The connection between "Mad Men's" Megan Draper and 1960s uber-martyr Sharon Tate casts a retrospective glow on Esquire magazine's great era under editor Harold Hayes.
The "Mad Men"-Tate tie results from the red star-decorated T-shirt worn by the troubled Mrs. Draper at the end of the AMC show's last episode, a copy of a T-shirt worn by Tate in a 1967 Esquire photo display. Tate was married to Roman Polanski and eight months pregnant when she was murdered by Charles Manson and his gang in 1969, one of the disturbing events that unveiled the barbaric underside of the 1960s counterculture. The T-shirt clue has "Mad Men" fans speculating whether Megan Draper is destined to be brutally murdered like Tate.
The Esquire photos of Tate illustrated a whimsical look at Chinese communist leader Mao Tse Tung's lessons. While not Hayes' greatest idea, the photo spread, republished this week on the Esquire web site, shows his transgressive brilliance. The current Esquire editor half-apologizes for the incongruity of Mao and Tate. Too bad no one at Esquire today shows that kind of creativity.
Speaking of Esquire and "Mad Men" connections, the mysterious "Mad Men" character Bob Benson has a nearly matching name to Esquire editor and writer Robert Benton, who co-wrote "Bonnie and Clyde."