The Writings of Ingrid Pitt

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Ingrid's Obituary


Beauty And The Beast

Auditioning for a Fellini film in Rome, Ingrid met Sharon Tate. She was invited to stay the weekend in Sharon's beautiful house in Benedict Canyon, California.
Sharon Tate and Ingrid Pitt in Rome

Sharon Tate and Ingrid Pitt in Rome.

It’s over 15 years since I moved into my present office. During that time a tsunami of magazines, letters, newspapers and general bric-a-brac has passed over the portal and never receded. About a month ago I decided it had to be sorted. I would dedicate a morning to it and then I wouldn’t live under a life threatening ocean of the past’s debris. A month later and I’m still at it. Trouble is you can’t just chuck things, unread, into a skip and skip off. Each magazine, letter, photograph and newspaper has to be read and a decision made. And I’m not good at decisions of this sort. Most of the stuff is intensely personal. Brings back memories that have been supplanted over the years. Some of them wonderful, some sad and some plain forgettable. But each one has to be catalogued and sorted. A photograph which was particularly poignant was a small picture of me with Sharon Tate, standing in a hotel lobby, making a telephone call. I remember the evening well.

I was in Rome to audition for Frederico Fellini. Very exciting! Get a Fellini film and the world was your crustacean. The meeting didn’t go well. He said I was too thin and wanted me to fatten up if he was to consider me for a part. It didn’t appeal. Back at the hotel I was introduced to Sharon Tate by the manager. She was so fragile and beautiful it brought out the mothering instinct in me. She had been invited to dinner that evening by a friend of her husband. She asked me if I would like to join her. It suited me. Her husband, film director Roman Polanski, was hot at the time. I guess he’s hot now - but for all the wrong reasons. When we got to the restaurant there was half a dozen blokes with attitude, ready and waiting. Typical macho Italians. They instantly went into mating mode and made a lot of noise and swilled back the wine like storm drains. Very wearisome. By about eleven Sharon and I had had enough. On the pretext of ‘powdering ‘ our nose, we grabbed our coats and rang for a taxi. We were spotted by a journalist who grabbed a picture.

For the next couple of days we ‘did’ Rome. Sharon was enthusiastic but didn’t have a lot of stamina. It was an enjoyable few days. When Sharon left she made me promise that next time I was in Los Angeles I’d call her. The opportunity came sooner that expected. A couple of weeks later I rang Sharon to tell her that I had been invited to a sportscar race in Laguna Seca in Monterey and I asked her if she would like to join me. She didn’t fancy it but suggested that I should spend a few days at her home in Benedict Canyon. That suited me. It would give me another chance to meet her husband. I had met Ramón a year or so earlier at Brand Hatch during a testing session. It hadn’t been a good time to button hole him and parade the highlights of my practically non-existent career but he might be more susceptible in a relaxed mood at home. So two days later I dumped my bags in the cool dark entrance hall of her beautiful home and prepared to settle in. Sharon was her usual etherial, spaced out self. As she showed me to my room she apologised for the fact that Roman had to go away for a few days. Ah well! You can’t have everything. When we were in Rome I had noticed Sharon was in the habit of leaving the door to her room open. I warned her against it but she wasn’t interested. She suffered from claustrophobia and couldn’t stand having the doors shut. This was carried over to her house. I never saw a shut door all the time I was there. Not even to the bathroom.

The end of the week came and I thought I had better head for home. Sharon and I promised undying friendship and I never saw her again.

About six weeks later the Manson gang turned up at her house and murdered her and her unborn child as well as some of her friends who happened to be there at the time. It was awful. I couldn’t bear to think of the suffering of that beautiful woman at the hands of the beasts who attacked her. Sharon really was a paid up member of the ‘Beautiful People’ . Generous and not an ounce of spite in her.

When I look at that picture of the two of us crammed into a phone box together I want to cry. But that just puts off the happy day when I finally get everything sorted.

Monster Mania

The Writings of Ingrid Pitt