Factbox: Who is Roman Polanski?

ZURICH (BestGrowthStock) – Switzerland has decided not to extradite film director Roman Polanski to the United States to face sentencing for having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

Here are some facts about Polanski’s life and times and the court case:


* Born Raymond Polanski to Polish-Jewish parents on August 18, 1933, he spent the first three years of his life in Paris before the family returned to Poland. He has dual French-Polish nationality.

* During World War Two when the Germans sealed off the Jewish ghetto in Krakow, his father shouted to Roman to run and he escaped. His mother later died at Auschwitz.


* Polanski’s first full-length feature film, “Knife in the Water” in 1962, won awards and was his ticket to Hollywood.

* Few directors have laid bare their inner fantasies and fears like Polanski in films such as “Repulsion,” “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Tenant” — works of disturbing brutality shot through with voyeurism and dark humor.

* In 1974 Polanski had another major Hollywood success with “Chinatown,” a stylish thriller starring Jack Nicholson.

* Polanski won a best director Oscar for his 2002 Holocaust film “The Pianist,” as well as the Cannes film festival’s Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) that same year.

* Harrison Ford, who was presenting the Oscar, accepted it on Polanski’s behalf because the director could not travel to Los Angeles because of the criminal proceedings. The audience gave Polanski a standing ovation.

* He completed his latest film “The Ghost,” based on a Robert Harris best-seller, while under arrest in Switzerland.


* In August 1969, Polanski’s pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate, and four others, were murdered by followers of cult leader Charles Manson at the director’s Los Angeles home.

* In 1977 he pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to a charge of unlawful sex with a 13 year-old girl. He served 42 days in prison on psychiatric assessment but later skipped bail and fled to France in 1978 before being sentenced.

* Polanski has lived in Europe ever since, facing the prospect of arrest the moment he set foot back on U.S. soil while continuing his film career outside Hollywood. * He dated actress Nastassja Kinski, then age 15, for several years and cast her in his 1979 movie “Tess.”

* He is married to French actress Emmanuelle Seigner, with whom he has two children.

* Polanski was arrested on a U.S. warrant in September 2009 in Switzerland upon arrival in Zurich to receive a lifetime achievement award at a film festival. After a short jail stint, Polanski was transferred to house arrest in his Gstaad villa in December 2009 pending extradition.

* In March lawyers for Polanski filed an appeal demanding he be sentenced in absence from California while he remained under house arrest in Switzerland.

* A California appellate court on April 22 upheld the January decision by a Los Angeles judge, saying Polanski could not be sentenced in absentia.

Factbox: Who is Roman Polanski?