Roman Polanski is the Polish filmmaker who directed the critical and commercial hits Rosemary's Baby
(1968, starring Mia Farrow) and Chinatown
(1974, starring Jack Nicholson).
A survivor of Nazi-occupied Poland, he began his acting career while still in his teens.
However, since he found his true calling behind the camera he went on to join film school and in the late 1950s began winning international awards for his short films.
His first feature film, Knife in the Water (1962) received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film and within a few years Polanski made his way to Hollywood.
The success of Rosemary's Baby was soon overshadowed by the murder of Polanski's pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate, by members of a cult led by Charles Manson, and Polanski returned to Europe, settling down in France.
He continued to act and to make movies in Europe and the U.S., but in 1977 he was charged in Los Angeles with drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl. The incident took place in Jack Nicholson's home, who was out of town at the time of the incident.
After a few months in jail for psychiatric review, Polanski was released on bail and allowed to leave the country to work on a film. He never returned. He continued making movies in Europe and in the '80s and '90s appeared many times on stage.
His filmography includes some great films, some stinkers and a few that can be taken either way, but he is considered by many to be a great director. His other feature films include Tess (1980), Frantic (1988, starring Harrison Ford) and The Ninth Gate (2000, starring Johnny Depp).
His latest film The Pianist is an account of the German extermination of the Warsaw ghetto. Polanski is a survivor of the Krakow ghetto himself. In 1989 Polanski married actress Emmanuelle Seigner, who appears in his films Frantic and The Ninth Gate. In 1984 he had published his autobiography, Roman.
The Pianist (2002)
The Ninth Gate (2000)
Bitter Moon (1994)
Death and The Maiden (1994)
A Pure Formality (1994)
Back in the USSR (1992)
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