CULT leader Charles Manson is still alive after being taken to hospital from his prison cell in Corcoran State Prison, California, a state corrections official said.

Local media had reported that the 82-year-old mass murderer had been taken ill, with Manson being transported to a medical centre in nearby Bakersfield.

Manson was convicted of orchestrating the 1969 murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six other people.

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Tate's sister, Debra Tate, has said that, as a Catholic, she makes "no ill wishes" for the people who killed her sister, and will reserve her feelings until hearing Manson has died.

"I would probably say a prayer for them and shed a tear and ask God to have mercy on their souls, but so far I haven't allowed myself to feel anything because it's unsubstantiated," she said. "I'm not allowing myself to feel anything until I know that it's true."

Manson was convicted of leading a cult in which disaffected young people living in a commune followed his orders and were ultimately turned into killers.

Manson and three female followers, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten, were convicted of murder and sentenced to death for killings at two gruesome scenes in the summer of 1969. Another defendant, Charles "Tex" Watson, was convicted later.

All were spared execution when a US Supreme Court ruling temporarily banned the death penalty in 1972.

Sarah Ardalani, of the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, said in an email that the agency had no information on Manson. The office prosecuted Manson and has objected to his release. He was most recently up for parole in 2012 - his 12th bid for freedom.

The California State Prison in Corcoran has medical facilities to treat inmates requiring urgent or emergency care as well as in-patient hospital stays.

In November, the state inspector general, which monitors the corrections system, branded medical care at Corcoran "inadequate".