The terrible death of Sharon Tate, the most beautiful of Hollywood (part III)
By Paolo Pietroni
Sharon Tate was born in Dallas, Texas, twenty-six years ago. Her father was in the U.S. Army and attended the service of safety signs (counter, then a sort of 007) when Sharon was only six months away, her mother sent some pictures to a beauty pageant and to baby foods. Sharon won the proclaimed Miss Baby of Texas.
She was pretty young, beautiful and she was to become great. At sixteen, she was elected to Miss Richland of Washington, and then "Miss Autorama." A year after that her father was elemental in the technology in Italy, at the NATO base in Vicenza: Sharon was proclaimed High School Homecoming Queen.
In Verona one day she saw a film crew from Fox shooting a film. The director was occasionally impressed by the beauty of Sharon. Two years later, when the Tate family returned home, the director remembered her. And one fine day Sharon was taken almost bodily into the office of Martin Ransohoff, director of Filmways, who sealed a deal and made her sign a contract for seven years.
Sharon early in her career.
The first three years (so stated in the contract) Sharon was studying. Forbidden to do photography, film making prohibited except some minor bit part with wig, and fake name. The 'system' of Hollywood was once again put into motion to build, piece by piece. She was to take the place of Marilyn Monroe, whose presence had been too long empty now.
What they said about her
Singing lessons, acting lessons, diction, carry oneself, exercise, nutrition, classical ballet. These three years of 'school' cost the producer Ransohoff the beauty of three hundred million. But he was sure to have them invested in a fertile soil. They had coined slogans to launch the young actress. Here's one: "Nothing is more exhilarating for a tete-a-Tate."
At the end of three years of study the "doll-blonde-sexy-all" was ready to begin her first film, starting as the female lead. The first film is titled "Thirteen" (the same title of the last film!). Sharon personifies a fragile country girl with psychic powers and witchcraft. And she was so good as a witch that director Roman Polanski put her in his film writing about vampires (Italian title: Please do not bite on the neck) with Christopher Lee.* During the making of the film (even between Polanski and interpreters), Sharon and Roman fell in love.
Third movie: Plan, Do not Make Waves with Tony Curtis and Claudia Cardinale. The fourth movie: The Valley of the Dolls. Fifth and final film, as we have said was Thirteen with Gassman. But the title was changed : we will call it One out of thirteen, or 12 + 1. Sharon embodies a rich heiress. But her montary legacy has been hidden by her grandmother inside one of thirteen chairs that were unfortunately sold. Gassman helps Tate helps to find them one by one--the thirteen chairs--through a thousand vicissitudes.** One becomes yellow-pink, in fact.
Sharon with Ferdy Mayne in The Fearless Vampire Killers.
*There must have been a goof in this article as it was Ferdy Mayne and not Christopher Lee that appeared in the film, "The Fearless Vampire Killers."
Sharon's final film, "12 + 1"
**I thought it was Gassman who was to inherit the money in the chairs and that Sharon helped him. Sorry, I have still not seen the film "12 + 1".
Speaking of Ferdy Mayne I found a great interesting article on him where he mentions Sharon.