“Marriage vows meant nothing to Roman, but few men have adored a woman as much as he adored Sharon.” —Laurence Harvey
Before Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate were the subjects of heightened controversies, respectively, they were two people madly in love. I like what their relationship was because, much like Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, they accepted one another for who they were, remaining devoted to each other despite extramarital affairs.
Like so many couples, these guys weren’t interested in each other at first. Roman, one of the most talented and visionary directors of the 1960s, cast Sharon, a immensely beautiful actress who dreamed of working in comedy, in his film The Fearless Vampire Killers. He was very frustrated with her during the filming of the movie, sometimes asking her to do as many as 70 takes for one scene.
However, by the end of production they were a couple (as well as favorite subjects of tabloids and newspapers), and by 1968, they were married.
They were described as “the imperfect couple: cool, nomadic, talented, and nicely shocking.”
This probably refers to the fact that neither of them settled down after marrying. Roman had been a playboy for years, and saw no reason to stop now. He even once shouted out a catcall to a girl on the street in Beverly Hills, only to find that it was Sharon when she turned around to face him. He continued his promiscuity, reminding Sharon that she had promised not to change him. He’s known to have said, “I want to be married to a hippie, not a housewife.” And Sharon, for her part, is said to have had affairs of her own.
Despite this, there was no doubt that the two were enamored with each other. They were truly in love, and they became part of a social group made up of some of the most successful trendsetters in the industry: among others, Steve McQueen, Warren Beatty, Mia Farrow, Peter Sellers, and Peter and Jane Fonda. They lived in the Chateau Marmont. Sharon accepted a Golden Globe nomination while Roman received honors for his films. They were completely wrapped up warm in each other’s love.
Roman and Sharon’s wild romance was cruelly and abruptly cut short when she was murdered in her own home—eight months pregnant—along with her friends, while Roman was out of the country working on a movie.
Roman’s friends have said that he has never recovered from the sudden loss of his wife and one true love.