Wednesday, September 30, 2009

One of Sharon's supposed friends just sees her as a victim? And more on Roman's case

As many of you know I have been emailing and contacting people who knew Sharon for interviews and insights into this great lady and I have been putting them here on the blog to share with everyone.

Well, I just received a rather strange email back.  To make a long story short, a friend of a friend gave me one the actresses from "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" email and I wrote to her.  I had heard she met Sharon but I do not know if it is true or what now?  This is the response I got back from her:



All I wrote was this:
I heard you met or knew Sharon Tate back in the 1960s? I am currently trying to write to friends of Tate and would be very thankful for any information you can give me. I have a blog that I share my findings on.  Thanks for your time and consideration.

I did not mention anything about the murders but apparently, she must have thought that was what I wanted to discuss?  I wrote this back to her:
I was going to focus on Sharon's life, I was not going to focus on her death, as apparently you are thinking I am. I am trying to make this an 'up' project in the sense I am focusing on a beautiful women inside and out. That is what is wrong with the way some people still think of her. They think Manson = Sharon Tate and that should not be so. She did not even know him and now every time you bring up her name everyone always thinks of the murders. To me Sharon Tate was a human being; she should be remembered as more than just a victim. In addition, in my research I am finding many fashion designers and even actresses who are influeunced by her style. Basically, I was just going ask how you met her and what you thought of her? Sorry if it sounded like a 'down' project.

I'll let you know if she responds...
As far as other interviews go, everyone is telling me they are very busy and may have time later to answer questions.  I'll keep trying anyway.  Maybe I should reword my emails and put in them 'I do not want to focus on the murders.  I am more interested in hearing about what Sharon was like.' 
I think we have all heard too much about the murders now anyway.  And it is all over the internet, in books at the library, and they continue to make documentarys about it.  I am really tired of hearing all the negative things.
I can't believe, however, that this actress really knew Sharon very well because why would she just automatically think of the murders and Manson instead of the person Sharon was?  Most of the people I have spoken to always think first of who she actually was and offer kind words.  Then, some of them mention they felt horrible about what happened.  I understand that.  But why should someone who supposedly knew her conjure up such images just by me asking a question?
I also found an interesting article on what would happen to Roman Polanski if he chose to stay in Switzerland or if he is taken back to the United States on the rape charges:
Why Roman Polanski Will Face Months in Goal in Switzerland
Roman Polanski has chosen the worst possible country for his imprisonment. The Swiss legal system is not open to bribery, and seemingly there are no paedophiles in the Swiss government, unlike to France and Poland. Unless he agrees to an immediate deportation to the US, he will face months in a Swiss prison.
Roman Polanski’s lawyers have demanded an immediate release of their client on grounds that the charges against him on an issue of lapse of time. This claim only shows that the lawyers have not done their homework or are trying to push up a public opinion pressure by making false claims. They might have a nasty surprise as to public opinion, as it was the Swiss people who instigated and passed a law by public vote to crack down on paedophiles.
 The only fast way to get out of a Swiss prison for Polanski is his agreeing to his deportation, which then could take place within days. Otherwise, the case will be handled under the Swiss-American treaty on extradition of criminals. The treaty states quite clearly that the law of the country demanding extradition is applicable. In the United States, paedophile crimes are exempt from any statute of limitation, a fact that should be known to the lawyers of Polanski as well.

Under the extradition treaty, the US have 40 days to submit the necessary paperwork to the Swiss authorities to demand the extradition, with the possibility to extend that limit by 20 days on special request. Upon receiving these papers, the Swiss Minister for Justice will decide about the case. This decision may be contested before the Swiss Federal Court for Criminal Law in Bellinzona. This decision again may be contested in the Swiss High Court in Lausanne, but only if the High Court admits the case as of superior interest.

If ‘superior interest’ sounds a bit vague, then that is intentional. It is intended to allow the High Court to pick up just about any case it thinks is interesting; interesting in the case of Polanski will mean interesting to the general public worldwide; interesting in any other case could range from questions about legal proceedings leading to the extradition request up to change of political regime meanwhile and general questions of human rights.

All these proceedings will take several months at least. As a general rule, criminals under extradition restraint are not released on bail. Exceptions are made very rarely, they will be made for people who can prove a waterproof alibi for the time of the alleged crime, or who can prove that they were acting under diplomatic of governmental immunity. Both options are not applicable in this case.

A release on bail in the case of a known criminal fugitive is highly unlikely as well, and the sum that would be set for Polanski would be so high as to financially cripple him for the rest of his life should he choose to be above the law once again. In the unlikely case that a bail situation will be considered, Polanski will probably remain more or less under house arrest in his property in Gstaad.

His other chances to come out early are the initiatives by the French and Polish governments trying to persuade to bend their laws to their wishes. I for one would think that such a bending of laws is about the last message that should go out to paedophiles worldwide.

Meanwhile, Debra Tate appeared on the Today Show.  Watch the video here:

Here is a quick summary of what was said:

NEW YORK - Debra Tate, the sister of Roman Polanski's second wife, actress Sharon Tate, says Polanski is brilliant and a "good guy" and she doesn't think her former brother-in-law will be treated fairly in the United States.

Tate tells NBC's TODAY show on Wednesday that the U.S. justice system is broken.

Polanski was arrested Saturday in Zurich. The U.S. has been seeking his extradition for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

Tate says Polanski did not forcibly have sex with the girl, calling it a "consensual matter."

Sharon Tate was murdered in Los Angeles in 1969 by followers of Charles Manson. She was eight months pregnant.

Debra Tate says it's been a devastating few weeks for her, with her sister's killer, Susan Atkins, dying Sept. 24 and now her late sister's husband jailed.

I think she makes some very good points.  My best goes out to Debra at this most difficult of times.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More on Polanski Case

The Associated Press reports today:

Polanski arrest puts latest film `Ghost' on hold


LOS ANGELES — Roman Polanski's arrest in Switzerland has left his latest film in limbo, with several months of work before the political thriller is ready for theaters.

Polanski's agent, International Creative Management chief Jeff Berg, said Polanski had completed much of the editing on "The Ghost." But other post-production work, including music scoring and sound mixing, had yet to be done, Berg said.

Based on the provocative novel by Robert Harris, "The Ghost" stars Pierce Brosnan as fictional former British leader Adam Lang and Ewan McGregor as a ghostwriter hired to help complete his memoirs. The cast includes Kim Cattrall, Tom Wilkinson, Olivia Williams and James Belushi.

The novel caused a stir in Britain for Lang's resemblance to former Prime Minister Tony Blair. Like Blair, Lang is a once-popular leader brought down by his allegiance with the United States in the war on terror.

While the film does not yet have a U.S. deal, it has distribution in many overseas territories, among them Germany, where it was shot early this year, and France, where Polanski lives. He fled America in 1978 after pleading guilty to having unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles.

Polanski was arrested over the weekend in Zurich, where he had traveled to receive a lifetime achievement award from a film festival. His lawyer said Polanski will fight U.S. attempts to have him returned to the United States.

"The Ghost" is the first Polanski movie with a U.S. setting since 1974's "Chinatown." Locations in Germany had to stand in for the story's New England settings.

"There's a lot of psychological intrigue in the story, as well as espionage and politics, and most of the action takes place in an oceanfront house during the middle of winter — all of it classic Polanski territory," Harris said when the film was announced in 2007.
Berg said Polanski usually finishes his films before lining up U.S. distribution, so the completed movie can be shopped around.

"There is always interest in movies that Roman distributes," Berg said. "It should be accepted on its own merits, but we feel highly confident we'll find proper distribution."

Polanski's films include the horror hit "Rosemary's Baby," the costume drama "Tess" and the Holocaust saga "The Pianist," which earned him the 2002 Academy Award for best director.

A Holocaust survivor himself, Polanski has endured other dire trauma, including the murder of his pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate, by followers of cult figure Charles Manson in 1969.

With Polanski jailed, it's unknown when work might resume on "The Ghost." Berg said he is confident Polanski will put his legal troubles behind him and finish the film.

"I'm always optimistic when it comes to Roman," Berg said. "He's strong, and he has survived every situation imaginable."

Also, writer Roger Simon has some interesting viewpoints on the case in this link:
Anderson Cooper's own blog chose to rerun a article by Samantha Griemer:
The Washington Post also has another great article here:
In the article, Griemer states: "I don't carry any feelings of anger towards Polanski.  I even have some sympathy for him, what with his mother dying in a concentration camp and then his wife Sharon Tate being murdered by Charles Manson's people and spending the last 20 years as a fugitive. Life was hard for him, just like it was for me. He did something really gross to me, but it was the media that ruined my life."
And, finally, from :
It may be weeks before Roman Polanski's extradition request is heard in Swiss courts. Meanwhile, the world is gripped with confusion and outrage, a heady combination in what is shaping up as one of the great kerfuffles of our times.

"Film-makers in France, in Europe, in the United States and around the world are dismayed by this decision," says the petition which, according to the Guardian, has now been signed by more than 70 film industry luminaries, including Polanski's fellow directors Michael Mann, Wim Wenders, Pedro Almodóvar, Darren Aronofsky, Terry Gilliam, Julian Schnabel, the Dardenne brothers, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Wong Kar-Wai, Walter Salles and Jonathan Demme. Actors Tilda Swinton, Monica Bellucci and Asia Argento, as well as producer Harvey Weinstein have also put their names on the petition. Yesterday, Weinstein stated he was "calling on every film-maker we can to help fix this terrible situation".

Meanwhile, the media is abuzz with speculation as to why after all these years, Polanski was arrested now. Vanity Fair's Michael Wolff opined that the arrest is revenge by prosecutors for the humiliation they endured after last year's documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired depicted the circus surrounding the original case.

The LA Times however, claims that Polanski provoked the arrest by taunting law enforcement with their inaction. They write:

Polanski's attorneys helped to provoke his arrest by complaining to an appellate court this summer that Los Angeles County prosecutors had made no real effort to capture the filmmaker in his three decades as a fugitive. The accusation that the Los Angeles County district attorney's office was not serious about extraditing Polanski was a minor point in two lengthy July court filings by the director's attorneys.

The piece goes on to describe how, despite the fact that Polanski had visited Switzerland before, the widely publicized nature of his appearances at the Zurich film festival goaded prosecutors to action.

And while Polanski's victim Samantha Geimer may be "over it" a significant lynch mob is still roaming the internet demanding justice for what they remind us, was not just some private between adults indiscretion.

At Salon, Kate Harding writes a hang 'em high piece succinctly entitled "Reminder: Roman Polanski Raped a Child."

And over at moviecitynews, David Poland rebuts seemingly the rest of Hollywood with a nice list of retorts to the "But he's a great director who's been through so much" arguments.

Turning back the clock, awards blogger Tom O'Neil wonders whether Polanski even deserved his best director Oscar for The Pianist, pointing out that the director of that year's Best Picture Chicago, was strangely denied the traditional accompanying statue and ponders whether the award might have been Hollywood's show of support to the exiled molester.

More news as the story continues to unfold...

Monday, September 28, 2009

More News on Polanski...

The internet and news has been full of stories on Polanski's recent arrest in Switzerland. Many people are debating the subject on comments in the news stories. It has gotten so bad that Wikipedia has locked Polanski's biography page they have on him:

Administrators at Wikipedia have blocked filmmaker Roman Polanski's Wikipedia page from being changed after an 'edit war' broke out following the news of Polanski's arrest on child sex charges.

Wikipedia's forum indicates that users of the free encyclopedia disagreed over whether Polanski's sexual molestation of a 13 year-old, for which he was arrested on September 27, 2009, should be given more weight than his professional accomplishments.

The Telegraph reports,

One contributor wrote that it amounted to a breach of Wikipedia's commitment to neutrality to describe Polanski only as a "Polish-French film director, producer, writer and actor" in the first sentence of the entry, because "he's just as well known as a child molester as he's known as a writer". [...]

After one contributor deleted a reference to the initial charges, another tried to get them reinstated, writing: "I'm very concerned by the attempt to remove this information from the article. After all, this is what the whole case is about."

Polanski's Wikipedia page has a note at the top alerting users, "This page is currently protected from editing until September 28, 2009 or until disputes have been resolved."

Read more at:

Currently, Polanski's page introduces him as, a Polish-French[1][2] film director, producer, writer and actor. Polanski began his career in Poland, and later became a celebrated[3] Academy Award-winning director of both art house and commercial films, making such films as Rosemary's Baby (1968) and Chinatown (1974). Polanski is one of the world's best known contemporary film directors and is widely considered as one of the greatest directors of his time.

His arrest for having sex with a 13 year-old is not mentioned until the second paragraph. On Wikipdia, Polanski is listed in categories that include "Sex Scandal Figures," "Fugitives Wanted On Sex Crime Charges," and "French Sex Offenders."

In the past, WIkipedia has locked other controversial entries from being edited because of the disputes over their content. The Telegraph notes, "Earlier this year members of the Church of Scientology were banned from editing articles about their church, while Palestinian and pro-Israeli groups have repeatedly clashed over attempts to correct historical "errors" on the site."

For additional articles on the Polanski case, here are some interesting links:

Some articles have shown a timeline of Polanski's tragedies:

*1933 Polanski born in Paris to a Polish-Jewish father and a Russian mother of Jewish extraction. The family moved back to Poland when he was three.

*1940 He escapes the Jewish ghetto in Krakow after being told to run by his father. His father survives, but his mother dies in Auschwitz.

*1969: Roman Polanski's pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, is murdered by cult followers of Charles Manson.

*1977: The director has sex with a 13-year-old girl during a Hollywood photo shoot for Vogue.

*1978: Awaiting sentencing on a charge of statutory rape, he flees to Europe.

*1989: The Polanski case judge, Laurence Rittenband, steps down.

*1997: Attempt to settle case fails.

*2003: Victim Samantha Geimer says Polanski has been punished enough.

*2008: Documentary "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired" is released. It makes a detailed case for misconduct by Judge Rittenband and prosecutors.
Polanski's legal team asks that case be dismissed, in part because of information in "Wanted."

*2009: New Polanski motions filed to dismiss case and to move it out of L.A., where alleged judicial misconduct occurred. Polanski's motions denied. He's told to surrender before any deal can be reached. He appeals. On September 26, the director is arrested in at Zurich airport.

Furthermore, nearly 100 filmmakers have called in a petition to have Polanski released.

One of the most interesting articles is here:

Should Roman Polanski Be Imprisoned? Should Roman Polanski be jailed for raping a 13-year-old? (parts of the article are edited below).

Psychology Today blog readers are outraged at the film director Roman Polanksi's escaping justice after pleading guilty 30 years ago to raping a 13-year-old girl, while the international film community is outraged at Polanski's recent arrest. Can there possibly be a larger cultural chasm?

Polanski was arrested when he arrived at Switzerand's Zurich Film Festival where the 76-year-old director of "Rosemary's Baby," "Chinatown," and "The Pianist" (for which he received an Oscar in absentia) was to receive a lifetime achievement award.

Polanski went to elaborate lengths 32 years ago, when he was 43, to seduce a 13-year-old aspiring model he had met originally at a restaurant with her mother, and whom he promised to assist in her career. After hours taking pictures, then plying the girl with alcohol and a Quaalude, over her initial objections, he had sex with her, including intercourse, performing oral sex on the girl, and sodomizing her.

Polanski was charged with sex with a minor and forcible rape, and spent 42 days in jail under "evaluation." When a plea arrangement based on his accepting guilt but which would have released him for time served fell through, Polanski fled the U.S.

In France, where Polanski has lived since leaving this country, culture minister Frederic Mitterrand announced that he was "dumbfounded" by Polanski's arrest, and said that he "strongly regrets that a new ordeal is being inflicted on someone who has already experienced so many of them." Prominent movie-industry figures expressed similar feelings.

Along with escaping the Holocaust in Poland, Polansky suffered through the murder of his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, at the hands of Charles Manson's acolytes.

In 2005, the girl - now married and mother of three children - declared: "He took sex from me and my innocence. I don't think it occurred to him that someone wouldn't want sex with him." Although she obviously doesn't view Polanski in a positive light, the woman does not want the case pursued further.

What should be done about Polanski, who is now being detained by Swiss authorities? In recognition of his age, his accomplishments, the maturation of his victim - who has stated she doesn't want Polanski imprisoned - should he simply be forgiven his crime and allowed to live out his life?

Is this in any way a matter for psychological consideration?

Sequelae (Sept. 28): PT blog readers are overwhelmingly negative towards Polanski, and demand retribution; Hollywood and European filmmakers and cultural figures are appalled at Polanski's arrest. A megabattle of cultural perspectives has shaped up. I'm glad his victim seems largely healed, because this debate is going to become ugly.

Meanwhile sentiment in Hollywood and among the cultural elite around the world supports Polanski. As the Times headlined: "Swiss Move Against Polanski Outrages His Sympathizers."

According to The Times:

Nearly 100 entertainment industry professionals, including the movie directors Pedro Almodovar, Wong Kar Wai and Wim Wenders called in a petition for Mr. Polanski’s release, saying: “Filmmakers in France, in Europe, in the United States and around the world are dismayed by this decision.”. . .

Jack Lang, a former French culture minister, said that for Europeans the development showed that the American system of justice had run amok. While Mr. Polanski had committed “a grave crime,” Mr. Lang said, “he is a great creator and artist, and there’s a sentiment here that pursuing someone for a crime committed 30 years ago, in which the victim has decided to drop the case, is unreasonable, a kind of judicial lynching."

Here is a full bodied defense of Polanski by conservative columnist Anne Applebaum, of the Washington Post, one of many who call Polanski’s arrest - or, on the other side, who call defenders of Polanski - “outrageous.”

"Here are some of the facts: Polanski’s crime — statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl — was committed in 1977. The girl, now 45, has said more than once that she forgives him, that she can live with the memory, that she does not want him to be put back in court or in jail, and that a new trial will hurt her husband and children. There is evidence of judicial misconduct in the original trial. There is evidence that Polanski did not know her real age. Polanski, who panicked and fled the U.S. during that trial, has been pursued by this case for 30 years, during which time he has never returned to America, has never returned to the United Kingdom., has avoided many other countries, and has never been convicted of anything else. He did commit a crime, but he has paid for the crime in many, many ways: In notoriety, in lawyers’ fees, in professional stigma. He could not return to Los Angeles to receive his recent Oscar. He cannot visit Hollywood to direct or cast a film.

He can be blamed, it is true, for his original, panicky decision to flee. But for this decision I see mitigating circumstances, not least an understandable fear of irrational punishment. Polanski’s mother died in Auschwitz. His father survived Mauthausen. He himself survived the Krakow ghetto, and later emigrated from communist Poland. His pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered in 1969 by the followers of Charles Manson, though for a time Polanski himself was a suspect." [In other words, Polanski suffered from two diseases. In addition to the disorder that drove him to assault a young girl pointed out by a Psychology Today commenter, Applebaum (a friend who takes up for Polanski) identifies another disease that made Polanski flee to avoid punishment. What seems remarkable is that he was released after his 42-day psych evaluation given that he was tormented by these conditions.]

Richard Cohen, also of the Post, also favors freeing Polanski, but still completely disapproves of the man. Let's end with Cohen's bon mot: Polanski is an old man who is "spending his dotage making fools of his champions, who cannot distinguish between sexual freedom and sexual assault."

We will bring you more up to date news as we find it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

More News and Our Comparison Photo of the Week

This has turned out to be a most noteworthy weekend for news in connection with Sharon Tate.  First, we reported yesterday that Susan Atkins passed at 61.  Today, I found this disturbing article on Polanski:

Swiss arrest Polanski on US request in sex case

Sept. 27, 2009 from

ZURICH (AP) -- Director Roman Polanski was arrested by Swiss police for possible extradition to the United States for having sex in 1977 with a 13-year-old girl, authorities said Sunday.

Polanski was flying in to receive an honorary award at the Zurich Film Festival when he was apprehended Saturday at the airport, the Swiss Justice Ministry said in a statement. It said U.S. authorities have sought the arrest of the 76-year-old around the world since 2005.

"There was a valid arrest request and we knew when he was coming," ministry spokesman Guido Balmer told The Associated Press. "That's why he was taken into custody."

Balmer said the U.S. would now be given time to make a formal extradition request.

Polanski fled the U.S. in 1978, a year after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with the underage girl.

The director of such classic films as "Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby" has asked a U.S. appeals court in California to overturn a judges' refusal to throw out his case. He claims misconduct by the now-deceased judge who had arranged a plea bargain and then reneged on it.

The Swiss statement said Polanski was officially in "provisional detention for extradition," but added that he would not be transferred to U.S. authorities until all proceedings are completed. Polanski can contest his detention and any extradition decision in the Swiss courts, it said.

Polanski has faced a U.S. arrest request since 1978 and has lived for the past three decades in France, where his career has continued to flourish. He received a directing Oscar in absentia for the 2002 movie "The Pianist." He was not extradited from France because his crime reportedly was not covered under the U.S.'s treaties with the country.

In France, Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand said he was "dumbfounded" by Polanski's arrest, adding that he "strongly regrets that a new ordeal is being inflicted on someone who has already experienced so many of them."

Mitterrand's ministry said Sunday in a statement that he is in contact with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, "who is following the case with great attention and shares the minister's hope that the situation can be quickly resolved."

A native of France who was taken to Poland by his parents, Polanski escaped Krakow's Jewish ghetto as a child and lived off the charity of strangers. His mother died at the Auschwitz Nazi death camp.

He worked his way into filmmaking in Poland, gaining an Oscar nomination for best foreign-language film in 1964 for his "Knife in the Water." Offered entry to Hollywood, he directed the classic "Rosemary's Baby" in 1968.

But his life was shattered again in 1969 when his wife, actress Sharon Tate, and four other people were gruesomely murdered by followers of Charles Manson. She was eight months pregnant.

He went on to make another American classic, "Chinatown," released in 1974.

In 1977, he was accused of raping the teenager while photographing her during a modeling session. The girl said Polanski plied her with champagne and part of a Quaalude pill at Jack Nicholson's house while the actor was away. She said that, despite her protests, he performed oral sex, intercourse and sodomy on her.

Polanski was allowed to plead guilty to one of six charges, unlawful sexual intercourse, and was sent to prison for 42 days of evaluation.

Lawyers agreed that would be his full sentence, but the judge tried to renege on the plea bargain. Aware the judge would sentence him to more prison time and require his voluntary deportation, Polanski fled to France.

The victim, Samantha Geimer, who long ago identified herself publicly, has joined in Polanski's bid for dismissal, saying she wants the case to be over. She sued Polanski and reached an undisclosed settlement.

Festival organizers said Polanski's detention had caused "shock and dismay," but that they would go ahead with Sunday's planned retrospective of the director's work.

The Swiss Directors Association sharply criticized authorities for what it deemed "not only a grotesque farce of justice, but also an immense cultural scandal."

In my opinion, this case should be dismissed.  The most important person we need to be concerned with in the case is Samantha Geimer.  If she forgives him and agrees to dismiss this then I think we all should.  Now, on the other hand, if she were still tramatized by this, even years later, I think a trial should go ahead.  Please, don't get me wrong, I don't think what Polanski did was right.  It was wrong.  But Polanski has through so much over this, I think it is just time to let the case rest.

The next story I found was this:

From Contra Costa Times:

Murder victims are honored during Day of Remembrance

By Fred Shuster

Relatives of murder victims Ron Goldman and Sharon Tate were among those who gathered Friday in downtown Los Angeles to honor their slain loved ones at the city's first-ever "National Day of Remembrance."

The ceremony, one of many that took place throughout the country Friday, was created to honor fallen law enforcement officers as well as murder victims and to recognize the impact of homicides on surviving family members and loved ones.

Kim Goldman, sister of Ron Goldman, one of the victims in the O.J. Simpson murder case, and Debra Tate, whose sister Sharon was slain by members of Charles Manson's cult, were among those at the event.

Goldman said events like Friday's are important so people "remember that lives are being devastated by homicide on a daily basis."

"Crime is rampant and the rest of us are left to pick up the pieces," she said.

Tate expressed sadness at the many who showed up.

"We're all in the same club - and the way to gain entry in this club is very painful," she said.

One of the people who killed her pregnant sister in 1969, Manson follower Susan Atkins, died in prison Thursday of brain cancer at age 61.

"I actually shed a tear this morning because it was her life choices that led to this," Debra Tate said. "Any wasted human life is a tragedy."

She noted that her unborn nephew, who her late sister had named Robert, would have been 40 years old this year.

Hundreds of poster-sized photos of victims, ranging from infants to the elderly, were hung throughout the sunny county Hall of Administration plaza. Pairs of shoes belonging to the slain were spread in front of a podium.

Family members wearing T-shirts inscribed with the names and pictures of their dead loved ones listened to a recitation of victims' names in English and Spanish. Advocacy groups and support organizations manned information booths. At the end of three hours, white doves were released into the sky.

Politicians and others spoke, many expressing support for Marsy's Law, a year-old constitutional amendment that protects victims' rights in a criminal trial.

"I didn't plan to be a mama of a murdered child," said LaWanda Hawkins, who formed the victims' rights group Justice for Murdered Children in 1996 after her only child, Reggie, was murdered.

"After he was killed, my life was never the same," she said. "I don't even remember what my life used to be. But the thing to know is, anyone can be a victim of this crime - regardless of your race, your financial status or your religion."

Or neighborhood, as Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca noted.

"Any American anywhere in this country can be a victim of violent crime," Baca said. "When will America be free from random, wanton violence?"

California Attorney General Jerry Brown seemed to sum up the sentiments of the day.

"There's just too many people being violated and killed," he said. "How did a society that's so rich have so many killings? Stop the murders!"

The latest edition of US Elle Fashion magazine has some great photos of model and actress Diane Kruger that remind me of Sharon.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

News and a New Sharon Tate Article

You have probably already seen this on the news but, Susan Atkins has passed away at 61. Most of the news stories have talked only about Susan and her involvement with the murders. However, there was a new article on Sharon. For the most part, it is a good article. At least it gives more people an idea of who Sharon was instead of just listing her as a murder victim. Although the headline is sensationalistic journalism.

From :

(be sure to click on the link above for some great photos and You Tube Uploaded specials).

Film actress Sharon Tate, a rising star, shot down by her 1969 murder
September 25, Examiner by Deborah Smith Ford

Sharon Marie Tate was a film actress. She enjoyed a brief, yet successful career in the 1960s. Initially during that time she had small television roles before appearing in several films. After receiving positive reviews for her comedic performances, she was hailed as one of Hollywood's promising newcomers and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her performance in Valley of the Dolls (1967). She also appeared regularly in fashion magazines as a model and cover girl.

Tate's "career" began at the age of six months when she won the "Miss Tiny Tot of Dallas Pageant", but the Tates held no show business ambitions for their daughter.

Sharon Tate's military dad was promoted and transferred several times, so by the age of 16 Tate had lived in six different American cities, and she found it difficult to maintain friendships.

Tate and her friends, while in Italy, became interested in the filming of Adventures of a Young Man, which was being made nearby with Paul Newman, Susan Strasberg and Richard Beymer, and obtained parts as film extras. Beymer noticed Tate in the crowd and introduced himself, and the two dated during the production of the film, with Beymer encouraging Tate to pursue a film career. In 1961, Tate was employed by singer Pat Boone, and appeared with him in a television special he made in Venice.

Later that year, when Barabbas was being filmed near Verona, Tate was once again hired as an extra. Actor Jack Palance was impressed by her appearance and her attitude, although her role was too small to judge her talent. He arranged a screen test for her in Rome, but this did not lead to further work. Tate returned to the United States alone, saying she wanted to further her studies, but tried to find film work. After a few months, Doris Tate, who feared for her daughter's safety, suffered a nervous breakdown, and Sharon Tate returned to Italy.

Tate was considered for a lead role on Petticoat Junction, but Ransohoff realized that she was too inexperienced to handle such a role, so he gave her small parts in Mr. Ed and The Beverly Hillbillies (during the days of such sitcoms, also like The Andy Griffith Show) to help her gain experience.

In 1964, she almost married Jay Sebring (another of the five murdered) but didn't, saying that if she did she would retire from acting as soon as she married, and at that time she intended to focus on her career. That same year Tate made a screen test for Sam Peckinpah opposite Steve McQueen for the film The Cincinnati Kid. Ransohoff and Peckinpah agreed that Tate's timidity and lack of experience would cause her to flounder in such a large part, and she was rejected in favor of Tuesday Weld.

Tate continued to gain experience with minor television appearances, and after she auditioned unsuccessfully for the role of Liesl in the film version of The Sound of Music, Ransohoff allowed her to appear in the film Eye of the Devil co-starring David Niven, Deborah Kerr, Donald Pleasence, and David Hemmings.

Tate and Sebring traveled to London to prepare for filming. As part of Ransohoff's promotion of Tate, he arranged the production of a short documentary called All Eyes on Sharon Tate, to be released at the same time as Eye of the Devil. It included an interview with Eye of the Devil director J. Lee Thompson, who expressed his initial doubts about Tate's potential with the comment,

We even agreed that if after the first two weeks Sharon was not quite making it, that we would put her back in cold storage", but added that he soon realized Tate was "tremendously exciting".

Tate played Odile, a witch who exerts a mysterious power over a landowner, played by Niven, and his wife, played by Kerr. Although she did not have as many lines as the other actors, Tate's performance was considered crucial to the film, and she was required, more than the other cast members, to set an ethereal tone. Her next to her last film was with Dean Martin, The Wrecking Crew (1968), and The Thirteen Chairs (1969) was released after her death.

Niven described her as a "great discovery", and Kerr said that with "a reasonable amount of luck", Tate would be a great success. In interviews, Tate commented on her good fortune in working with such professionals in her first film, and said that she had learned a lot about acting simply by watching Kerr at work. Much of the filming took place in France, and Sebring returned to Los Angeles to fulfill his business obligations. After filming Tate remained in London where she immersed herself in the fashion world and nightclubs. Around this time she met Roman Polanski.

Tate returned to the United States to film Don't Make Waves with Tony Curtis, leaving Polanski in London. Tate played the part of Malibu, and was the inspiration for the popular "Malibu Barbie" doll.

Polanski returned to the United States, and was contracted to direct the film version of Ira Levin's novel, Rosemary's Baby. Polanski later admitted that he had wanted Tate to star in the film and had hoped that someone would suggest her, as he felt it inappropriate to make the suggestion himself. The producers did not suggest Tate, and Mia Farrow was cast.

For the same reason, inexperience, Tate ended up only appearing, uncredited, as a guest in Rosemary's Baby, in a party scene. A frequent visitor to the set, she was photographed there by Esquire magazine and the resulting photographs generated considerable publicity for both Tate and the film.

A March 1967 article about Tate in Playboy magazine began,

"This is the year that Sharon Tate happens..."

Tate was optimistic, as Eye of the Devil and The Fearless Vampire Killers were each due for release, and she had been signed to play a major role in the film version of Valley of the Dolls. One of the all-time literary bestsellers, the film version was highly publicized and anticipated, and while Tate acknowledged that such a prominent role should further her career, she confided to Polanski that she did not like either the book or the script.

Patty Duke, Barbara Parkins and Judy Garland were cast as the other leads. Susan Hayward replaced Garland a few weeks later when Garland was dismissed.

In interviews during production, Tate expressed an affinity for her character, Jennifer North, an aspiring actress admired only for her body. Tate, Duke and Parkins developed a close friendship which continued after the completion of the film. Tate promoted the film enthusiastically. She frequently commented on her admiration for Lee Grant, with whom she had played several dramatic scenes.

The All Eyes on Sharon Tate documentary was used to publicize the film. Its fourteen minutes consisted of a number of scenes depicting Tate filming Eye of the Devil, dancing in nightclubs and sightseeing around London, and also contained a brief interview with her. Asked about her acting ambitions she replied,

"I don't fool myself. I can't see myself doing Shakespeare."

Tate spoke of her own hopes, of finding a niche in comedy. She also expressed her desire to become "a light comedienne in the Carole Lombard style". She discussed the type of contemporary actress she wanted to emulate and explained that there were two in particular that she was influenced by, Faye Dunaway and Catherine Deneuve. Of the latter, she said,

"I'd like to be an American Catherine Deneuve. She plays beautiful, sensitive, deep parts with a little bit of intelligence behind them."

Later in the year, Valley of the Dolls opened to mixed reviews. These reviews would be Tate's last.

Married to the film director Roman Polanski, in 1968, Tate was eight and a half months pregnant when she and her unborn baby were murdered (stabbed to death) in her home, along with four others, by followers of Charles Manson on August 9, 1969.

On September 2, 2009 convicted murderer and former Charles Manson family member, Susan Atkins was photographed in a bed during her parole hearing. She was at the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla, California.

Atkins, who admitted killing actress Sharon Tate 40 years ago, died in a prison hospital Thursday night, September 24, 2009. She was 61. Atkins was again denied parole, just before her death, remaining the longest-incarcerated female inmate in the California penal system.

Year Film Role Notes--
1961 Barabbas Patrician in Arena uncredited
1962 Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man undetermined role uncredited
1963-1965 The Beverly Hillbillies Janet Trego 15 episodes
1963 Mister Ed Telephone Operator
Sailor's Girl Episode "Love Thy New Neighbor"
Episode "Ed Discovers America"
1964 The Americanization of Emily Beautiful Girl uncredited
1965 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Therapist Episode "The Girls of Nazarone Affair"
1966 Eye of the Devil Odile de Caray
1967 The Fearless Vampire Killers Sarah Shagal
Don't Make Waves Malibu
Valley of the Dolls Jennifer North
1968 Rosemary's Baby Girl at Party uncredited
The Wrecking Crew Freya Carlson
1969 The Thirteen Chairs
(also known as 12+1) ~ released posthumously

Friday, September 25, 2009

Photo of the Week

Here is the photo of the week! I hope you all enjoy it! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Kathy Kersh Remembers Sharon Tate

Former Actress Kathy Kersh, who starred along side Sharon in "The Man From UNCLE" episode, The Girls of the Nazarone Affair, remembers her fondly.

Kersh was actually the first actress Martin Ransohoff of Filmways put under contract. The second was Sharon Tate.

"I adored Sharon Tate," recalls Kersh. "We were rivals in a way but it didn't matter. We were both nice people. Physically, Sharon was one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen in my life. And in the business you see everyone without makeup. She was a gorgeous, stunning woman. She was not a great actress but then she didn't have to be. We stayed good friends and she even fixed me up with Jay Sebring."

She remembers The Man From UNCLE show she and Sharon did together well. Both Kersh and Tate played the villainous THRUSH girls in the episode. The episode called for Kersh and Tate to beat up Napoleon Solo. "Sharon and I had never done a fight scene before. The stunt people choreographed it."

Kersh and Tate rehearsed the fight scenes with actor Robert Vaughn and the stunt men. (Kersh says Vaughn was rather full of himself and pompous even though she did have respect for him as an actor). "At one point, Sharon was suppose to hold his arms back and I was suppose to punch him in the stomach," says Kersh. "In the rehearsal I didn't hit him very hard. I didn't have a lot of experience doing this so he stopped the scene and said, 'Now look, you can hit me as hard as you want. Hit me as hard as you can.' He was holding his stomach in tight. So I hit him and he said, 'See you can't hurt me.' He was a little annoying the way he carried on and on.

"Before we actually went before the cameras, I said to Sharon, 'When you grab his arms from behind rather than just grabbing him--I want you to grab his arms and snap him back. And then quickly stick your knee right in the small of his back. Then I'll hit him in the stomach.' Sharon was very athletic and she thought it was a great idea. And that's what we did. Sharon snapped him back, which he totally did not expect and I punched him good in the tummy. He doubled over. We really didn't hurt him--that wasn't the point--it was his pride that was injured. I remember some of the cast and crew turning away so as not to laugh in front of him. After he got up he said something like, 'Maybe you shouldn't do it like that.' Sharon and I had a good laugh about that one."

--from Film Fatales by Tom Lisanti

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Former MGM Employee Remembers Sharon

I got a chance to talk to another person who met Sharon and Roman while working for MGM Studios in London in the 1960s. Christopher Farries worked for the publicity department at MGM.

"I met Polanski first when he made a film called REPULSION for Tony Tenser. I later became Tenser's Publicity Director at Tigon British Pictures.

"I was with MGM for several years around the mid-late sixties as a Publicist. I met both Polanski again and Sharon Tate at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer British Studios in Borehamwood (now sadly long gone) in about '66/'67 (it is over 40 years ago and I can't remember all the dates !).

"I remember everyone at MGM liked Sharon who was a very sweet-natured girl. She seemed overawed by both Polanski and the film industry. She was very co-operative and regarded well. I thought her to be a delightful, sweet girl and we were all VERY shocked at MGM when we heard of her untimely and horrific demise.

"MGM British Studios was sold off years ago and turned into a meat storage factory and then mysteriously burned down! MGM as a film company no longer exists. The MGM of today is NOT the MGM we all worked for in the '60's."

When I asked about Roman all Farries would say is "I'd rather not discuss his behavior."

"Sorry not to be of much more assistance - but over four decades ago is a long, long time and the world has changed immeasurably since those halcyon days at
Metro in the glorious Sixties."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jerry Schatzberg talks about Roman and Sharon

I did my usual searching tonight and found an interesting short interview where photographer and filmmaker, Jerry Schatzberg talked about Roman and Sharon:

"There was a sad side to the sixties," Schatzberg says. "We lost some great people like Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones and Sharon Tate.

"Sharon was such a sweet girl. Roman was in London when Sharon was murdered. Honestly, I don't know how he kept from losing his mind after her murder."

"I took a photos of Roman in 1963 outside my studio and I took photos of Sharon in 1967 in the bathroom."

"Roman and I--were and still are--close friends."

I found this on a Norwegian website and had it translated. I include the photos he discussed here. Along with one of him then and now.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Sharon Tate Art Gallery Part 1

I have found some great are work on the net via google and deviant art of Sharon. I am posting some here and I hope you all enjoy them. There is always new Sharon Art popping up so I will continue to post more in the future. Our first one is by our friend the great Kerstien Matondang!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pulp Fiction Sharon Tate

I found a book cover tonight that I do not remember seeing before. It is on this web page:

"Author Keith Luger wrote quite a few westerns and space operas for the Spanish imprint Bruguera. That makes perfect sense, because he was really Miguel Olivero Tovar from Valencia, Spain. Tovar/Luger was a big deal for about ten years, during which time he published many books, made time for a couple of screenplays, and saw three of his projects optioned into movies. More Luger books below, including one concerning Sharon Tate."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tommy Hilfiger and Sharon Tate Plus Photo Comparison of the week

I read this on a fashion webpage on the net today:

Tommy Hilfiger is California dreamin'
Friday September 18, 2009 5:41 AM By Joseph V. Amodio

Tommy wants to take us all to Southern California this spring. You game? Not the SoCal of deficits and brushfires, but the golden, breezy realm of Farrah Fawcett, Lauren Hutton, Sharon Tate, where blonde locks and champagne flow and a strapless , dusty rose, drape-back dress looks like a towel clinging to a starlet. His dress hems (like smart rolled-cuff shorts) are short,—but pants are loose. And the palette—navy, pink, white, azure—so easy to mix with stuff in your closet. Rock on, Tommay!

I include some photos of Hilfiger's latest ad campaign and I also added some of Sharon that are comparable. Also, added is a photo of the model from the session who is also reminiscent of Sharon. Her name is Shannan Click.