Rudi Altobelli, a former manager to stars including Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn, died of natural causes in Los Angeles on March 26. He was 81.
Altobelli clients also included Samantha Eggar, Olivia Hussey, Sally Kellerman, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Valerie Harper.
He also co-produced Harper’s CBS series “Rhoda” in the late ’70s.
Altobelli gained a certain fame as the longtime owner of 10050 Cielo Drive — where Sharon Tate and four others were brutally slain by Charles Manson’s followers on Aug. 8, 1969. Altobelli’s work required travel (he was in Europe at he time of the murders), so he rented out the main house to the Polanskis and used the guest house when he was in Los Angeles. Altobelli became a key witness in D.A. Vincent Bugliosi’s prosecution of Manson, testifying that five months before the murders, Manson came to the guest house, where Manson had a brief unfriendly conversation with Altobelli. Manson was looking for the property’s previous owner, Beach Boys producer Terry Melcher, the son of Doris Day. Altobelli continued living at the estate well into the 1980s.
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Altobelli leaves no survivors.