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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 before studying at the Lodz Film School. His early shorts such as Two Men and a Wardrobe, The Fat and the Lean and Mammals, showed his taste for black humor and interest in bizarre human relationships. His feature debut, Knife in the Water, 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 and Cul-De-Sac, 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. 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. 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, 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 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. By: Yuri German (blsidt1 AT imf.org) and edited by Steve Somers.  See full bio on IMDb »

LATEST STORIES
  
Roman Polanski Tries to Buy Himself Out of Jail

Roman Polanski Tries to Buy Himself Out of Jail

In Monopoly, you can fork over a couple of hundred bucks to get yourself out of jail. Switzerland is apparently just like Monopoly. Roman Polanski's French lawyer, Herve Temime, says he will be… READ MORE >

Roman Polanksi Undergoing Medical Treatment

Roman Polanksi Undergoing Medical Treatment

Roman Polanski has been moved from jail to undergo medical treatment, his lawyer announced today. Herve Temime wouldn't go into too much detail, telling Reuters, "All I know is that he has been… READ MORE >

- 2504 days ago
Roman Polanski -- Get Comfortable

Roman Polanski -- Get Comfortable

The Swiss Justice Ministry has denied Roman Polanski's request to be released from prison pending a decision on extradition.According to the Ministry, there's still a high risk that Polanski might… READ MORE >

- 2515 days ago
Polanski Agreed to Pay Off Victim in 1993

Polanski Agreed to Pay Off Victim in 1993

Court docs that just surfaced say Roman Polanski agreed to pay his victim $500,000 in damages back in 1993 -- but records don't show if he ever paid.The last court filing shows the amount… READ MORE >

- 2519 days ago
Sharon Tate's Sis -- Polanski Didn't 'Rape'

Sharon Tate's Sis -- Polanski Didn't 'Rape'

Debra Tate -- the sister of Roman Polanski's second wife Sharon Tate -- doesn't want the director hauled back to the U.S. to be prosecuted. Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News… READ MORE >

- 2521 days ago
Polanski Lawyers Fight -- Chalet Jail a Possibility

Polanski Lawyers Fight -- Chalet Jail a Possibility

Roman Polanski's lawyers are angling to block any extradition attempt by asking a Swiss judge to release him from custody ...on grounds the move by U.S. law enforcement to haul him back was… READ MORE >

- 2522 days ago
Polanski's Lawyer -- Ready for a Fight

Polanski's Lawyer -- Ready for a Fight

After 30 years on the run, Roman Polanski is finally behind bars -- but, according to his lawyer, he ain't staying there.Polanski's attorney, Herve Temime, called into "GMA" this morning to say… READ MORE >

- 2523 days ago
Roman Polanski Arrested -- Finally

Roman Polanski
Arrested -- Finally

Roman Polanski will not be able to attend the Zurich Film Festival -- which was set to honor him with a lifetime achievement award -- because he got arrested for that whole statutory rape thing… READ MORE >

- 2524 days ago
Polanski's Minor Setback Gets Major

Polanski's Minor Setback Gets Major

Director Roman Polanski's attempt to get his 31-year old child sex case disqualified by all judges in L.A. County has failed.Polanski was asking the L.A. Superior Courts to disqualify all judges… READ MORE >

- 2784 days ago
What if Your Kid Were the Anti-Christ?

What if Your Kid Were the Anti-Christ?

The wave of horror movie remakes continues next week, when the 1976 classic 'The Omen' gets a makeover. The original film tells the story of Damien Thorn, born on June 6 at 6 a.m., who is… READ MORE >

- 3738 days ago

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