The death of cult leader Charles Manson has prompted a mixed reaction in Hollywood. Manson, who spearheaded a two-day Benedict Canyon murder spree in August 1969, died of natural causes at age 83. Manson and his family of followers were responsible for the deaths of Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger, Steven Parent, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca and actress Sharon Tate, the wife of movie producer Roman Polanski, who was eight months pregnant at the time. After Manson’s death was announced, Tate’s sister Debra told People she said a prayer for his soul.
Charles Manson’s ties to the entertainment industry were well documented. Before his crimes landed him in jail for the rest of his life, Manson hobnobbed with the Beach Boys and wrote songs that were later covered by Guns ‘N Roses and Marilyn Manson, whose stage name was partly inspired by the mass murderer. Manson also had dealings with music producer Terry Melcher, the son of Doris Day, who used to live at 10050 Cielo Drive, the site of Sharon Tate’s murder.
After Charles Manson’s death was announced, conflicted celebrities took to Twitter to say good riddance to the man who exemplified evil, offer sympathy to the victims— and, in some cases, offer sympathy to Manson.
One of the most interesting commentaries came from actor Bryan Cranston, who briefly detailed an encounter he had with Manson in 1968 when he was 12-years-old.
“Hearing Charles Manson is dead, I shuddered,” Cranston wrote. “I was within his grasp just one year before he committed brutal murder in 1969. Luck was with me when a cousin and I went horseback riding at the Span Ranch and saw the little man with crazy eyes whom the other hippies called Charlie.”
Bryan Cranston previously revealed the encounter with the future mass murderer in an interview with the Hudson Union Society last year in which he talked about his time at the ranch. While Cranston said he didn’t actually meet Manson, he remembers hearing someone scream “Charlie’s on the hill!” as he was renting a horse to ride. Cranston and his cousin later crossed paths with a trail of horseback riders.
“In the middle of the pack was a guy holding the reins of the horse behind him,” the actor said. “On the horse behind him was this little bearded guy with big, dark eyes and wild hair and his eyes were wide.”
A year later when Cranston saw Charles Manson’s picture in the paper after the murders, he realized that was the man he had passed on the horse trail.
In addition to Bryan Cranston, many other celebrities spoke out about the death of Charles Manson. Author Stephen King said Hell has a reserved seat for Manson, while comedian Norm McDonald offered prayers for the killer’s family. Singer John Mayer noted that people under age 25 were confusing Charles Manson with singer Marilyn Manson. Other stars, like actress Pauley Perrette, asked Hollywood not to glorify Manson. Actress Mia Farrow reserved her commentary to remember her late friend Sharon Tate.
You can see celebrity reaction to the death of Charles Manson below.
For more on Charles Manson’s life and death, see the video below.
[Featured Image by AP Images/File]