Roman Polanski, the celebrated film director with the turbulent and controversial personal life, turns 80 this weekend. The
remarkable career of the octogenarian filmmaker behind cinema classics including Chinatown (1974), Rosemary's Baby (1968)
and Repulsion (1965) has been shadowed by scandal - in 1977 he fled the U.S. after facing charges of sexual abuse against a
13-year-old girl and has never returned to stand trial, opting instead for a life of exile in Europe. He has also known great personal
tragedy, having lost his mother in Auschwitz during WWII and his wife Sharon Tate in the notorious Manson murders of 1969.
Born Rajmund Roman Thierry Polański in Paris on 18 August 1933, Polanski's childhood was to be shaped by the horrors of World
War II. His Polish-Jewish parents returned to Krakow in 1937 shortly before the outbreak of World War II, and the family found
themselves forced to live in the Krakow ghetto (pictured above in 1941). His mother and half-sister were sent to Auschwitz, where
his mother perished, and his father was sent to a camp at Mauthausen. Polanski spent his boyhood alone, hiding from the Germans
and being sheltered by a series of Roman Catholic families. He witnessed atrocities - at the age of six he saw an elderly woman shot
dead in the street - and was reportedly once forced to take part in a cruel game in which German soldiers took shots at him for target
Roman Polanski in Krakow, aged about four, shortly after his parents, Ryszard and Bula, had decided to move back to Poland
Polanski with assistant director Andrzej Kostenko (left) and actor Kuba Goldberg (centre) in Gdansk, location hunting for his
early short Two Men and a Wardrobe
Shooting Two Men and a Wardrobe in 1958. The short follows two men as they emerge from the sea carrying the wardrobe. They
totter into town, only to be abused by a gang of youths before making a retreat back to the ocean.
Polanski's debut feature Knife in the Water
(1962) follows a married couple who invite a
young stranger onto their boat for a sailing
lesson, and was nominated for the best
foreign language film Oscar. Here
cinematographer Jezy Lipman, who had shot
A Generation and Kanal for Andrzej Wajda,
hang precariously from the side of the yacht.
Polanski and Lipman cling on to the bonnet of a car during the making of Knife in the Water. The film's producers later ordered
Polanski to reshoot these scenes, replacing the Mercedes with a Peugeot to look more 'proletarian'.
Despite Knife in the Water's success, Polanski found it difficult to follow it up. Eventually he was hired to make a horror film in
London, which became Repulsion (1965). Polanski cast the 20-year-old Catherine Deneuve as a troubled bedsit-dweller literally
climbing the walls; here they are shown on set in the tiny Kensington flat used for the film.
Polanski on the set of the 1967 horror-comedy The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in My Neck
(the second half of the title added, against the director's wishes, for its US release). Polanski co-starred with his future wife
Sharon Tate, who was murdered two years later by the Manson family.
Polanski (in tiny shorts and straw hat) filming Chinatown in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles. Jack Nicholson is in the
car playing Jake Gittes, the nosy private dick who uncovers a snakes' nest of sleaze during California's water wars.
Polanski with John Huston and Jack Nicholson on the set of Chinatown. Nicholson's bandage is Polanski's doing: the director plays
a thug who slits Gittes' nostrils with a pocket knife ("You're a very nosy fellow, kitty cat") in a key scene from the film.
In 1979 Polanski released Tess, an adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles. Shot largely in Brittany, it stars
Nastassja Kinski (pictured with Polanski, right and Peter Firth) as the hapless young peasant girl torn between devilish Alec
d'Urberville and hypocritical Angel Clare. By this time, Polanski was unable to work in the US or the UK after fleeing America before
final sentencing in a sexual abuse case.
Frantic (1988) was Polanski's homage to Hitchcock, starring Harrison Ford as a harassed surgeon whose wife is kidnapped during a
trip to Paris. Here Polanski shows a stuntman how to fall when shot in the back.
Polanski and Ben Kingsley film the dramatic clifftop scene in 1994's Death and the Maiden. Another kidnap thriller, adapted from
Ariel Dorfman's celebrated play, sees Sigourney Weaver take Kingsley's character hostage, convinced he blindfolded, raped and
tortured her in the past.
Polanski directing 11-year-old Barney Clark in 1995's Oliver Twist. Kingsley popped up again in the adaptation of the Dickens
classic, this time as the pick-pocketing mastermind Fagin.
Roman Polanski directing Mia Farrow on Rosemary's Baby
Roman Polanski and Mia Farrow on Rosemary's Baby
In 1968, Polanski moved from France to the U.S. and directed Rosemary's Baby, which earned him an Academy Award nomination
for best adapted screenplay. In this photo, Polanski directs actress Mia Farrow during filming on Oct. 10, 1967.
Mia Farrow and Roman Polanski, as the camera crew film a close up. Ralph Bellamy and John Casavettes in the background,
'Rosemary's Baby', 1967
In 1974, Polanski directed what is arguably his finest film: Chinatown, a multi-layered neo-noir masterpiece starring Jack Nicholson
and Faye Dunaway. The film secured eleven Academy Award nominations, and Robert Towne won Best Original Screenplay. The
film is widely regarded as having one of Hollywood's greatest ever scripts, but it is Polanski himself who decided upon the movie's
famously downbeat ending.