Sharon Marie Tate was an American actress and sex symbol. During the 1960s she played small television roles before appearing in several motion pictures. She also appeared regularly in fashion magazines as a model and cover girl. After receiving positive reviews for her comedic and dramatic performances, Tate was hailed as one of Hollywood's most promising newcomers. She made her film debut in the occult-themed Eye of the Devil, which was produced by Martin Ransohoff. Tate also starred as Jennifer North in the cult classic, Valley of the Dolls, which earned her a Golden Globe Award nomination.
Tate married film director and her co-star in The Fearless Vampire Killers, Roman Polanski, in 1968 in London. Tate was eight-and-a-half months pregnant with the couple's son when she was murdered in her home, along with four others, by a group known as the Manson Family on August 9, 1969. Tate's last completed film, 12+1 co-starring Orson Welles, was released posthumously in 1969 with the actress receiving top-billing.
A decade after the murders, Tate's mother, Doris, in response to the growing cult status of the killers and the possibility that any of them might be granted parole, organized a public campaign against what she considered shortcomings in the state's corrections system. It resulted in amendments to the California criminal law in 1982, which allowed crime victims and their families to make victim impact statements during sentencing and at parole hearings.