Sharon Tate (January 24, 1943 - August 9, 1969) was an American film actress. During the 1960s she played small roles in television, before starting her film career. She appeared in several films that utilised her physical beauty, and after receiving positive reviews as a light comedienne was hailed as one of Hollywood's promising newcomers. Tate's celebrity status and role as a style icon of the "Swinging Sixties" increased after fashion magazines began featuring her as a model and cover girl. Married to the film director Roman Polanski, Tate was eight months pregnant when she was murdered in her Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles, California home, along with four others, by followers of Charles M. Manson.
A decade after the murders, her mother Doris Tate, appalled at the growing cult status of the killers and the possibility that any of them might be granted parole, joined a campaign to ensure they remained in prison. Her determination to raise public awareness of the shortcomings in the state corrections system, and her criticism of it, was part of the catalyst which led to amendments to California criminal law in 1982. These amendments allowed crime victims and their families to make victim impact statements during the sentencing of convicts and at their subsequent parole hearings. She became the first person to make such an impact statement under the new law, when she spoke at the parole hearing of one of her daughter's killers, Charles "Tex" Watson. She later said that she believed the changes in the law had afforded her daughter dignity which had been denied her before, and that she had been able to "help transform Sharon's legacy from murder victim to a symbol of victim's rights".