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.
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.