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3 Directorial Filmography
4 External links
Polanski was born in Paris to Jewish parents and his mother died in a concentration camp. Polanski avoided incarceration there and spent the war wandering the countryside of Europe. He was educated at the film school in Lodz, Poland (graduated in 1959). Several short films made during the study gained considerable recognition. His first major film Knife in the Water (1962) was the first significant Polish film after the War that was not associated with the war theme.
In 1968 Polanski went to Hollywood where he gained reputation with the sophisticated psychological thriller Rosemary's Baby (1968). In 1969, Sharon Tate, his wife eight-months pregnant, was brutally murdered by Charles Manson's gang. Distraught and heartbroken, he returned to Europe.
In 1974 he returned to the USA with the film Chinatown (1974). The film seemed to be the beginning of a new start for Polanski's professional life, as it brought Polanski an Academy Award nomination. However, he got involved in a scandal surrounding statutory rape charges involving him and a 13-year-old girl, Samantha Geimer. According to reports, his fame gained him the trust of her parents, to host the young model at his home. After convincing her to get into his hot-tub, he drugged her with pills or alcohol and had nonconsentual intercourse with her. After she reported the assault, he fled the United States but returned later to face the charges. On February 1, 1978, after pleading guilty to the charges, Polanski skipped bail and fled to France.
He received another Academy Award nomination for Tess (1979). Since then Polanski spent his time in France and Poland, and continues to direct movies and theater and act in films. He now lives with Emmanuelle Seigner, they have two children: Morgane and Elvis.
Polanski was laureate of the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) award at the Cannes Film Festival on May 26 2002 for The Pianist, later winning the 2002 Academy Award for Directing. He couldn't attend the awards, held in the United States, because he still faces trial if he ever returns to the U.S.