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From Sharon Tate to Charles Manson: The real faces behind Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Its two central characters may be fictional, but Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood boasts a cast bursting with famous (and infamous) 1960s Hollywood figures.

The film, which opened to the public last week, sees Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt play fictional actor and stunt double Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth respectively as they navigate Hollywood in the late ’60s.

Watch the trailer for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood below. Post continues after video.

But, seeing as it is a story which blends fiction and non-fiction leading up to the most infamous event of Hollywood in 1969, the Manson murders, several well-known celebrities and notable members of ‘The Family’ cult pop up here and there.

Here are the real life faces behind the film; both in the celebrity world, and the dark underbelly of the Manson cult:

Sharon Tate – Margot Robbie

Images: Getty.
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Margot Robbie plays Sharon Tate – the most famous victim of the Manson Family Murders, having starred in films The Fearless Vampire Killers and Valley of the Dolls, for which she earned a Golden Globe Nomination.

She was married to director Roman Polanski and they lived together on Cielo Drive, where Leonardo DiCaprio's character Rick Dalton lives in the film, just next door to the couple.

It was here she was murdered by members of the notorious cult, the Manson Family, along with three of her friends and a teenager who had come to visit a caretaker who worked on the property. Sharon was 26 years old and eight months pregnant when she was killed.

Bruce Lee – Mike Moh

Images: IMDB, Getty.

Bruce Lee – who had appeared in the film The Wrecking Crew with Sharon Tate and taught martial arts to Roman Polanski – was played by Mike Moh in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Acting as a loose connection between fictional and non-fictional characters, Lee pops up a couple of times both in interactions with Sharon Tate and Cliff Booth, played by Pitt.

Steve McQueen – Damian Lewis

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Style icon of film and fashion Steve McQueen, who starred in films like The Great Escape and Bullitt, reportedly narrowly avoided the Manson massacre.

He was a close friend of Polanski and Tate and had been invited to their home that evening, but decided not to go. In the film, he is played by English actor Damian Lewis, known for starring in television shows Billions and Homeland.

Charles Manson – Damon Herriman

Images: Twitter, Getty.

Charles Manson was the leader of an 100-member cult residing in the Californian dessert.

Throughout his life he had been in prison for various crimes, but upon his release in 1967 he began to attract followers, mainly young women, who moved with him on the Spahn Ranch in California. Here, he befriended the drummer from the Beach Boys, Dennis Wilson, and even wrote a song for them – later renamed Never Learn Not to Love and released with new lyrics.

Manson and his followers would regularly take hallucinogenic drugs, with many of the ‘family’ believing he was a manifestation of Jesus.

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Using the power he had over his cult members, Manson ordered them to commit crimes including the murders of Sharon Tate, Steven Parent, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger, and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in a two-night killing spree across Hollywood.

He, along with other members of the family, were sentenced to death. When the death sentence was made unconstitutional, this was changed to life imprisonment. He died of colon cancer aged 83 in 2017.

In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, he's played by Australian actor Damon Herriman, who also portrays Manson in season two of Netflix's Mindhunter.

Roman Polanski – Rafał Zawierucha

Images: Getty.

Roman Polanski was a well-known film director at the time. His best-known work includes Knife in the Water, The Pianist, and Ghost Writer.

On the night his wife Tate was murdered, he was on location in London, and moved back to Europe shortly afterwards. Since 1978, he has been a fugitive from the US, after fleeing from a sexual abuse charge where it is alleged he drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl.

In the film he is portrayed by Polish film and theatre actor Rafał Zawierucha.

Charles "Tex" Watson – Austin Butler

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Charles “Tex” Watson was one of the central members of the Manson Family. He participated in all Manson murders, and is still serving time. He has apparently denounced Manson and become a minister while in prison.

In the film, he's played by Austin Butler, a former Nickelodeon actor who is set to play Elvis in the upcoming Baz Luhrmann film. He is currently dating Vanessa Hudgens.

Lynnette "Squeaky" Fromme – Dakota Fanning

Images: Twitter, Getty.

Dakota Fanning portrays Lynnette “Squeaky” Fromme, who became a part of the Manson Family when she was kicked out of her father’s home. She wasn't involved in the Manson murders, but was handed a life sentence in 1975 for trying to assassinate President Gerald Ford. She was released on parole on August 14, 2009, after serving nearly 34 years.

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Pussycat/Kathryn “Kitty” Lutesinger – Margaret Qualley

Images: Twitter, Getty.

While there was no real Manson follower named Pussycat, Margarat Qualley's pivotal character is most likely inspired by a few of the women in Manson’s cult who were used to lure men to the ranch. It is believed Tarantino drew some inspiration from Kathryn “Kitty” Lutesinger, given the cat-inspired name.

Catherine Louise "Gypsy" Share – Lena Dunham

Images: Twitter, Getty.

Catherine 'Gypsy' Share was another member of the Manson cult not directly involved in the murders. She was, however, convicted for trying to intimidate a witness against testifying in the trial, and later, was sent to prison for armed robbery. Following her release from prison in 1975, she disassociated herself from the Family and sought plastic surgery to remove the 'X' she and others had carved into their foreheads to support Manson during his trial.

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Jay Sebring – Emile Hirsch

Images: Getty.

One of the victims of the Manson murders, Jay Sebring was a friend of Sharon Tate and hair stylist to the stars. At his famed LA salon his clients included Steve McQueen, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, and Jim Morrison. Warren Beatty’s character in the film Shampoo was loosely based on Sebring, who is played by Into The Wild's Emile Hirsch.

Abigail Folger – Samantha Robinson

Images: Twitter, Getty.
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Another victim of the murder spree at the Polanski's home, Folger and her partner had dined in a group with Tate and Sebring before heading to the house where they were all killed. Abigail Folger was the heir to the Folger Coffee fortune, and had previously worked as a social worker. She's played by English actress Samantha Robinson.

Wojciech Frykowski – Costa Ronin

Images: Twitter, Getty.

Wojciech Frykowski, like Polanski, was a screenwriter and producer. He and Folger lived together from 1968 until their deaths, often housesitting for the Polanskis. He is played by Russian-born American actor and cinematographer Costa Ronin, best known for his appearance in Aussie film Red Dog.

Susie Atkins – Mikey Madison

Images: Twitter, Getty.
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In the Manson Family, Susan Atkins was known as Sadie Mae Glutz. She was one of the murderers who stormed the Polanski home for a night of terror, writing “PIG” on the front door in Sharon Tate’s blood afterwards. Atkins was incarcerated until her death from a brain tumour in 2009. At the time of her death, she was California's longest-serving female inmate.

She's played by American actress Mikey Madison.

Linda Kasabian – Maya Hawke

Images: Twitter, Getty.

Maya, the daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, portrays Kasabian, who joined the Manson Family just a few weeks before Sharon’s murder.

She was at the Polanski house the night of the murder to act as a lookout, and later testified against the cult in court so was granted immunity. During the killing spree, she had raced to the house after hearing Tate's screams, but was too scared to try and stop her fellow cult members from committing the murders.


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