalation. “I passed out from taking too many puffs,” she remembers.

She tested for all kinds of dramatic roles. One producer said, quote: “Honey, this is for a girl who’s been around. You look like a baby!”

She tested for the role of Marlon Brando’s mistress. They said, quote: “Honey, you don’t look old enough to even think of going to bed with a man.”

She tested for a part in Petticoat Junction. Super-hustler Marty Ransohoff, head of Filmways, saw her there. “Put that girl under contract,” he exclaimed. No tests, no interviews. Just like that, Sharon was on her way.

There was a top-level conference in the producer’s office. Sharon Tate, the little girl from Dallas via Rome, was going into hiding. Sharon Tate, Movie Star, was going to be manufactured.

“They said they had a plan for me. They would train me and prepare me,” she remembers. “I was immediately put into training-like a racehorse.”

Dramatics with Lee Strasberg. Singing. Dancing. Body-building. Walking. Talking. Three years went by. Sharon was completely under wraps. “I had a job to stay the way I was,” says Sharon. “They told me ‘Cream your face, Sharon…put on more eyeliner, Sharon…stick out your boobs, Sharon.’”

She moved to New York, then back to the Coast, taking a pad with actress Wende Wagner in San Pedro, Calif. Eventually, she got a regular role on The Beverly Hillbillies – as Janet Trego. But you wouldn’t have known by the scorecard “Whenever I did a role on TV, I used another name and wore a black wig,” says Sharon.

She got a role in a David Niven-Deborah Kerr picture. Then another in Tony Curtis’ Don’t Make Waves. The plan was working perfectly: train her to act, move her up slowly. She was, as one magazine put it, “the invention of wheeler-dealer Marty Ransohoff.”

Then the wheels fell out from under Ransohoff’s “Streetcar Named Success.” Sharon was signed to make a movie called (after numerous retitlings) The Fearless Vampire Killers.

The director of that movie was little Roman Polanski. The elfin, knife-nosed pole had gained international fame for his first movie, Knife in the Water, a careful intellectual study of a Polish James Dean. Later he moved to France, making an important horror movie, Repulsion, with Catherine Deneuve. From there he went to England to make Cul de Sac with Catherine’s sister, the late Fran├žoise Dorleac. (Recently, he directed Rosemary’s Baby, with Mia Farrow, in New York)

Polanski, who was born in 1933, was the darling of the highbrow movie set, an intellectual, a powerful creative spirit. He was definitely not a “looker” like most of Saron’s co‘stars. But his spiritedly charm and unconventional looks are judged as beautiful by his friends.

The upshot of it all was that Sharon fell in love with Roman Polanski. And they began their affair.

“Roman is strong, and so true, so honest,” she said. “I don’t like glamour boys."

“I’ve learned a lot about me from being with Roman. My definition of love is being full. Complete. It makes everything lighter. Beauty is something you see. Love is something you feel.”

And Love met Roman. “He’s wise and wonderful and brilliant and he knows everything.”

And love didn’t necessarily mean marriage: “When I love, I love…I won’t marry for a long time…I’ll give up acting the second I’m married…I believe a wife must immerse herself completely in her husband and family and that’s what I intend to do. Few women can handle marriage and a career successfully at the same time.”

Her frankness shocked Hollywood: “I would never marry just to be respectable…It’s just a legal piece of paper and a lovely financial set-up I’ve learned great happiness from being with Roman that I didn’t have before. Why would I want to ruin a perfect affair by turning it into a mediocre marriage for society’s sake.”

Then Valley of the Dolls happened-and with it, the climax of Sharon’s misery. In the movie, Sharon played a Marilyn Monroe-type superstar whose tragedy-riddled life ends in suicide. “Jennifer North,” the character she played, was another of those magnificent “cuts of meat” who comes into Hollywood an innocent, fragile beauty – only to become a tortured, abused derelict.

Sharon had many things in common with Jennifer. Both were acutely conscious of the value their bodies held in the flesh commerce of Hollywood both were innocents both were involved with European “art” filmmakers.

“I am like Jennifer,” says Sharon, “because she is relatively simple, a victim of circumstances beyond her control. But I have more confidence in myself…”

“I’m so afraid of hurting other people’s feelings I don’t speak out when I should. I get into big messes that way,” she once said.

But beyond Jennifer, Sharon was also developing amazing similarities to Marilyn Monroe, the actress on whom the character of “Jennifer” is rumored to be based.

‘Both Marilyn and Jennifer were the “Beautiful Blondes” of their day. Both had astonishing figures. Both were treated very badly by those producers who exploited their sex appeal for the moviegoers. Both posed nude before they gained stardom. Both rejected their “dumb blonde” images to marry intellectuals.

“I will never be another Marilyn Monroe,” Sharon says now. “But I had to do what they wanted, at first.”

And they, meaning the money men, wanted her to be a well-trained sex symbol with a vacuum for a head. Sharon was tortured by their demeaning attitude towards her.

The facts are undeniable. She is 5’51/2”. She weighs 120 pounds. She measures 35-23-34. she has a face that is the most popular magazine cover decoration in Europe-where beauty abounds.

But that’s not enough for Sharon. “they see me as a dolly in a bikini, jumping up and down on a trampolin,” she said of her producers

“It’s not that I think I’m a sexpot …I don’t have voluptuous sips and I’m not heavy-chested,” she said.

She sought privacy and anonymity by the sea: “I love it on the beach-it gives me a kind of freedom. I don’t have to be a sex symbol or a movie star.

“Beauty is only a look. It has nothing to do with what I’m like inside…I won’t play any more dumb blondes,” she insisted

she began to pont up her physical flaws. She told friends about the scars on her face, especially the noticeable mark near her left eye. It was done by corrugated tin when she was very young. “I’m very proud of it, it’s me,” she said.

She began to speak out strongly, to display her mind: “All American men are neurotic. All they care about is having sex.” In Valley of the Dolls, she had been filmed while pretending to make love to a man in bed in a “dirty” foreign movie. “Why should I be ashamed?” she said. “You see people murdering each other every day on TV, but you never see them making love-and love is certainly more beautiful.”

During all this time, she was becoming a bigger and bigger star. Her pictures were being released one on top of the other. People were noticing her-and liking what they saw.

Meanwhile, Roman and Sharon continued on their silent, non-public ways. They hung out on beaches (away from the “Hollywood phoniness,” as Sharon puts it), in bars with “guys in jeans,” in Paris, and “London where “guys walk down King’s Road with cowboys hats and rhinestones.”

Just as Sharon was becoming deeply and inextricably a star, she was falling as deeply and inextricably in love.

“I can’t play games,” she said. “I have friends, older women, who tell me I’m foolish to let Roman know how deeply I care for him…Well, foolish I am!”

says Barbara Parkins: “I like Sharon and Roman… They do everything they want and don’t care what anybody says.”

An, all of a sudden, really not knowing why, Roman and Sharon decided to get married in London. They had a huge party and flew to Paris for their honeymoon.

Now she has to make the decision-and it really isn’t hers alone to make. She’s as much a part of the machinery of Hollywood now as she is Mrs. Roman Polanski. And all her pre-marital vows to quit the business when she married have to be reexamined.

If she needed a reminder that things were going to be different from now on in, she got a very unpleasant one in Paris during the honeymoon. A passerby made a grab for her mini-skirted little body and Roman threw his own into the breach. Result: the assailant got away and Roman’s face was bandaged for several days afterwards.

So that’s where Sharon Tate is today. A blonde Venus who has found both success and love…who really wants only the love but is committed to the success.

“Sometimes,” she says ruefully, “I think it would be better to be a sex symbol, because at least I would know where I was…But I’d lose my mind!”

She came to Hollywood wanting to be a “light comedienne like Carole Lombard.” That was all gaudy and fluffy. Today, she patterns herself around more unconventional women, like Greta Garbo and Faye Dunaway (”Dunaway! She’s a woman!”).

“I’d like to be an American Catherine Deneuve. She plays beautiful, sensitive, deep parts with a little bit of intelligence behind them,” she says.

Maybe that’s the happy medium. If Sharon can get off the Hollywood treadmill, if she and Roman can work together professionally to produce quality films, if she can prove to others what she has proved to herself-that there is a head above her body-then she will have achieved true happiness and satisfaction-without escaping from her responsibilities.

Sharon puts it very beautifully: “I still have this teddy bear I’ve had since I was three…and all my old boxes-valentine boxes, cigar boxes, all kinds of boxes. I just won’t give them up it’s like if I give them up, I’ve given in to being a movie star.”

I will continue to post interviews, articles and such as I come across them. Hope you enjoy. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to post them here or email me.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Stylish Sharon Tate

Sharon's style is copied so much today that it makes you wonder what she thought of when choosing just the right attire for the day. I found this interesting short article on her where she describes the motivation behind her iconic style:

Los Angeles Times - October 24, 1967

Sharon Tate's Big Discovery

Sharon Tate, chosen for a sexy role in 20th Century-Fox's "Valley of the Dolls", told me: "I think it is a mistake for a girl to work at having sex appeal or to pay too much attention to popularity. Making friends is something that should develop naturally as you develop."

"At school I was a lone wolf, and I feel I enlarged my horizons by not being preoccupied with being part of the pack. I have always tried not to be a rubber stamp of my environment.

"The best advice I can offer is to listen and watch. In this way you learn to know who you are and what you want. Men are attracted to women who seem to have solved their problems, who face life with calm assurance."

We talked about the beautiful clothes Sharon wears in this picture. "I go to the Paris collections often, but I do not make mistakes since I've learned no to be hypnotized by a name. The enthusiasm for a creation is one thing. What the dress will do for you, how well is suits your needs is another. When I buy I try to picture the whole outfit. You must coordinate if you want to look your best."

"Some clothes are designed to be sex symbols, but the girls who wear them have to have other things going to find success with men."

Sharon went to school in Verona. "Living with the Italians made me realize how much appreciation they have for beauty in the arts, environment and in personal expression. With this attitude I discovered a new kind of femininity."

By Lydia Lane

Good to know she wasn't just attracted to a famous name label for a name alone.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kerstien Matondang: Sharon in ART

I have scanned the internet for photos of Sharon and have come across some great art ones. The best ones, in my opinion, are that of German Artist Kerstien Matondang. If you have not already visited her site please do:

I asked Matondang some questions via email recently and I thought I'd share that interview with all of you.

What made Sharon so special that you decided to use her as a subject of your art?

Answer: Why is Sharon so special to me? It's funny...I can't tell. She just touched a cord, I guess. Ok, the first impression was her beautiful looks.

It has to be the first thing everybody notices. I became interested in Sharon the first time I saw her on the big screen, Fearless Vampire Killers. Her face - from that moment on - seemed to me
like a beautiful landscape. Since I am a hobby painter, she easily became my favorite motive.

When studying her bio, reading her story, learning how sweet her soul was it's very easy to be interested in her personality as well.

Personally, I felt there were many aspects of Sharon's behavior that felt familiar to me. And I'm not the only one who felt that way.

Can you tell me about seeing Sharon on the big screen for the first

Answer: I happen to see "The Fearless Vampire Killers" movie by chance. Friends talked me into it.

When Sharon appeared on the big screen...I thought I never saw such a beautiful face, ever.

What do you think of Roman Polanski?

Answer: I like Roman as well. I don't care about the rumors, I saw interviews and made up my own mind. After all, Sharon choosed to be with him - somehow I can understand why.

I have heard she was much more popular in Europe, is that true?

Answer: Sharon and Europe: I believe people loved her wherever she appeared. She and Roman were spending lots of time in England, I wrote.

BTW, I'm a German living in Sweden - regarding old magazines from Germany, I got the colds while reading some articles. The German journalists didn't treat her too well - IMO.

That was before the murders. Afterwards they stopped it. Excerpt the fact - all over the world - they critized her life style.( As everyone knows.) Later on, people discovered her true, wonderful character.

Where were you when you heard the news of her tragic death and how did you feel
about it?

Answer: The tragedy, that horrible night...there are no words to it. I have no words anymore...

Do you have any current creations of Sharon you are working on?

Answer: At the moment I'm not working on a new Sharon project.

It's mostly all of a sudden I got inspirations and "have to do it"!;)

Any final comments?

Answer: There's not much more I can say. Some people touches you in some ways, they leave strong impressions, like in Sharon's case.

You're not always able to tell exactly why that is so. It just IS.:)

I couldn't have said it better myself! Thanks for the great interview!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sharon Tate: High School Memories

If you read the first intry of my blog here you read about Tim Avedovech, a former classmate of Sharon's, and how he remembered Sharon.

I came in contact with another of Sharon's friends from High School, Michael Ragland. He shared his thoughts and memories with me as well:

Sharon and I ran in the same general crowd. She knew who I was and everyone knew who she was. I don't think we were ever introduced. We just started talking to each other. It was hard for me to believe that Sharon would spend time with someone like me, when she was so beautiful. I quickly learned that Sharon was the nicest and sweetest person I had ever met.

We never "dated" like the word means now, but we did go out together on several occasions. Her parents didn't really approve of me as I was older and really wild in those days. She went out with several guys from time to time until she met Bill Smithers. After that, it was just Bill until she moved to Italy.

A lot of times, there weren't dates, but just a group of us ending up together in the same place and hanging out. There was a place called By's Burgers that served as almost a meeting place for almost everyone in high school. We also all attended dances on Wednesday and (I think) Saturday nights. Sharon usually went to the dances, often with a group of girl friends.

We also partied. Ditch parties were nothing more than parties where everyone would drive to a location and drink beer (sometimes wine for the girls) and have fun. Lots of sex, music and general fun. I never knew of Sharon to indulge in the sex aspect, but a lot of other girls did. Most often it would end up with a lot of couples paired off, frequently steady couples.

I don't recall Sharon drinking a lot. Her parents were very strict with her and she knew that drinking would get her into trouble.

Everyone in school knew Sharon. A lot of girls were jealous of her, but she was so nice that everyone liked her. I never heard her say a bad thing about anyone, nor do anything that would hurt someone. She was aware of her beauty, but if anything, seemed to be a little ashamed of being prettier than the other girls. She did, however, take part in activities based on beauty. She was also popular. I recall her being a homecoming princess and the following year (after I had graduated) I believe she was queen.

This recalling is like a deja vous of what Avedovech said. But Ragland adds a few more details.

As I get in touch with others that knew Sharon I will post them here. Please let me hear your comments? Would love to get some feedback. As you can see from these posts, Sharon was truly a memorable lady.

BTW: My first blog has photos of Sharon, one from ebay and one from the great artist, Kerstien Matondang of Sweden. Please be sure and visit her very artistic site:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Why Should Sharon Tate Be Remembered?

I was asked by an acquaintance recently about why Sharon Tate should be remembered?

Recently, I was casually discussing how the 40Th anniversary of her murder was soon coming up in August and the response was something like "she's just a murder victim of Charles Manson and his gang. She never even made a good film. She didn't do anything monumental to be remembered for. After all, she doesn't even have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame."

It seems like there are many people who feel the name Sharon Tate leaves a bad taste in their mouths. It's like they think Sharon and Manson are bound and unified eternally since her murder was so well publicized in 1969. And don't ever admit you are a fan of Sharon's because people automatically assume you must have a morbid mind. All they can think about is the press of the time and, I might add, all the false rumors and lies that were spread after her tragic death around the world.

I, personally, will never understand why people focus so much on all the morbid elements? Sharon was a person, a living being, like all of us. She had hopes, and dreams, she wanted a family... Things most of us want.

She also lived quite an interesting life for being just 26 when she was taken from the world. She did so much in such a short time here.

Why should Sharon Tate be remembered? Any of the following could answer that for you:

1) She was one of the most photographed women of the 1960s and was known as one of the most beautiful women in the world.

2) Indeed, her career was cut short, but many of her films such as "Eye of the Devil," "The Fearless Vampire Killers," and "Valley of the Dolls" have acquired a cult audience over time.

3) She was a fashion icon for her time. She had a style all her own. Many still copy it today and most fashion magazines and the Internet show and remind us of that wonderful style.

4) Even Mattel modeled a doll after her in the film "Don't Make Waves", the now famous Malibu Barbie.

That is the short list of why she should be remembered. The quality most treasured in her was that even though she was beautiful, she was able to maintain a personality and kindness that matched it.

My hope is, with this blog, more people will relate to her as a person than just the murder victim of a famous crime.

Although I did not personally know Sharon, I recently connected with a person who had. His name is Tim Avedovech. He knew Sharon when she and her family lived in Washington. Here is what he had to say:

Sharon was a very sweet and wonderful person. She was in some of my classes at Chief Joseph Junior High School, and also in my Typing and I think Biology class as a Sophomore at Richland High School.

She was beautiful from day one, not only physically, but as a person. I was the nerd type, shy, and not very athletic. Yet I did get around and was friends with almost everyone. The reason I remember Sharon so well, besides her own natural beauty, was that as a person, she was superb. She never let the fact that I was not the most popular person stop her from being sociable, friendly, and would treat me as well as anyone else with whom she contacted. She was a wonderful person, and very genuine. I also remember her as being somewhat shy and reserved herself. In the classes that we shared, she was not outspoken, rude, or anything like that. She was respectful and I was very proud to know that she was truly just one of us. Not that we were anything that special, but as a group, I felt we were unified, and as a school of high schoolers, we were “good kids” in my mind. We were energetic, had high hopes and dreams, were getting a good education, and as beautiful as she was, she was right there with the rest of us looking forward to whatever the future would hold.

I transferred from Richland High School half-way through my Sophomore year to Bellevue High School in the Seattle area. I was not happy about that. I had to leave the kids I had grown up with, from the very beginning. I knew every kid because my life started in Richland, and I was proud to be from Richland. Moving to Bellevue was a huge shock as the kids were so different, and I missed the closeness we had in Richland as a unified group, a group of many kids including Sharon who were just “good” kids moving on into the future, doing the best we could, with the knowledge we had at that time in life. When I compared the kids at Bellevue, I realized that all of us in Richland were perhaps a little more country, or even naive, but our hearts were as good as gold, and we were smart. We had a great education, with great teachers, and the kids like Sharon and so many others made our school the “best” in my mind. The softness, respectful nature that Sharon had made her stand out as a true “beauty” because she not only had it in the “beauty” department, she was equally or greater in charm and personality. The fact that someone as popular as she was would take the time to talk to me as well as anyone else, made her stand out as truly a superb, remarkable woman who had tremendous and unlimited insight to the core of those around her, and she respected those around her. She was truly a giving and loving person. I of course will never forget her because she was not only beautiful, she was open and not afraid to give of herself to help other people, to give them a little attention that meant far more than could ever be measured quantitatively.

Later when she was taken so unfairly from us, the anger in my heart blistered my soul as nothing else ever could. I had to stop and wonder what life was really all about, and how could something like this happen. It took me a long time to get over her passing. Her unselfish giving of herself to those around her and to those who loved her, made her something that few other people can ever attain. Even today I feel sadness thinking about how giving she was, and how unfairly she was taken from us. I will never get over it entirely. Just won’t happen.

As for myself, as shy and nerdy as I was, underneath, I felt that if someone like Sharon could take some time from her own busy schedule to talk to me, to be friends to some degree, to acknowledge my existence as meek as it was, then I felt I could move on and become who I wanted to be. I graduated from Bellevue High School, but not without having re-visited Richland many times during the following two years to be with my friends. After Bellevue, I attended the University of Washington to become a dentist, then specialized at UCLA in Advanced Prosthodontics, and then extended my specialty to Implant Prosthodontics at the Medical College of Georgia. No matter where I’ve been, or what I’ve been doing, I always remember Sharon occasionally as that beautiful girl who wasn’t afraid to give me some attention during our brief time from 1955 to 1960.

There will never be another Sharon Tate. I hope that somehow, the memory of what she represented and gave to the world in her brief life will always be present for the world to know. She deserves that. Even today.

Mr. Avedovech sums up what most of us (people who actually knew Sharon and what her fans) actually feel about her. My hope is that this blog will change other people's minds and will open up another way of thinking about Sharon and how special she truly was and still is.