September 15, 2017 12:11pm CST
Director Roman Polanski was born as Rajmund Roman Liebling on August 18, 1933 in Paris, France. Yes, I know you’re probably wondering who in the world he is. Well I am sure that most of us don’t pay much attention to who directed a certain movie unless the director is world famous. You will however recognize the titles of some of the movies he has directed such as “Rosemary’s Baby”, “Chinatown” and “The Pianist”. Polanski has received lots of honors including an Oscar. Unfortunately his personal life has been touched by tragedy. Polanski spent his childhood in Poland during WWII at which time his parents who were Jewish were sent to concentration camps. He studied film in Poland and made his directorial debut in 1962 with “Knife in the Water” a psychological thriller. He made a series of movies in England among them “The Fearless Vampire Killers” featuring an American actress Sharon Tate, who became his wife in January of 1968. Polanski’s first movie in Hollywood was “Rosemary’s Baby”. All of you who have seen this movie know how disturbing it was about a young woman impregnated by the devil. This horror movie starred Mia Farrow, became a box-office hit and got Polanski an Oscar nomination. Today this movie counts among the classic horror movies. Tragedy struck Polanski’s personal life on August 9, 1969. While he was out of the country his wife Sharon Tate eight months pregnant with the couple’s first child was discovered murdered in their Los Angeles, California home. There were four other people visiting who were also brutally murdered. The murderers were an infamous cult that was led by Charles Manson. They were all caught and convicted. Manson at present is still in prison. Polanski was so devastated by this horrible turn of events that he buried himself in his work. He continued directing movies in both Europe and Hollywood. In the 70s he directed movies like “Macbeth”, “What?” and “Chinatown” starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. “Chinatown” told the story of water and land rights in Southern California in the early 20th century and was nominated for eleven Oscars winning for Best Original Screenplay. Personally I think the tragedy that Polanski suffered losing his wife and baby like that also affected him psychologically in a way because in 1977 he was accused and pled guilty to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl. Before his sentencing in February of 1977 he fled from the U.S and continued to make movies in Poland and France, where he couldn’t be extradited to the U.S. In 2002 he directed the movie “The Pianist” starring Adrien Brody portraying a Polish-Jewish musician during WWII. The movie gained Polanski an Oscar for Best Director but because he was afraid of being arrested if he returned to the states he didn’t attend the Academy Award ceremony. Today at the age of 84 he lives in Europe. Do you remember the Manson murders? Have you seen any of Polanski’s films?
On this day in History, Director Roman Polanski born on Aug 18, 1933. Learn more about what happened today on History.