Roman Polanski (Born 18 August 1933) is a film director, producer, screenwriter, and actor. He is the recipient of numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, two British Academy Film Awards, nine César Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, as well as the Golden Bear and a Palme d’Or.
His Polish–Jewish parents moved the family from his birthplace in Paris back to Kraków in 1937. Two years later, the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany started World War II, and the family found themselves trapped in the Kraków Ghetto. After his mother and father were taken in raids, Polanski spent his formative years in foster homes, surviving the Holocaust by adopting a false identity and concealing his Jewish heritage. Polanski’s first feature-length film, Knife in the Water (1962), was made in Poland and was nominated for the United States Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. After living in France for a few years, he moved to the United Kingdom, where he directed his first three English-language feature-length films: Repulsion (1965), Cul-de-sac (1966), and The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967). In 1968, he moved to the United States and cemented his status in the film industry by directing the horror film Rosemary’s Baby (1968).
Polanski’s life turned in 1969 when his pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate, and four friends were murdered by members of the Manson Family.
He made Macbeth (1971) in England and Chinatown (1974) back in Hollywood. In 1977, Polanski was arrested and charged with drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl. As a result of a plea bargain, he pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of unlawful sex with a minor. In 1978, upon learning that the judge planned to reject his plea deal and impose a prison term instead of probation, he fled to Paris. As a result, Polanski is a fugitive from the U.S. criminal justice system. After fleeing to Europe, Polanski continued directing. His other critically acclaimed films include Tess (1979), The Ghost Writer (2010), Venus in Fur (2013), and An Officer and a Spy (2019).