Steve McQueen, one of Hollywood’s iconic leading men, narrowly avoided murder at the hands of Manson Family members the night of Sharon Tate’s death.
The actor, who died in 1980 at the age of 50, was meant to attend a dinner with his friend, hairdresser Jay Sebring, at the home of Tate in 1969.
McQueen’s former wife, Neile Adams, who was married to him at the time, told the National Post in 2017 the actor was only saved when he “ran into a chickie and decided to go off with her instead.”
“Going off with that girl saved his life,” Adams said. “After that, he became more paranoid and wouldn’t let me go anywhere without a gun.”
McQueen is played by Billions star Damian Lewis in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. In it, McQueen is seen meeting Tate (played by Margot Robbie) at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion, and later commenting on her friendship with Jay Sebring, who she was once in a relationship with but left for Roman Polanski.
Tate, Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski and coffee heiress Abigail Folger had returned to the home she shared with Polanski on Aug. 8, 1969, after having dinner when the group was murdered by four members of the Manson Family.
McQueen gave the eulogy at Sebring’s funeral, which was held on the same day as Tate’s.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is now playing in theaters.