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Roman Polanski

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Roman Polanski was born August 18, 1933, in Paris, France, and is an Oscar-winning director. He and his mother were sent to a concentration camp during World War II; he managed to escape, but his mother died. In the 1950s, Roman took up acting and attended the National Film School in Lodz. Later, he became interested in directing and moved to Hollywood. His first big hit was the 1968 psychological thriller Rosemary’s Baby. A year later, his pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate, was brutally murdered by the infamous Manson gang, after which Roman returned to Europe. In 1974, he came back to the U.S. to release another hit movie, Chinatown. While back in the States, the 43-year-old director was charged with raping a 13-year-old girl. He then fled to France escape imprisonment. In 2003, Roman won the Best Director Oscar for his film The Pianist; actor Harrison Ford accepted the award on his behalf, as Roman would have been arrested upon entering the U.S. In September 2009, Roman was arrested by Swiss police in Zurich, due to his outstanding 1978 U.S. arrest warrant. They held him under house arrest for nine months, then announced that they would not extradite him to the U.S. after all. Many celebrities -- including, infamously, Woody Allen -- have voiced their support of Roman over the years.

Roman Polanski

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