Charles Manson's Hollywood, Part 7: Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring / by Karina Longworth


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In the first of two episodes about the Manson Family’s most famous victim, we’ll trace actress Sharon Tate’s early years, her romance with celebrity hairdresser Jay Sebring, and the on-set affair that changed the course of Tate’s life and career. Plus: sex, drugs, haunted houses, Warren Beatty and Steve McQueen.

The base list of sources for this series can be found here.

In the immediate aftermath of the Manson murders, much misinformation, rumor and slander about the victims was published as fact, so it can be difficult to sort out truth from fiction even today -- particularly when it comes to things like sexual habits and drug consumption. My primary sources for this chapter were Roman Polanski's autobiography Roman by Polanski;Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders by Greg King; and My Husband, My Friend by Neile Adams McQueen. This 2002 story on Jay Sebring from the New York Times Magazine is a little odd, but it was useful for me to understand Sebring's accomplishments as a hairdresser. The Warren Beatty/Shampoo stuff came from Peter Biskind's Star and Easy Riders, Raging Bulls -- books which cover the same territory in almost the same exact language at times. 

Today we introduce a new special guest: Ram Bergman played Roman Polanski. 

Episode Breakdown:

Intro: "Album Tag Song" by Dennis Wilson; "Modern Heavy Rock Guitar Top Line" royalty free track; "Mellow Suspense Music" royalty free track

Jay Sebring and the Manson murders' connection to Warren Beatty's Shampoo"Pacific Ocean Blues" by Dennis Wilson

Sharon Tate's early life: "Family Tree" by Jahzzar

Tate's teenage rape: "Crazy Raggea FX Guitar" royalty free track

Richard Beymer, Jack Palance and Sharon's early ambitions to act; Tate's arrival in Los Angeles:"Boulevard St. Germain" by Jahzzar

Sharon Tate's beauty, and insecurity: "OLPC" by Marco Raaphorst

Sharon Tate and Marty Ransohoff: "Starlight" royalty free track

Thomas Kummer becomes Jay Sebring, who revolutionizes hairdressing: "La Hacienda" by Apache Tomcat

Jay Sebring's taste for danger, living in Jean Harlow's former, now haunted house; drugs; Sharon's first big film, Eye of the Devil: "Piano Spa" royalty free track

Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski's abortive early dates and acid trip: "Cylinder Six" by Chris Zabriskie

Sharon and Roman's acid trip turns bad: "Sci Fi Movie Sound Effects 2 Spacey Guitar" royalty free track

Polanski and Tate become a couple on the set of The Fearless Vampire Killers, Polanski's attitude towards women: "Relaxing Piano Notes (Easy Listening Music) royalty free track

Sharon Tate breaks up with Jay Sebring, who insists on meeting Roman Polanski: "The Operation" by Morrissey

Sharon and Roman's idyllic early relationship: "Readers! Do You Read?" by Chris Zabriskie

End Credits: "Pop Rock Guitar Rhythm Loop 3" Royalty free track

Outro: "LA Woman" by The Doors