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February 9, 2022

Sharon Tate, Bruce Lee, and Nancy Kwan Photographed During a 1968 Rehearsal for the Film ‘The Wrecking Crew’

Sharon Tate rehearsing with martial arts supervisor Bruce Lee for a fight scene she would have with Nancy Kwan on the set of the movie The Wrecking Crew.

By the late 1960s, Bruce Lee had established himself as Hollywood’s prime martial-arts instructor. After Sharon Tate’s ex-boyfriend and celebrity hairstylist, Jay Sebring, saw Lee perform at a martial-arts show, he was captivated by the high-kicking, fierce-fisted star. Lee was desperate to break into the Hollywood film scene, and Sebring, who still kept in touch with Tate and her husband, invited all three over to have dinner with him.

Sebring suspected that Bruce Lee and Roman Polanski would get along well, and before long, Polanski was providing Lee with a leg-up in the movie industry as he trained with the famed director. Lee also helped Tate do martial-arts training for the spy-fi comedy, The Wrecking Crew, in 1968.

It seemed like the relationships between Lee and Tate/Polanski were positive. However, the murder of Sharon Tate shook Polanski to his core, making him hypervigilant, angry, and eager to capture his wife’s murderer. All it took for Polanski to accuse Lee of murder was for the martial-arts master to admit a simple detail about an item of his that had gone missing.


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