SHE ALWAYS HAD HOLLYWOOD ON HER MIND....As we approach what would have been the 69th birthday of now-legendary actress Sharon Marie Tate on January 24th, 2012, for many of us, she is the only Sharon in the history of Hollywood films that will ever really matter -- not for what was, but for what could have been. Nominated for a Golden Globe Award for “New Star of the Year - Actress”, and nominated for “The Star of Tomorrow” and “Most Promising Newcomer”, Tate was, without question, beautiful to behold. Every minute she was on the screen, one could not take their eyes off her. The glow she radiated was like that of the California sun under which she basked. She was truly the golden girl of the flower child 1960s. So where does one really begin to talk about the enigma that was Sharon Tate? Actress, sex symbol, mother-to-be, sister, daughter, human being. Talent agent Hal Gefsky said upon first seeing her, “She was so young and beautiful that I didn’t know what to do with her.” Such was the kind of reaction that she would receive over and over -- always about the beauty. “She was simply stunning,” said Victor Lownes, business man, playboy and film producer. “She was very sharp -- not a fool,” actress Leslie Caron would recall later. For her role in the immortal film classic (though trashed by the press at the time of its release) Valley of the Dolls, its director Mark Robson said “The biggest surprise in the film is Sharon.” Newsweek panned the film, but said "astoundingly photogenic, infinitely curvaceous, Sharon Tate is one of the most smashing young things to hit Hollywood in a long time." The Hollywood Reporter chimed in, "Sharon Tate emerges as the film's most sympathetic character" and that "William H. Daniel's photographic caress of her faultless face and enormous absorbent eyes is stunning." And perhaps that is what has left a mark in the minds and lives of so many inside and outside the world of film: the element of surprise noted by Robson of just who Sharon Tate really was -- a person full of simplicity and complexities but always vulnerable, giving and loving. But when words fail, there are always the dozens and dozens of photographs in which Tate appears perfectly poised and at ease with her self and her sensuality. The camera loved her -- and so do we....still.