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Sharon Tate, Roman Polanski, & the House

Updated on October 5, 2015

Sharon Tate Modeling

Sharon Tate, Model, Actress, and Victim

Sharon Tate was born in Dallas Texas in 1943. She was the eldest of three daughters of Paul and Doris Tate. Sharon was such a beautiful child that she won the "Miss Tiny Tot of Dallas Pageant". By her mid teens Sharon had lived in numerous different cities and countries due to her father being in the army. She entered many more beauty pageants, and had accumulated several titles by 1960, leading her to set her sights on Hollywood and a film career.

Naturally beautiful and sweet, Sharon quickly got small parts in The Beverlyhillbillies and Mr. Ed, but being insecure and lacking in experience she lost many parts and was turned down for Petticoat Junction among others. She began dating Jay Sebring and when he proposed marriage she turned him down stating that she intended to focus on her career.

She met Roman Polanski and became a B movie queen, starring in The Fearless Vampire Killers, and then a beach blanket bikini girl in Don't Make Waves with Tony Curtis. She married Polanski in 1967 and began an unsettling marriage, as Polanski cheated on her repeatedly, Tate was thrilled to discover she was pregnant in 1968. She thought that motherhood would give her something else to think about and focus on, and hoped her husband would become more devoted to her

Unfortunately, Polanski was angry when Sharon broke the news but warmed to the idea of becoming a father as Sharon's tunny grew larger.

Early in 1969 She and Roman rented a house on 10050 Cielo dr. It was Candice Bergen's old house, and Tate had visited her there often. The couple had numerous party's in the quaint home.

August 8, 1969 Tate went to her favorite local place to eat, El Coyote, and headed back to the house where she would stay with her ex. Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski and Abigail Folger. They were all brutally murdered by the Charles Manson gang. Steve Parent was shot in the driveway while Frykowski and Folger were stabbed on the lawn as they attempted to escape. The murder of Sharon Tate was especially distressing because she was due to give birth in three weeks.

FryKowski, Tate, Parent, Sebring, Folger

Polanski After the Murder

Roman Polanski

Polanski was in Europe at the time of the murder and was widely criticized after the murders for posing next to the door of the home where in his wife's blood spelled the word "pig."

The public believed that Roman had mistreated Sharon and was only interested in exploiting her. His actions of regularly cheating on Sharon after their marriage did not sit well and then when it was widely discovered that Roman wanted Sharon to have an abortion upon announcing her pregnancy because he wanted to make money off of her slender, non pregnant body in movies and photos he was planning. He then appeared to be seeking publicity after his wife's murder.

Roman made headlines eight years later when he was arrested for raping a thirteen year old girl. Roman plead guilty and then fled the United States for decades in effort to avoid sentencing.

Roman & Sharon Sharing Happy Times

Polanski and Tate

The happiest time in Sharon Tate's life was while she was pregnant. She had wanted to quit making movies and settle down to a quite family life. Although she was caught up in the modern "hippie" scene, deep down Sharon hoped it would all pass and that she and Roman could become he ideal, old-fashioned, American family.

Michele Morgan by the Pool in 1942

Another View of Michele Morgan at the Pool

The Haunted "Tate" House

After the gristly murders took place the site of the tragedy became infamnous and notorious. Jay Sebring was murdered alongside of his former girlfriend, Sharon Tate, and he resided in a home that was connected to one of the biggest Hollywood scandals of the 1930s. Jay Sebring lived in the former home of blond bombshell, Jean Harlow, and her brainy producer husband, Paul Bern, who committed suicide in the home several months after marrying Jean.

More about Jean Harlow and Paul Bern, Jean Harlow, Hollywood Goddess of the 1930s.

The house where the tragic Manson killings took place began construction in 1942 by Robert Byrd, and was completed in 1944. It was originally built for a french actress named Michèle Morgan and featured a French country style of architecture. By Hollywood standards the home was modest, standing on just over 2.5 acres, and containing a loft, and a rather plain interior. At the time the home was built houses were a lot more affordable for the average American, as the country still valued conservative politics and the ability of the working man to get ahead, so this was in no way considered to be an ostentatious movie star dream home. Land was not very scarse in the 40s which led to lower priced homes that featured spectacular views, and this one had a view of Beverly Hills. Its owners were viewed as people who were doing well, not necessarily wealthy.

After living in the house just two years Michele Morgan returned to Europe and silent screen actress Lillian Gish moved in with her mother while making one of her 1940s movies in which she played feisty old ladies.

In the early 1960s the home was purchased for an astronomical sum by an Italian investor who rented it out. He often rented to celebrities due to its ideal Hollywood location. As the home sits in close proximity to all the major studios yet its up in the mountains and keeps its occupants away from the seedy glitz of Hollywood. The list of celebrity occupants in the mid 60s is impressive, but probably the biggest star to have occupied the home was Cary Grant when he spent his honeymoon here with Diane Cannon in 1965.

Unluckily for Polanski and especially SharonTate, they took up residence in February of 1969. They would not even make it to one year in their "love nest" together. In August of that same year the house and its glorious history would forever be changed. The murders cast an unsettling view of the home and the house was as curious and creepy as Charles Manson himself.

Rudi Altobelli, the homes owner was unable to find renters and just three weeks after the murders took place he himself moved in and stayed there for more than 20 years.

The house began changing hands regularly in the 1980s and 90s, and became a curiosity for sightseeing tourists. Eventually, due to the complaints of the creepy history and the fact that the two tier social society that had been ever becoming part of America life style, the cost of real estate had skyrocketed to point that even the worst parts of Hollywood commanded top dollar. A modest farmhouse overlooking Beverly Hills simply would not do for this expensive a location. The quaint little French country home was demolished and a monster sized mansion bearing no resemblance to the picket fence bungalow Tate house now stands in its place.

The Michele Morgan Home in 1942

The Living Room of Michele Morgan's Home

Michele Morgan's French country home looked elegant, and organized. There were many hard wood floors, throw rugs, and frilly, plush couches and chairs.

It had a slightly fussy and feminine charm with several vintage or curious accessories placed throughout.The overall effect was an upscale cabin.

This is the very room where most of the murders took place twenty seven years later.

Living Room of Sharon Tate

The Living Room as it Looked During the murders

The frame was virtually unchanged but the décor was completely different. Plain and random furnishings were scattered throughout the once elegant home when Sharon and Roman lived at 10050 Cielo. It was more or less a place to have fun and relax but little attention was given to the beauty of the home.

Many of the furnishings looked rather shabby and un kept.

Tate and Froykowski. Jay Sebring Took This Picture

Very Pregnant Sharon Jay Sebring

These pictures were shot less than twelve hours before their murders took place. Sharon Tate and her house guests are standing in the backyard by the pool in approximately the same location where the body of Abigail Folger would be discovered lying face up with multiple stab wounds.

Sharon was the center of attention in the yard while she posed for pictures that Jay Sebring, and Voytek Frykowski were taking simultaneously. She felt joy and excitement as she displayed her pregnancy for the cameras. Her baby would be due to deliver just around the time these photos were being developed.

Sharon Posing in the Yard Near the Pool in 1969

The Tate Home Twenty Seven Years Before the Murders

The House Of Sharon Tate


The New Home in Place of Tate's Country House

Sharon Tate on Amazon


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    • profile image

      Liselle Sloan 

      18 months ago

      Interesting and accurate, to my knowledge, but in need of proofreading.

    • profile image

      Christine Nyberg 

      3 years ago

      This was so sad..I will never forget

      The Great Sharon Tate..

      The Valley of the dolls, was such a great movie..

      I hope they never get out of jail..

      I wish they could hang jerk Manson,he started ..this and got these poor girls in so much trouble.. I hope God puts him to hell forever and ever!!!

    • profile image

      pauli bruno 

      3 years ago

      I remember when this happened, I was just a 7 year old kid. I thought that they were coming to my house next. I was never so scared, I remember my mom saying that the movie Rosemarys baby was the cause of it all..

    • LisaMarie724 profile image

      Lisa Stover 

      7 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      Wow, I've heard about these murders but I never knew she was pregnant. Thanks for the information.


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