“To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is.”
Its interesting how some people’s lives are magnets for coincidence and tragedy. Maybe its just when you excel and put yourself out there, you come into contact with many exceptional people and fate multiplies.
Bruce Lee taught taught Sharon Tate a few moves (movie martial arts 1960s style) for her role in Dean Martin’s 1969 Matt Helm movie The Wrecking Crew, a cheesy spy spoof somewhat along the lines of Austin Powers.
That same year, Miss Tate became the most notorious victim of the Manson Family, when she was killed at her Benedict Canyon home with four other people. She was nearly 9 months pregnant at the time with the child of director Roman Polanski. It was later found the Manson followers had been looking for Terry Melcher, the previous occupant of the house, who was a music producer Manson targeted because he wouldn’t publish Manson’s music. Surprisingly, Manson had earlier had song’s recorded by Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys and this was how he had met Melcher.
One of the other people killed at the house was Jay Sebring, Tate’s ex-boyfriend, a hair stylist who helped launch Bruce Lee’s career. He met Bruce at the International Karate Championships in Long Beach in 1964. Sebring introduced Lee to Bill Dozier, who cast him in The Green Hornet.
SIDE NOTE: For an even stranger life story, consider Roman Polanski, Tate’s husband and director of films like Chinatown and Rosemary’s Baby. As a boy, he was interred in the Polish ghetto called Krakow during World War II, a place the Nazi’s used to warehouse Jews until they could send them to the extermination camps. He watched his father marched of to Mauthausen and his mother to Auschwitz, where she died. He escaped and lived on the run in Nazi-occupied Poland. He was nearly the victim of a serial killer in Poland (he was hit in the head in a bomb shelter but escaped). In the 1970s, he was accused of the statutory rape of a young girl, skipped the country, and is still on the run, living in France.