'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood': A guide to the real-life Hollywood players

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a fairy tale by way of Quentin Tarantino, mixing together real-life figures, films and haunts of 1960s Tinseltown with fictional characters of his creation. Notably, Rick Dalton, the fading actor played by Leonardo DiCaprio, and Cliff Booth, Brad Pitt's faithful stuntman, have no historical counterpart, but their story is set against the backdrop of Sharon Tate's murder at the hands of the Manson Family, who were very much real.

With the film arriving in theaters on Friday, ET has complied a guide to who's who in the Once Upon a Time universe, from appearances by the biggest stars of yesteryear to the most infamous members of the cult of Manson.

Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate

 

Robbie plays Sharon Tate, the actress who had graduated from TV appearances on The Beverly Hillbillies to rising movie star. She was Golden Globe-nominated for Most Promising Newcomer in 1968 for Valley of the Dolls. At the time of her death, the 26-year-old was married to Roman Polanski and eight-and-a-half months pregnant with their first child.

Damon Herriman as Charles Manson

 

Herriman (who also plays Charles Manson on Netflix's Mindhunter) has more of a glorified cameo as the most infamous cult leader in history. So it goes, Manson was a career criminal who was obsessed with The Beatles and whose followers executed the murders to spark a race war their leader referred to as "Helter Skelter."

Emile Hirsch as Jay Sebring

 

Hirsche plays Jay Sebring, celebrity hairstylist to stars like Steve McQueen and Frank Sinatra. He and Tate dated until she met Roman Polanski, at which point they ended their relationship but the three remained close friends. Sebring, along Wojciech Frykowski and heiress Abigail Folger, were at Tate's home on the night they were murdered by the Manson Family.

Margaret Qualley as Pussycat

 

Qualley's (Fosse/Verdon and The Leftovers) "Pussycat" is something of an outlier, because there is not a single counterpart for her character -- she exists as an amalgam of Manson girls -- though she's likely a riff on Kathryn "Kitty" Lutesinger, who was arrested at Spahn Ranch.

Dakota Fanning as Squeaky Fromme

 

Fanning plays Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, who is one of the most notorious Family members, both for camping out during Manson's trial and her 1975 assassination attempt on President Gerald Ford. Lena Dunham, meanwhile, plays Catherine "Gypsy" Share, Victoria Pedretti (The Haunting of Hill House) is Leslie "Lulu" Van Houten, and Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria) is 14-year-old Dianne "Snake" Lake.

Austin Butler as Tex

 

Butler (who will soon star as Elvis in Baz Luhrmann's biopic) plays Charles "Tex" Watson, one of the Manson followers involved in Tate's killing. In Once Upon a Time, as in real life, he is joined by Susan "Sadie" Atkins (played by Better Things' Mikey Madison), Patricia "Katie" Krenwinkel (The Fosters' Madisen Beaty) and Linda Kasabian (Stranger Things' Maya Hawke).

Rafal Zawierucha as Roman Polanski

 

Polish actor Zawierucha plays director Roman Polanski, who met Tate on the set of The Fearless Vampire Killers, in 1966. The two eventually married and moved to Cielo Drive at the beginning of '69. Polanski was away in London filming a new movie on the night of the murders. (He would become a fugitive of the U.S. a decade later when he pled guilty to statutory rape.)

Mike Moh as Bruce Lee

 

Moh (Empire) plays Bruce Lee, just coming off of The Green Hornet but yet to star in Enter the Dragon. Sebring introduced Tate to Lee and Lee became her martial arts adviser for the 1969 comedy The Wrecking Crew. (It's said that Polanski briefly believed Lee was responsible for Tate's death.)

Damian Lewis as Steve McQueen

 

Lewis (Homeland) plays Steve McQueen, who had successfully made the jump from TV to films like The Thomas Crown Affair and was already an Academy Award-nominated Best Actor (for The Sand Pebbles) by 1969. Tarantino's McQueen pops up during a party at the Playboy Mansion as a bit of a gossip.

Luke Perry as Wayne Maunder

 

Perry's final film role sees him portraying actor Wayne Maunder, who starred as Scott Lancer on the CBS Western, Lancer, from 1968 to '70. In Once Upon a Time, DiCaprio's Dalton guest stars on the series and films opposite Maunder and his onscreen brother, James Stacy (played here by Timothy Olyphant).

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood premiere
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Leonardo DiCaprio arrives at the premiere of Sony Pictures' "One Upon A Time...In Hollywood" at the Chinese Theatre on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Brad Pitt arrives at the premiere of Sony Pictures' "One Upon A Time...In Hollywood" at the Chinese Theatre on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Margot Robbie attends Sony Pictures' "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Margot Robbie attends Sony Pictures' "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: (L-R) Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie and Leonardo DiCaprio arrive at the premiere of Sony Pictures' "One Upon A Time...In Hollywood" at the Chinese Theatre on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Pierce Brosnan and Dylan Brosnan attends Sony Pictures' "Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Pierce Brosnan and Dylan Brosnan attend Sony Pictures' "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Dylan Brosnan attends Sony Pictures' "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Elsa Pataky and Chris Hemsworth attend Sony Pictures' "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California.

Elsa wore a Ba&sh dress, currently on sale for 50% off!

(Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Julia Butter (L) and Leonardo DiCaprio arrive at the premiere of Sony Pictures' "One Upon A Time...In Hollywood" at the Chinese Theatre on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Quentin Tarantino arrives at the premiere of Sony Pictures' "One Upon A Time...In Hollywood" at the Chinese Theatre on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Snoop Dogg attends Sony Pictures' "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Britney Spears and Sam Asghari attend Sony Pictures' "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Robert Carradine arrives at the Sony Pictures' "Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Timothy Olyphant attends Sony Pictures' "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara attend Sony Pictures' "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Sofia Vergara attends Sony Pictures' "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Luke Hemsworth and Samantha Hemsworth attend Sony Pictures' "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: (L-R) Scout Larue Willis, Tallulah Belle Willis and Rumer Willis arrive at the premiere of Sony Pictures' "One Upon A Time...In Hollywood" at the Chinese Theatre on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Vanessa Hudgens and Austin Butler attend Sony Pictures' "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: John Stamos and Caitlin McHugh attend Sony Pictures' "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Adriana Lima attends Sony Pictures' "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Andy Serkis attends Sony Pictures' "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Maya Hawke attends Sony Pictures' "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Rebecca Gayheart attends Sony Pictures' "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Topher Grace attends The Los Angeles Premiere Of "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" at TCL Chinese Theatre on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: April Love Geary and Robin Thicke attend The Los Angeles Premiere Of "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" at TCL Chinese Theatre on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Rebecca Rittenhouse attends The Los Angeles Premiere Of "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" at TCL Chinese Theatre on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Margaret Qualley attends Sony Pictures' "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Kevin Smith and Jennifer Schwalbach Smith arrives at the Sony Pictures' "Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: Travis Scott attends Sony Pictures' "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood" Los Angeles Premiere on July 22, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
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