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Ava Roosevelt Escaped The Manson Family Murders Thanks To Car Trouble And Slams 'Once Upon A Time In Hollywood'

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Who Is Ava Roosevelt? New Details On Sharon Tate's BFF Who Escaped Manson Murders And Slammed 'Once Upon A Time In Hollywood'

The Manson family murders continue to captivate people throughout the generations. Yet, for one woman, in particular, the infamous murders aren't just a curiosity — they're a very real thing to her, and its depiction in the films is something that she has no problems speaking out against. Who is Ava Roosevelt, and why does she have a problem with Once Upon A Time In Hollywood?

Let's look at what we know about her. 

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1. In her prime, Ava Roosevelt was an actress and a model.

According to Inside Edition, Ava Roosevelt was an actress and a model back in the 1960s. While she didn't achieve the level of success and notoriety as her late friend, Sharon Tate, she was pretty successful in her own right. "Roosevelt had not lived in California long when she was invited to a party at the rented home of her close friend, Sharon Tate. The up-and-coming model had recently moved to Los Angeles from her native Poland and set out to join in on the fun — but her car had other plans," reported the outlet, who added that thanks to her car trouble, she avoided being another victim of the Manson family murders. 


A post shared by Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (@onceinhollywood) on Jul 26, 2019 at 7:47am PDT

Quentin Tarantino directed Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. 

2. Sharon Tate's murder was just one of many murders committed by the Manson family. 

While the murder of Sharon Tate was the most infamous murder performed by the Manson family, mostly because of her notoriety as an actress and as the wife of director Roman Polanski, hers was just one in a series of murders committed by the deadly cult. 

"Perhaps one of the most famous cults of all time, Charles Manson began forming the Manson Family in late 1967 upon his release from prison for a series of small crimes. He recruited 100 or so followers, many of them young women, and went on a murder spree through Los Angeles in the summer of 1969. Manson was the mastermind behind the murders, he had members of the “family” actually carry them out. While pregnant actress Sharon Tate was the most well-known of Manson’s victims, she was hardly the only one," said Biography.com.


A post shared by Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (@onceinhollywood) on Jul 30, 2019 at 6:37pm PDT

Margot Robbie plays Sharon Tate in the film, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood. 

3. Ava Roosevelt frequently talks about her brush with death. 

According to Town & Country, who spoke to Ava Roosevelt before Once Upon a Time in Hollywood came out, the former actress and model frequently speaks about her brush with death. 

"The guilt still lingers," Roosevelt, now 69, tells Town & Country. "I survived and they didn't, and it's haunted me for years, I never stop thinking about Sharon." When news of Manson's death broke, Roosevelt felt "relieved, and, finally, safe," she says. "I ask God to forgive me, but the world is a better place without Charles Manson. It's a miracle I survived so long ago, and now I don't have to worry about him anymore. I can finally let the horror go," she said to the outlet.


A post shared by Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (@onceinhollywood) on Jul 23, 2019 at 11:50am PDT

Ava Roosevelt escaped the Manson family. 

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4. After she escaped the Manson family, Ava Roosevelt mingled in New York high society. 

The Hollywood Reporter recently did a story about "The Walkers," a subset of gay men that escorted wealthy New York high society women to various social functions. One such woman was Ava Roosevelt, who was married to one of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's grandsons.  "Mrs. Onassis loved gossip and she would always ask me to give her updates," recalls Matthew Rich, a public relations and political consultant who's currently working on Donald Trump's reelection campaign. For decades, his other major pursuit was accompanying society women, from Jacqueline Onassis to Ava Roosevelt, to dinners and charitable functions, a role that is often referred to as a "walker," reported the outlet.


A post shared by Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (@onceinhollywood) on Jul 22, 2019 at 10:27pm PDT

Ava Roosevelt slammed Quentin Tarantino. 

5. She slammed Once Upon a Time in Hollywood for what she feels is an inaccurate depiction of her late friend. 

The New York Post reports that Ava Roosevelt disliked Once Upon a Time in Hollywood for its fictional depiction of an actor who was in Hollywood around the time of the Manson family murders. Roosevelt said that the depiction was "inaccurate." "Tarantino has abused the memory of my friends,” Roosevelt says. “After the film, my boyfriend asked me how I was doing. I said, ‘Let’s not talk.’ I didn’t really sleep last night," she said to the outlet. She also had a lot to say about Margot Robbie's depiction of the late actress, slamming the actress as portraying her friend as a "ditz" who snored, rather than as the intelligent and funny woman she knew her to be. 


A post shared by Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (@onceinhollywood) on Jul 20, 2019 at 9:00am PDT

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is meant to be a work of fiction.

6. And Ava Roosevelt isn't the only one to slam Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

According to The Atlantic, reviews of the latest Tarantino film are mixed, to say the least.  "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has been widely interpreted as an elegy for a beloved cinematic era that ended with the cultural shifts of the late ’60s, which were embodied by Manson’s curdled, deranged hippiedom. But it could be argued — and indeed is argued by Atkins in the film — that the film industry’s bloodthirst corrupted a generation that then murdered its idols. Old Hollywood, in Atkins’s reading, created the Mansons, seeding its own destruction," reported the outlet.

What do you think of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood?

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. For more information about Bernadette Giacomazzo, click here.