How actress Sharon Tate rose to Hollywood fame: Part 4

Tate married Roman Polanski, one of Hollywood's top filmmakers, and the two were expecting a baby before her death.
6:09 | 03/18/17

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Transcript for How actress Sharon Tate rose to Hollywood fame: Part 4
By early '69, Terry Melcher, this big record producer from Los Angeles who has humiliated Charles Manson by not signing him to a record deal, moves out of his house in cielo drive. Moving in is this glamorous young starlet and her filmmaker husband. And neither of them have any idea of the place in his murderous heart that Charles Manson now has for their new address. Nobody took my breath away like Sharon Tate. She is gorgeous, she is drop dead gorgeous. You don't have to be credits. This is Hollywood. Beauty needs no resume. Hello I'm Mr. Ed. Here's the thing about being on "Mr. Ed" -- you're on a show with a talking horse and you are the girl. But you know, that's how everybody broke in. Sharon Tate is in these shows because she is highly decorative. That doesn't mean that was all she was gonna be. That meant that that was her foot in the door. I first met Sharon I didn't know who she was at all. She was signed to filmways, which is the same company that did the "Beverly hillbillies." Well howdy to you! You're Jethro aren't you? Uh, yes, ma'am! The idea was to get Sharon used to being on a set with a camera, talking to people. They put the dark wig on and most people didn't even know it was her. They wanted her not to look like what she looked like. And that strikes us as being counterintuitive now. But the idea then was that a movie actor was something special. It was somebody who would never be caught dead on television. Every time she met the press, she would be very honest and say, "I'm just getting started." Being in front of the camera and going to classes are two different worlds entirely. She was not a huge success at that point. She was an up-and-coming starlet. I don't like that word starlet. At all because there's no such thing actually. I feel before you make an appearance, it's important to know your craft. At the mgm studios in London, Sharon Tate is reporting for her first motion picture -- "Eye of the devil." All eyes on Sharon Tate is essentially a press kit, it's carefully crafted publicity. And we see Sharon studying her lines and getting vocal instruction. And all these things that make her look like a hard-working actor. But you look at that ten minutes and the footage, you can't forget is her on the dance floor because she is magic. Her name is Sharon Tate. She's today's kind of girl. Bursting with youth beauty, vitality. She was to a large extent very insecure, she knew that a lot of her roles were gotten because of her looks. She knew her limitations as an actress, I mean she really did, I mean she once said "I'll never be doing Shakespeare." I can't see myself doing Shakespeare or anything like that, I would love light comedy. We're on the set of the picture "The vampire killers", being made at the mgm studios outside of London. And the whole idea comes from the brain of this gentleman named Roman Polanski. Roman Polanski was and is a great filmmaker. They didn't hit it off at first, they seem to have hit it off quite well afterwards. And by the time the movie is over, they're in love. But if you were just an average moviegoer in the 1960s, the first time you heard her name was with "Valley of the dolls." Mother, I know I don't have any talent and I know all I have is a body and I am doing my bust exercises. "Valley of the dolls" the novel by Jacqueline Suzanne is one of the biggest selling novels of all time. It's like the ultimate beach read of that era. The movie? Well -- I'm interested in a youge lady with -- how do you say? Measurements. It was perfect camp. Ann, honey, let's face it, all I know how to do is take off my clothes. She had a purity, she had a quietness, she had a real yearning to have a baby. I'm pregnant. She was the core of the part she was playing. "Valley of the dolls" is Sharon Tate's coming out party. Sharon Tate, star of the film "Valley of the dolls," marries film director Roman Polanski. So when she gets married and they call it the wedding of the doll, that's a reference to the fact that she became famous for being in this movie. I was her California hairdresser, and I helped her shop for the flowers and the bows. The after party playboy club was probably one of the parties of the century. Everybody was there. Among them Michael Caine and Candice Bergen. Joan Collins and Anthony newly. Sharon Tate's co-star Barbara Parkins taking time off from "Peyton place." It was stellar. After that she goes on to be a Matt helm movie. Oh, I'm sorry. Did I hurt you? Of course you hurt me. My father was doing "The wrecking crew" which were those fabulous Matt helm movies which were always fun to watch him when we'd go down to the studio to watch him do it. He thought Sharon Tate was gorgeous, funny, smart. And he looked forward to maybe recreating her role again in the next movie. Things were gonna be good. Sharon Tate has married one of the top filmmakers in Hollywood at that time, Roman Polanski, who has a huge success with "Rosemary's baby." She and Polanski are going to have a baby. So many plans for the future. We were hoping for a boy, and I say we, because I come from a long line of girls. And the symbol of this kind of idyllic success that they're enjoying in Hollywood is this house which they're renting. It seems like a place where only love and happiness can be found. And that's what the end of 1968 looks like.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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