Roman Polański ( pə-LAN-skee, Polish: [ˈrɔman pɔˈlaj̃skʲi] (listen); born Raymond Thierry Liebling, 18 August 1933) is a Polish-French film director, producer, writer, and actor. Since 1978, Polanski has been a fugitive from the U.S. criminal justice system; he fled the country while awaiting sentencing in his sexual abuse case on charges of drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl and after pleading guilty to statutory rape.His Polish-Jewish parents moved the family back from Paris to Kraków in 1937. Two years later, Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany starting World War II and the Polanskis found themselves trapped in the Kraków Ghetto. After his mother and father were taken in raids, Polanski spent his formative years in foster homes under an adopted identity, trying to survive the Holocaust.
Polanski's first feature-length film, Knife in the Water (1962), was made in Poland and was nominated for a United States Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. He has since received five more Oscar nominations, along with two BAFTAs, four Césars, a Golden Globe Award and the Palme d'Or of the Cannes Film Festival in France. In the United Kingdom he directed three films, beginning with Repulsion (1965). In 1968, he moved to the United States and cemented his status by directing the horror film Rosemary's Baby (1968).
A turning point in his life took place in 1969, when his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, and four friends were brutally murdered by members of the Manson Family. Following her death, Polanski returned to Europe and eventually continued directing. He made Macbeth (1971) in England and back in Hollywood, Chinatown (1974), which was nominated for eleven Academy Awards. In 1977, Polanski was arrested and charged with drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl. He subsequently pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of unlawful sex with a minor. After spending 42 days undergoing psychiatric evaluation in prison in preparation for sentencing, Polanski, who had expected to be put on probation, fled to Paris after learning that the judge planned to reject his plea deal and impose a prison term. A number of other women have later accused Polanski of raping them when they were teenagers. He remains the subject of an Interpol red notice issued for his arrest, and therefore rarely leaves France. In 1989, Polanski married his current wife, French actress Emmanuelle Seigner. They have two children together.
In Europe, Polanski continued to make films, including Tess (1979), starring Nastassja Kinski. It won France's César Awards for Best Picture and Best Director, and received three Oscars. He later produced and directed The Pianist (2002), a drama about a Polish-Jewish musician escaping Nazi persecution, starring Adrien Brody and Emilia Fox. The film won three Academy Awards including Best Director, along with numerous international awards. He also directed Oliver Twist (2005), a story which parallels his own life as a "young boy attempting to triumph over adversity". He was awarded Best Director for The Ghost Writer (2010) at the 23rd European Film Awards. He also received Best Screenwriter nomination at the aforementioned awards for Carnage (2011). In 2018, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted to expel Polanski from its membership.
He is also known as Rajmund Roman Thierry Polański and Polanski.