What was Sharon Tate’s Net Worth?
Sharon Tate was an American actress and model who had a net worth equal to $300 thousand at the time of her death (after adjusting for inflation). Sharon married director and actor Roman Polanski in 1968. On August 9, 1969 Sharon Tate was brutally murdered by a group known as the Manson Family. At the time of her murder she was eight and a half months pregnant, with a son. Court documents would reveal the value of Sharon’s estate at the time of her death was $45,400. That’s the same as around $300,000 in today’s dollars. Since she died without a will, her estate was equally divided between her husband, two sisters and parents.
Sharon Tate was considered one of Hollywood’s most promising new talents in the 1960s. She appeared in ads and small television roles before acting on the big screen in such films as “Eye of the Devil,” “Valley of the Dolls,” “The Fearless Vampire Killers,” and “The Wrecking Crew.”
Early Life and Education
Sharon Tate was born on January 24, 1943 in Dallas, Texas as the eldest of three daughters of Doris and US Army officer Paul. She was of English, French, and Swiss descent. Due to her father’s work, Tate frequently moved with her family, and by the age of 16 had already lived in six different cities. This made it difficult for her to maintain lasting relationships. Tate was educated at South Shaver Elementary in Pasadena, Texas; Chief Joseph Junior High School; Columbia High School in Richland, Washington; Irvin High School in El Paso, Texas; and finally the Vicenza American High School in Italy, from which she graduated in 1961.
As Tate grew up, she began entering beauty pageants. In 1959, she won the title of Miss Richland in Washington. After moving to Italy with her family, she found that she had become a local celebrity in Verona due to the publication of a photograph of her in a swimsuit on the cover of the military paper Stars and Stripes. Tate and her friends from the Vicenza American High School soon landed roles as extras in the film “Hemingway’s Adventures of a Young Man,” which was being filmed nearby. Tate also served as an extra in the film “Barabbas,” starring Anthony Quinn. In 1962, she and her family returned to the US, and Tate secured representation with agent Harold Gefsky in Los Angeles. This led to several appearances in ads and television shows, including small parts on the sitcoms “Mister Ed” and “The Beverly Hillbillies.” After unsuccessfully auditioning for roles in the films “The Cincinnati Kid” and “The Sound of Music,” Tate landed walk-on roles in “The Americanization of Emily” and “The Sandpiper.”
Tate had her first major film role in the 1966 British mystery horror film “Eye of the Devil,” costarring Deborah Kerr, David Niven, David Hemmings, and Donald Pleasence. She played Odile de Caray, a witch. Tate next starred in the 1967 British horror comedy “The Fearless Vampire Killers,” directed by Roman Polanski, who also costarred. Returning to the US, she starred in the sex comedy “Don’t Make Waves” and the big-screen adaptation of the bestselling novel “Valley of the Dolls,” in which she played sexy aspiring actress Jennifer North. Tate next starred opposite Dean Martin in the 1968 spy comedy “The Wrecking Crew,” which earned her strong reviews. Encouraged by the reception, she went on to star in another comedy, “The Thirteen Chairs.” The final film starring Tate, it was released posthumously in 1969.
In 1963, Tate began dating French actor Philippe Forquet. They got engaged, but their combative relationship and career pressures caused them to split in 1964. That year, Tate met Hollywood hair stylist Jay Sebring, whose marriage proposal she declined. Later, after filming “Eye of the Devil” in London, Tate met director Roman Polanski, whose film “The Fearless Vampire Killers” she would go on to star in. The pair grew increasingly close during filming, and eventually began living together in Polanski’s London apartment. In early 1968, they married in London amid major publicity. Reportedly, Tate valued having a traditional marriage, while Polanski embraced the promiscuity of his pre-marital life. When the couple returned to Los Angeles, they became part of a social group including some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Tate and Polanski resided in the Chateau Marmont for a few months before leasing actress Patty Duke’s home in Beverly Hills.
After becoming pregnant, Tate moved with Polanski to 10050 Cielo Drive in the Benedict Canyon area of Los Angeles in early 1969. There, they continued to host their large group of Hollywood friends. Eventually, Polanski’s friend Wojciech Frykowski and Frykowski’s girlfriend, Abigail Folger, moved into the house. Tate went to join Polanski in London, where he was working on the film “The Day of the Dolphin.” She returned to LA in July, with Polanski due to return in August in time for the birth of her child.
On the evening of August 8, 1969, Tate dined at El Coyote Cafe with Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, and Abigail Folger. The group returned home at around 10:30 PM. Shortly after midnight on August 9, the four were murdered by members of the Manson Family cult; their bodies were found in the morning by Tate’s housekeeper Winifred Chapman. Another person, Steven Parent, had been shot dead in his car in the driveway. All of the victims except Parent had been stabbed multiple times. On August 13, Tate was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City. The next month, members of the Manson Family were arrested on unrelated charges, and explained that their motive for the murders was the house at 10050 Cielo Drive, where Manson’s previous acquaintance Terry Melcher had lived.
For many cultural commentators, the murders committed by the Manson Family on August 9, 1969 represent a symbolic end to the youthful idealism of the 1960s. Since her murder, Tate’s career as an actress has been reevaluated by critics, who have found new value in some of her previously derided work. Her films “Eye of the Devil” and “Valley of the Dolls” have become cult favorites. Tate has also been portrayed in various films and television series. She was portrayed by Whitney Dylan in the 2004 television film “Helter Skelter”; Amanda Brooks in the television series “Aquarius”; Grace Van Dien in the 2018 film “Charlie Says”; and Margot Robbie in Quentin Tarantino’s 2019 film “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood,” which presents an alternative history in which Tate was never murdered.
In the early 1980s, Tate’s mother Doris became a vocal advocate for victims’ rights. She used her profile to spark public discourse about the failures of the American corrections system, and campaigned vociferously against the parole of each of the Manson Family killers. After Doris passed away in 1992, her youngest daughter, Patricia, continued her work, founding the Doris Tate Crime Victims Bureau to influence crime legislation in the US for the better. In 1995, the Doris Tate Crime Victims Foundation was founded to promote awareness of the judicial system and to support victims of violent crime.
10050 Cielo Drive
The original 1960s murder-scene mansion remained standing until 1994. The original home’s final resident was musician Trent Reznor. Reznor rented the mansion for much of 1993. He set up a recording studio and proceeded to spend a year recording Nine Inch Nails’ second studio album, “The Downward Spiral.”
In 1994, “Full House” creator Jeff Franklin bought the property for $6 million and finally razed the former structures. Franklin changed the address to 10066 Cielo Drive and proceeded to build a lavish 21,000 square foot mansion. Franklin listed this property for sale in January 2022 for $85 million. He lowered the asking price to $55 million in April 2023. Here is a video tour of the mansion today: