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Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski
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Roman Polanski Biography

Roman Polanski (born August 18, 1933) is an Academy Award-winning film director, writer, actor and producer. After beginning his career in Poland, he became a celebrated arthouse filmmaker, and Hollywood director of such films as Rosemary's Baby (1968) and Chinatown (1974), he is also known for his tumultuous personal life. In 1969, his wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered by the Manson Family. In 1978, after pleading guilty to having unlawful sexual intercourse with a thirteen year old girl, Polanski fled to France, where he now resides. Read Full Bio >>

Roman Polanski Awards

YearAwardCategoryForResult
2013 Cannes Film Festival Venus in Fur (2013). Nominated
2013 Polish Film Awards Best Director Carnage (2011). Won
2012 César Awards, France Best Adapted Screenplay Carnage (2011). Won
2012 Cinema Writers Circle Awards, Spain Best Screenplay, Adapted Carnage (2011). Won
2012 Kinema Junpo Awards Best Foreign Language Film The Ghost Writer (2010). Won

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Roman Polanski Trivia

  • Polanksi has not been back to the United States since 1978.
  •  Reuters reports that Polanski is returning to face sentencing on statutory rape charges. Ten years later with no return, it's clear the reports were false. [September 1997]
  •  He was convicted of the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl and fled to Europe to escape incarceration.
  •  After Polanski fled from the American justice, the judge on his case swore to have him behind the bars. Though the judge died in 1989, the director still can't enter the US; otherwise, he would be arrested.
  •  In the year 1969, while he was on out-of-town business, his wife, actress Sharon Tate was brutally murdered by members of Charles Manson's cult family; though Manson only ordered the killing and was not present during the murders. She was eight-months pregnant with their first child at the time. He has said that his life's biggest regret was not being present at the house on Cielo Drive, Beverly Hills the night his wife Sharon Tate and four others were brutally murdered.
  •  Two children with Emmanuelle Seigner: Morgane and Elvis.
  •  Shortly before her murder, wife Sharon Tate gave Polanski a copy of Thomas Hardy's 1891 novel "Tess of the d'Urbervilles", and he planned to film it with her. When he finally made the movie Tess (1979), he dedicated it to her.
  •  Roman and his father are Holocaust survivors. His father was Jewish, and his half-Jewish mother (who was murdered in Auschwitz) had been raised as a Roman Catholic. 
  • He received his first best director Oscar for the movie The Pianist (2002) five months after the awards ceremony. His friend, Harrison Ford, flew to France to present Polanski the award, since the director would be immediately arrested and incarcerated due to outstanding warrants stemming from his fleeing the US after his 1978 statutory rape conviction to avoid imprisonment. [8 September 2003].
  •  Polanski won the Best Director Oscar in 2003 for The Pianist (2002) at the age of 69 years and 7 months, making him the oldest person ever to win that award to that point in time. Polanski eclipsed the record previously held by George Cukor, who was 65 when he won for directing My Fair Lady (1964). This record was beaten in 2005 when Clint Eastwood won at the age of 74 for Million Dollar Baby (2004).
  •  Within the Hollywood industry in the late 60s and early 70s he was often mocked as the stereotypical short, tyrannical European director.
  •  Was voted the 26th Greatest Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
  •  Was one of the judges in the Miss Universe pageant in 1976.
  •  When he fled from the U.S. in the late 70s, much was made about the director's inability to ever make films in the States again. However, Polanski only shot 2 films in the States prior to his arrest: Rosemary's Baby (1968) and Chinatown (1974) were shot in North America. All other English-language films before the arrest were shot in the UK, and all the ones since have been shot in Central Europe.
  •  President of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1991
  • He is portrayed by Marek Probosz in Helter Skelter (2004) (TV).
  •  Born in Paris to a Polish father and a Russian mother.
  •  He was due to have directed "The Double," a modern-day, comedic adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novel about a man whose life is taken over by his doppelganger. John Travolta, who was being paid $17M, was to have played the lead, alongside Isabelle Adjani, John Goodman, and Jean Reno. Shooting was to have begun in May 1996 in Paris. Lili Fini Zanuck and Todd Black were producing, Jeremy Leven had written the screenplay and other personnel such as director of photography Robert Richardson and production designer Pierre Guffroy were in place. Just nine days before principal photography was scheduled to start, and with around $15M already spent, Travolta flew back to US following an argument with Polanski. Travolta claimed that the screenplay had been significantly altered compared with the one he had signed up for. Following Travolta's departure, Steve Martin was quickly hired to replace him, but Isabelle Adjani said she was only prepared to work with Travolta, and she, too, left the film. The project collapsed shortly afterwards.
  •  According to his autobiography, producer Robert Evans initially wanted Roman Polanski to direct Sliver (1993). Since Polanski will not return to the United States, Evans planned on having a second unit director shoot some footage of New York, whilst Polanski would direct the film in Paris.
  •  Polanksi was offered the chance to direct King Kong (1976) but turned it down.
  •  In November 1989 he was approached by Warner Bros to adapt and direct Mikhail Bulgakov's novel The Master and Margarita. The project was subsequently dropped by Warners due to budgetary concerns and the studio's belief that the subject matter was no longer relevant due to the fall of the Berlin wall. Polanski has described his script as the best he has ever adapted.
  • He directed four actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Ruth Gordon, Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, and Adrien Brody. Gordon and Brody won Oscars for their performance in one of his movies.


Roman Polanski Photos

  • Roman Polanski, his wife Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amalric

    66th Annual Cannes Film Festival - "La Venus a la Fourrure" ("Venus in Fur") Premiere - Arrivals

  • Roman Polanski

    66th Annual Cannes Film Festival - "La Venus a la Fourrure" ("Venus in Fur") Photocall

  • Jackie Stewart and Roman Polanski

    66th Annual Cannes Film Festival - "Weekend of a Champion" Premiere - Arrivals

  • Sophie Seydoux, Roman Polanski

    2012 Festival International du Film Restaure - Arrivals

  • Roman Polanski, Nastassja Kinski

    65th Annual Cannes Film Festival - "Vous N'avez Encore Rien Vu" Premiere - Arrivals

  • Roman Polanski and Emmanuelle Seigner

    "Bruno" Paris Premiere - Arrivals

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