Sharon Tate’s agent, Marty Ransohoff, had a very specific plan for Sharon’s path to stardom. He wanted her to have acting lessons and cut her teeth in small parts on television, growing accustomed to being before the cameras. Mr. Ransohoff chose for Sharon to appear in series in which he himself was involved in one way or another so that he could continue his supervision of her career.
Ransohoff insisted that Ms. Tate go uncredited in these roles — that way, when she was ready for the big time, he could spring her on Hollywood as a breakout smash. Because of this long-term plan and careful keeping of her under wraps, Sharon could pop up repeatedly on the same show, slowly gaining experience and getting more lines, and the audiences would be none the wiser.
Wearing a black bobbed wig, Sharon anonymously portrayed Janet Trego in about fifteen episodes of “The Beverly Hillbillies,” and appeared in another, wigless, as “young girl” at a garden party. (She showed up first as “Sharon,” in a different hairpiece.)
Star Trek: TOS actress and small-screen beauty Grace Lee Whitney — you know I will always find a sci-fi connection — recalls hanging out with Sharon as aspiring actresses in L.A. in her autobiography:
I was in make up with Sharon Tate a number of times, and I remember her as a very friendly, sweet girl in her early twenties. We used to gossip like schoolgirls about how cute Troy [Donahue] and Chad [Everett] were.
Like me, she was doing a lot of episodic television–shows like The Beverly Hillbillies and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. I vividly recall how shocked and horrified I was a few years later when I heard that she [died].
(Whitney, Grace Lee. The Longest Trek: My Tour of the Galaxy Clovis, CA: Quill Driver Books, 1998.)
Besides a guest spot on The Man From U.N.C.L.E and her more regularly featured role of Janet Trego on The Beverly Hillbillies, Sharon also appeared in a 1963 episode of Mr. Ed as “Telephone Operator.”