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Roman Polanski

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Roman Polanski is a Polish film director, producer, writer and actor. Having made films in Poland, Britain, France and the USA, he is considered one of the few truly international filmmakers. Roman Polanski was born in Paris in 1933. His parents returned to Poland from France in 1936, three years before World War II began. On Germany's invasion in 1939, as a family of mostly Jewish heritage, they were all sent to the Krakow ghetto. His parents were then captured and sent to two different concentration camps: his father to Mauthausen-Gusen in Austria, where he survived the war, and his mother to Auschwitz where she was murdered. Roman witnessed his father's capture and then, at only 7, managed to escape the ghetto and survive the war, at first wandering through the Polish countryside and pretending to be a Roman-Catholic kid visiting his relatives. Although this saved his life, he was severely mistreated suffering nearly fatal beating which left him with a fractured skull. Local people usually ignored the cinemas where German films were shown, but Polanski seemed little concerned by the propaganda and often went to the movies. As the war progressed, Poland became increasingly war-torn and he lived his life as a tramp, hiding in barns and forests, eating whatever he could steal or find. Still under 12 years old, he encountered some Nazi soldiers who forced him to hold targets while they shot at them. At the war's end in 1945, he reunited with his father who sent him to a technical school, but young Polanski seemed to have already chosen another career. In the 1950s, he took up acting, appearing in Andrzej Wajda's A Generation (1955) before studying at the Lodz Film School. His early shorts such as Two Men and a Wardrobe (1958), The Fat and the Lean (1961) and Mammals (1962), showed his taste for black humor and interest in bizarre human relationships. His feature debut, Knife in the Water (1962), was one of the first Polish post-war films not associated with the war theme. It was also the first movie from Poland to get an Oscar nomination for best foreign film. Though already a major Polish filmmaker, Polanski chose to leave the country and headed to France. While down-and-out in Paris, he befriended young scriptwriter, Gérard Brach, who eventually became his long-time collaborator. The next two films, Repulsion (1965) and Cul-De-Sac (1966), made in England and co-written by Brach, won respectively Silver and then Golden Bear awards at the Berlin International Film Festival. In 1968, Polanski went to Hollywood, where he made the psychological thriller, Rosemary's Baby (1968). However, after the brutal murder of his wife, Sharon Tate, by the Manson Family in 1969, the director decided to return to Europe. In 1974, he again made a US release - it was Chinatown (1974). It seemed the beginning of a promising Hollywood career, but after his conviction for the statutory rape of a 13-year old girl, Polanski fled from the USA to avoid prison. After Tess (1979), which was awarded several Oscars and Cesars, his works in 1980s and 1990s became intermittent and rarely approached the caliber of his earlier films. It wasn't until The Pianist (2002) that Polanski came back to full form. For that movie, he won nearly all the most important film awards, including the Oscar for Best Director, Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or, the BAFTA and Cesar Award. He still likes to act in the films of other directors, sometimes with interesting results, as in A Pure Formality (1994). By: Yuri German (blsidt1 AT imf.org) and edited by Steve Somers.  See full bio on IMDb »

LATEST STORIES
  
Roman Polanski’s Victim Samantha Geimer Makes Courthouse Plea for Director's Freedom

Roman Polanski's Rape Victim
Courthouse Plea For Director's Freedom

Samantha Geimer -- the woman Roman Polanski raped in 1977 when she was 13 -- thinks what's happening to him is outrageous and if she's over it ... everyone else should be too. Geimer… READ MORE >

Roman Polanski Shut Down by Judge in Rape Case

Roman Polanski
Shut Down By Judge in Rape Case

Roman Polanski just lost his bid to return to the United States without fear of prison. Polanski's lawyer, Harland Braun, has asked an L.A. County Superior Court judge to unseal a secret… READ MORE >

- 83 days ago
Roman Polanski to Judge:  Say I've Done My Time, and I'll Come Back

Roman Polanski to Judge
Say I've Done My Time And I'll Come Back

Roman Polanski will come back to a California courtroom to face the judge over his fugitive status in his child rape case, but only if the judge says in advance that the director served his full… READ MORE >

- 107 days ago
Prosecutors Say Roman Polanski Doesn't Get to Call Shots On How He Returns

Roman Polanski
Can't Call Shots On His Return to the U.S. ... Prosecutors Say

Roman Polanski will have to go through the legal system like any other fugitive if the L.A. County D.A. gets their way -- but Polanski's attorney thinks it's "bizarre" prosecutors don't want to… READ MORE >

- 116 days ago
Roman Polanski's Rape Victim Says Rape is Not the End of the World (VIDEO)

Roman Polanski's Rape Victim
Rape is Not the End of the World

Roman Polanski's rape victim, Samantha Geimer, says she's sick of victims' rights advocates and others trying to paint her as a pathetic creature ... she's fine and doesn't think rape… READ MORE >

- 128 days ago
Roman Polanski's Rape Victim -- Worse Things Happen in Life ... Set Him Free (VIDEO)

Roman Polanski's Rape Victim
Worse Things Happen in Life Set Him Free

Samantha Geimer -- the woman raped by Roman Polanski at 13 years old -- says the system did him dirty and she's rooting for him to become a free man again, without spending another day in jail.… READ MORE >

- 129 days ago
Roman Polanski Wants Back in U.S. to Settle Child Rape Case

Roman Polanski
Wants Back in U.S. To Settle Child Rape Case

Roman Polanski will make a move next week to return to the U.S. and end his child rape case for good, without serving additional jail time. Polanski's famed lawyer, Harland Braun, has asked an… READ MORE >

- 129 days ago
Celebrity Priest -- Slams Oscars Over 'Spotlight' ... They're Hypocrites!

Celebrity Priest
Slams Oscars Over 'Spotlight' They're Hypocrites!

Father Robert Sirico -- a celebrity in his own right for his political and cultural commentary -- eviscerated the Academy for embracing "Spotlight" while it celebrated a child molester in its own… READ MORE >

- 480 days ago
Golden Globes -- Bring on the Bill Cosby Rape Jokes ... TMZ TV

Golden Globes
Bring on the Cosby Rape Jokes ... TMZ TV

It was inevitable that Golden Globes hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler would take some shots at Bill Cosby and all the rape allegations -- but seems like a bit of hypocrisy was also served up.Yes,… READ MORE >

- 895 days ago
Auction House -- Sharon Tate Ring Is LEGIT, We Have Proof

Auction House
Sharon Tate Ring Is LEGIT, We Have Proof

The auction house behind the controversial Sharon Tate "engagement ring" tells TMZ ... it has written confirmation from Roman Polanski verifying the authenticity of the jewelry ... and claims it… READ MORE >

- 2041 days ago
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