Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sharon Tate: New Sex Goddess Handle with Love

Here is an article I found among clippings.  It is probably around 1967-68.  It looks like it was in one those Screen Stories magazines or that type of magazine.

New Sex-Goddess Handle with Love by Bill Marks

Sharon Marie Tate was born in Dallas, Texas, and since both her parents are natives of Houston, she claims to be a Texan. Her father was (and still is) an officer in the U. S. Army, and the Tates, like most Army families, never remained in one place for very long.

When Sharon was six months old and already a beauty, she was chosen Miss Tiny Tot of Dallas. When she reached her teens, she was elected Miss Richland, Washington. Later she was named Miss Autorama in a beauty contest there. At the time, she had no aspirations for a career in films, and no one could have guessed that a few short years later she would become Hollywood's newest sex-goddess and most talked-about overnight movie star.

She attended high school in Verona, Italy--her father was stationed there for four years. She was a cheerleader and a baton twirler and--of course--Homecoming Queen and Queen of the Senior Prom.

"When I was in school," she recalls, "I dreamed about becoming a psychiatrist or a ballerina. Like most girls I would dream about being a movie star too. But those dreams are the impossible kind, the kind you don't really set your heart on.

"I guess you could say that I was somewhat withdrawn from my classmates. I spent a good deal of time being a loner. I suppose that had something to do with the way we lived--always on the move, never living in one town very long. It's very hard to make lasting friendships that way. And my father was rather strict with me and my two younger sisters. He insisted on proper behavior and very often vetoed our choices of boyfriends. There was always a curfew whenever my sisters or I would go out on a date--we had to be home on time or else. But I never resented his authority. In fact, I'm thankful for my strict upbringing; I feel it has helped me learn discipline--and that's very important in this business."

But how did the pretty Texas girl become Sharon Tate, ready-made star? It all started just two and-a-half years ago. Sharon returned to California with her parents. Then 18, she felt it was time to be on her own, to be independent. She took an apartment and any job that would help pay the rent.

Her newfound friends persuaded her to try to break into modeling. And Sharon did do a few commercials for Chevrolet and a cigar company. She worked for a wine company by dressing up in Irish costume to serve free samples to patrons of Los Angeles restaurants.

"When I was in Rome," Sharon says, "I met Richard Beymer. He was there shooting a picture. He told me that if I ever wanted to be an actress, that I should contact his agent in California. That's how I came to meet Harold Gefsky. Harold introduced me to Herb Brower, who was connected with the television show, 'Petticoat Junction'...

"At the time, I was hoping that I might be able to get a bit part on the show--I would have been greatful even for a walk-on, anything to tide me over till my next job. But he just looked at me and then he grabbed my hand and the three of us went running off to Martin Ransohoff's office."

During that first meeting with movie maker Ransohoff, Lady Luck must have been standing next to the beautiful but frightened and bewildered Sharon. Ransohoff sat at his mamouth desk, studying the young girl who till then only dreamed about being a movie star. Then the silence broke like thunder.

"Draw up a contract," he shouted. "Get her mother. Get my lawyer. This is the girl I want." Later Ransohoff said, "I have this dream where I'll discover a beautiful girl who's a nobody and turn her into a star everybody wants."

Sharon Tate walked into that dream. There was no delay for a screen test, not even a still photograph was taken. She immediately signed a seven-year contract and Ransohoff personally took charge of his dream-girl. Sharon's impossible dream became a reality.

When Sharon wasn't filming bit parts for various TV shows, she studied acting with the best coaches, including the master himself, Lee Strasberg.

In very short order, Ransohoff sent her off to France for her first movie, '13', which stars Deborah Kerr and David Niven. In the film, she plays a chillingly beautiful, expressionless girl who has a witchy talent for putting the hex on people. (Completed last year, the film should be released soon--the delay possibly due to the Ransohoff strategy and sales pitch.)

Next came 'Don't Make Waves' with Tony Curtis--the first of her four completed movies to date which has already been seen by the public. She has also completed 'Your Teeth in My Neck' and 'Valley of the Dolls'.

But even before the public saw one foot of screen film, they saw her face on a dozen magazine covers across the country and in Europe. (All part and parcel of the Ransohoff ready-made star image.)

During the filming of 'Your Teeth In My Neck' (previously called 'The Vampire Killers'--a spoof of horror films) Sharon fell in love with the film's director, Roman Polanski. He also stars in the picture with her.

"Marty Ransohoff had to sell Roman on the idea of even considering me for the film," Sharon said. "He arranged for the two of us to have dinner. Roman never said a word to me--we just sat there and ate and he just looked at me. Then we had a second dinner meeting and the same thing happened. Later he took me to his apartment. He lit some candles and then excused himself and left me standing there alone. A short while later he came storming into the room like a madman and he was wearing a Frankenstein mask. I let out a blood-curdling scream and while I was still crying from the scare, he was calling Ransohoff to tell him that the part in the film was mine."

Since then, Sharon and Roman have been inseparable and close friends say that the two will marry. "She's very much in love with Polanski," confides a close friend. "He's the first man she has ever loved. People have always done things for her--ever since she was a child, someone always took charge of her. It's been her life's pattern. She's miserable when she has to come to Hollywood and Polanski can't be with her. She prefers London--or anywhere else as long as they are together.

"I think Sharon is a little embarrassed by her beauty--she feels that the public won't accept her simply because she has been turned into a Hollywood sex-goddess. She wants to be able to prove herself as an actress, too.

"Most of all she needs love--the love that only Roman can offer. I think she would give up her career--even though stardom is in her reach--if it meant losing the man she loves."

Sharon Tate's success as Hollywood's newest golden girl could very well depend on whether or not she gets that happiness in her private life.

Note: I apologize as for the last few months my scanner has not been working and I haven't had time or money to fix it. Anyway, a friend let me borrow his digital camera so I took a couple of shots of the photos that were in the article.  Hopefully, soon I can get things taken care of to show off better photos.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry about the scanner not working, Mike. The digital pictures look great. Honest. Everything looks first rate. I hadn't read these articles previously and enjoyed them.