Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood': How the Stars Compare to Real-Life Characters (Photos)

Many stars in Tarantino’s 2019 movie play actual people in 1969 Los Angeles, from Steve McQueen to Sharon Tate


Quentin Taratino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is set on 1969 around the time of the notorious 1969 Manson Family murders — and features a mix of both real-life and fictional characters.

Leonardo DiCaprio, for instance, play a (fictitious) washed-up Western actor who lives next door to actress (and true-life murder victim) Sharon Tate; Brad Pitt plays his longtime stunt double. Here’s how the cast matches up with their real-life counterparts.

Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”) plays actress Sharon Tate, who was eight and a half months pregnant when she was murdered by the Charles Manson Family. (Her husband, director Roman Polanski, was in Europe shooting a movie at the time.)

Australian actor Damon Herriman (“Justified”) plays the notorious Charles Manson.

Bruce Dern plays George Spahn, the aged California rancher who was persuaded to allow the Manson Family to live on his property. (Dern stepped in after the September 2018 death of Burt Reynolds, who was originally cast in the role.)

Dakota Fanning (“The Alienist”) portrays Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, a Charles Manson disciple who later attempted to assassinate President Gerald Ford.

Emile Hirsch (“Into the Wild”) plays celebrity hair stylist and Manson Family murder victim Jay Sebring (né Thomas Kummer).

Polish actor Rafal Zawierucha (“Warsaw 44”) plays the young Roman Polanski, who was filming a movie in Europe when his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, was killed.

“Empire” and “Inhumans” actor Mike Moh plays kung-fu master Bruce Lee, who had trained Tate for her fight scenes in one of her movies.

Wayne Maunder was a star of CBS’ late-1960s Western series “Lancer” — and in the film a co-star of Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Rick Dalton. He’s played by the late “Beverly Hills 90210” actor Luke Perry.

James Stacy was an actor who starred in the ’60s TV Western “Lancer” as the brother of Maunder’s character. (He was also briefly married to Connie Stevens.) In “Once Upon a Time,” he’s played by former “Justified” star Timothy Olyphant.

Popular 1960s actress and singer Connie Stevens — and the wife of James Stacy at the time — is played by “Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23” alum Dreama Walker.

Damian Lewis (“Billions”) plays actor Steve McQueen.

Rebecca Rittenhouse (“The Mindy Project”) plays the Mamas and the Papas singer Michelle Phillips.

Rumer Willis (“Empire”) plays Joanna Pettet, a British actress who appeared in movies like “The Group” — and who also lunched with Sharon Tate on the day of her murder.

Nicholas Hammond, who played Friedrich in “The Sound of Music,” plays actor turned TV director Sam Wanamaker.

Austin Butler (“The Carrie Diaries,” “The Shanarra Chronicles”) plays Charles “Tex” Watson, a central member of Manson’s Family who committed multiple murders and was later convicted on seven counts of first-degree murder.

Susan Atkins, who was convicted for her participation in eight of the nine killings linked to Manson Family, is played by “Better Things” star Mikey Madison.

Madisen Beaty (“The Fosters,” “Aquarius”) appears as Katie, the nickname for Manson Family member Patricia Krenwinkel, who was convicted of murder for her role in the slaying of Sharon Tate and four others on Cielo Drive.

Newcomer Dallas Jay Hunter plays Linda Kasabian, a former member of the Manson Family who accompanied Watson, Atkins and Krenwinkel to the murders at Polanski’s home — and later became a star witness in their subsequent murder trials.

Lena Dunham (“Girls”) portrays Catherine “Gypsy” Share, a follower of Manson who did not participate in the Sharon Tate murders.

Voytek Frykowski (a.k.a. Wojciech Frykowski), the Polish actor who was killed along with others in Roman Polanski’s home on L.A.’s Cielo Drive, is played by Russian-born actor Costa Ronin (“The Americans”).

Abigail Folger, a Manson Family victim who was heiress to the Folger coffee fortune and girlfriend of Frykowski, is played by “The Love Witch” actress Samantha Robinson.

“The Leftovers” star Margaret Qualley plays Kitty Kat, based on Manson Family member Kathryn “Kitty” Lutesinger, the girlfriend of convicted murderer Bobby Beausoleil.

Newcomer Victoria Pedretti plays Lulu, the nickname for Manson Family member and convicted murderer Leslie Van Houten — who was 19 at the time of the slayings.

James Landry Hébert (“Stranger Things”) plays Steve “Clem” Grogan, a member of the Manson Family who was convicted of the August 1969 killing of Spahn ranch hand Donald Shea — which occurred weeks after the Sharon Tate murders.
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