Friday, January 25, 2013

Robert Evans writes about Sharon Tate's murder



I am currently reading Robert Evans autobiography entitled "The Kid Stays In The Picture." He writes about being close friends with Roman Polanski, and explains, in detail how he found out about the murders on Cielo Drive. Here is an excerpt:

"Bob," said Sharon Tate, "the baby is kicking!"
"How does it feel?"
"It's the best feeling in the world."
"I'll tell Roman."
"While you're at it, tell him he'd better be home for his birthday. Remember, it's the eighteenth."
"He'll be here, baby."



Just about the only really happily married couple I knew in Hollywood were Roman Polanski, and Sharon Tate. Coming from a childhood horror in Nazi-occupied Poland, Roman couldn't believe he was the husband of this milk-fed American beauty. Sharon's movie career was just beginning to heat up after Valley of the Dolls. In Roman's eyes she was already the brightest star in the world. Around his gentle, sun-kissed bride he was like a child who's just seen his first Christmas tree light up.
(Robert Evans talks about traveling back to L.A. from London)

Before I took off for L.A., Roman said, "Look after Sharon for me, will you Bob?" "Tell her I love her." "I'll be home in a few days."

Now Sharon was on the phone from the house they were renting on Cielo Drive, up in Benedict Canyon. She loved feeling the baby kick, but she felt cooped up. How about joining her, and a few friends on Friday night? It would just be her house guests, Gibby Folger, of the San Francisco coffee family, and Gibby's boyfriend, Wojiciech "Voytek" Frykowski, a Polish rogue, and great friend of Roman's. Dinner at a nothing place like El Coyote on Beverly.

"Sounds great, baby. I'm working in the editing room. I might be a little late." At nine o'clock on Friday, August 8, 1969, I was still in the editing room. I called Sharon. "I'm stuck, baby. Count me out. Sorry."

"Don't be silly, Bob. I can always get Jay." Jay was the star hairdresser Jay Sebring, an ex-boyfriend who was still devoted to her. "Sweet dreams." "You too."

(He then goes on about having a meeting the next morning at his house with the head of Paramount Studios, Charlie Bluhdorn.)

When we returned to my house on Woodland Drive, David, my major domo, was standing at the door. Joyce Haber, the L.A. Times columnist, was on the phone. Bluhdorn frowned.
"I thought I said no calls this morning, David."

"She said it's urgent, Mr. Evans. She sounds terrible."

I took the call in my bedroom. When she heard my voice, Joyce started wailing. "You aren't dead!"

"You aren't dead!" "Joyce, what are you talking about? Of course I'm not dead!"

"You didn't hear?" "Hear what?" "It's on the radio. Last night at Sharon and Roman's house on Cielo.

They're all dead....."

"What are you talking about?"

"They're all dead."

"Joyce, what is this?"

"Sharon, Jay Sebring, Gibby Folger, that Polish Voytek what's-his-name...."

"I know. I was supposed to be there."

"They've all been killed!"

My body went numb. "A landslide?" "No, they were murdered-some kind of massacre."

"Joyce, are you making this up? From the sound of her voice, I knew she wasn't. "What about the baby?"

She couldn't go on. Charlie Bluhdorn had been pacing my living room impatiently, "Come on, Evans," he said when I walked in. "Let's go outside and get started." "I can't, I can't, Charlie." I started to cry.

He came over, and put his arm around me. "What is it, Bob?" "What happened?"

I told him what happened, and we went out to sit under the tree. When Roman arrived from London, I arranged for him to be driven to Paramount, and installed in the suite that had recently been Julie Andrew's dressing room for Darling Lili. There, he hibernated for a few days, heavily sedated by a Paramount doctor. Not wanting to leave him alone at Paramount, Roman moved into my guest house. Sounds simple; it wasn't. Every crackpot in the state wanted to get a jab in. It necessitated having around-the-clock guards for the duration of his stay. The LAPD put their own tap on my phone, which became an integral instrument in their investigation. How I remember cradling Roman as if he were a child. I loved him. I felt his pain Even though criticized, I went the extra nine yards, doing whatever I could, whatever to ease his suffering. Though I could do little, at least I was there.

The horrific murders of Sharon, and her friends by the insane followers of Charles Manson sent a shock wave through Hollywood that is still felt today. What made them even uglier was the media orgy of lies, all of which came down to one outrageous innuendo: because of their "decadence," the victims had somehow brought it on themselves. Typical was a Newsweek story calling the massacre not a tragedy, but a "fascinating whodunit" and reporting, among other ridiculous speculations, that the murders might have "resulted from a ritual mock execution that got out of hand in the glare of hallucinogens." The press even implicated Roman. It didn't matter that he was six thousand miles away when the tragedy occurred. Somehow the "master of the macabre" had to have been involved.

Roman's good friends-Warren Beatty, Richard Sylbert, I and a few others-took turns keeping him company. Roman threw himself into helping the police investigation, and with incredible strength he got through it. Many of the biggest names in Hollywood turned out for Sharon's funeral. Later, Roman wrote that "it was like some ghastly movie premiere."

Leaving Holy Cross Cemetery, he said something that would come back to haunt me: "The only one of Sharon's good friends who didn't come, Bob, is Steve McQueen. Sharon loved that cold son of a bitch."





20 comments:

ColScott said...

I met Evans. His brain has been fried a long time.

I don't believe they ate at El Coyote. I don't believe at all that they invited him.

And since they were likely headed to divorce I do not believe the BS about how loving Roman was.

adam said...

No sane guy married to someone as hot as Sharon would even consider screwing around.

eviliz said...

Cool pic of Voytek listening to Sharon's belly. I never saw that one before!

Hi Colonel, coffee is being served in the kitchen if you want some.

ColScott said...

adam- You have to be there. Actresses are needy. I mean check out Halle Berry- hot as balls and everyone cheats on her insane ass!

blipcrotch said...

Colonel, you've mentioned your skepticism of the "El Coyote" story several times.

Why is it so hard to believe that they were there, and is it a tangential question or an important one?

My follow up question would be to ask who the source of the story was.


DebS said...

blipcrotch....
I'm not answering for the Col. but I have read the autopsy report discussions at Cats TOTB forum and there was not any Mexican food in any of the victims stomachs. That indicates to me that they did not go to El Coyote that night.

CarolMR said...

Another Hollywood hot-shot who was supposedly invited to Sharon's. If all the people who said they were invited that night actually showed up, there wouldn't have been any room for the murderers.

Doc Sierra said...

adam said...

No sane guy married to someone as hot as Sharon would even consider screwing around.
----------------------------------
I've known friends with hot wives that screwed around with any woman who said yes. Cheaters are cheaters.

Sun King said...

CarolMR said...
Another Hollywood hot-shot who was supposedly invited to Sharon's. If all the people who said they were invited that night actually showed up, there wouldn't have been any room for the murderers.
------------------------------------------------------------
Which leads to wonder what the scenario may have been had there been a party? Would the plans have been abandoned? Would someone in the house heard the gunshots fired at Steve Parent and been alerted?

All pointless questions I know but just thinking out loud.

Sun King said...

adam said...
No sane guy married to someone as hot as Sharon would even consider screwing around.
---------------------------------------------
But Polanski did have an affair with Michelle Phillips did he not? Or can we just write off Polanski as not being sane ;-)

AustinAnn74 said...

I think every male, celebrity in that era had a jab at Michelle Phillips. A ho fo sho!!

ColScott said...

blipcrotch
Because then as now it's a mediocre restaurant at best. Because it is no where near Cielo Drive. Because the food is bleh. Because it never came out in any official report. Etc. It's a legend.

adam said...

Sun King said..

But Polanski did have an affair with Michelle Phillips did he not? Or can we just write off Polanski as not being sane ;-)
-----------------------------

He also got to tap hot jailbait Nastassja Kinski and is now married to the stunning Emmanuelle Seigner - not bad for an ugly Polish midget!!

Panamint Patty said...

Yup, El Coyote pretty much sucks, and Robert Evans is totally gorked.

But back in the day, Mexican food was considered exotic and trendy. All the hip kids were eating tacos and drinking margaritas.

Also, we have Dr. Noguchi's report on the contents of Sharon's stomach. So, Patty still thinks it is possible that they did eat at El Coyote.

When we go back, Patty will NOT be ordering the enchiladas suizas because...just...ew.

Cielodrive.Com said...

Perhaps it was just my unsophisticated food palette, but growing up on the east coast I always thought I loved Mexican food. It wasn't until I moved to Texas that I realized that what I thought was Mexican food was actually Tex Mex. There I learned that Mexican food is really quite different. While Tex Mex makes my mouth drool, Mexican food, to me, is just 'meh' ok. I've been to El Coyote a few times, but it's been awhile. If I remember correctly, they serve Mexican.

Stacey L. said...

I have read or heard(can't remember which) that not one person could remember Sharon or any of the victims going to El Coyote that night. Then a few months later suddenly the waitress remembered them all eating there.

As someone who grew up in Central California with real Mexican food, I'll say about El Coyote what we used to say of fake Mexican food, it tastes like a white girl cooked it. Seriously, Taco Bell is more authentic. BUT they have the best Margaritas... and damn fine tequila.

As far as the "party" goes, I tend to believe Bob Evans was the only one who actually was invited up there. Every once in a while you'll hear some idiot claiming how they just missed the party that night. What 8 1/2 month pregnant woman wants to entertain guests in August?

Doc Sierra said...


Stacey L. said..

As someone who grew up in Central California with real Mexican food.......
---------------------------------
I lived in Monterey County on the California Central Coast for about 6 years. Dang, that was REAL Mexican food. There's an authentic Mexican grocery store on Reservation Rd in Marina, CA called El Rancho. For $3.25 you get a burrito loaded with whatever meat you choose and they're so big they were two meals for me. If anyone is ever in the Monterey area I recommend stopping in for a meal.

Stacey L. said...

Doc,
I grew up in a small town east of Gilroy. My parents used to take us to Monterey at least once a month. I just went back in November, I was kind of sad to see that Fisherman's Wharf was pretty empty. We ate at our favorite restaurant, but still, we didn't even have to wait to get a table.

Doc Sierra said...

Stacey L. said...

Doc,
We ate at our favorite restaurant, but still, we didn't even have to wait to get a table.
-----------------------------------
The Fish Hopper by any chance? That's my favorite on the wharf.

Stacey L. said...

Doc,
My favorite is Old Fisherman's Grotto. The yellow building that is owned by the Shake family. I think they might own the Fish Hopper as well. The father of the family was a really nice man who wore a cowboy hat. My dad came in wearing a cowboy hat and they started chatting. Every time we would go the owner would come out from wherever he was and talk to my dad. He would also give us fresh melons from a field he owned. Mr. Shake died a few years back and his sons took over. Somehow the sons remember my dad talking to their father and always talk to my dad. The food is excellent, but the family is so sweet we'd probably eat there even if the food was just ok.