Starting out as an actor, Polanski quickly gained international recognition as a director with Repulsion (1965) and Cul-de-sac (1966). He went to Hollywood in 1968 and made the thriller Rosemary's Baby. After the 1969 murder of his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, Polanski left the United States, returning in 1974 with Chinatown, which earned him his first Oscar nomination for Best Director.
Fleeing America again -- this time in the wake of a statutory rape conviction -- Polanski continued to make memorable films, including Tess, Frantic, Death and the Maiden and The Pianist (2002), for which he won a Best Director Oscar.
Famed Polish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman struggles to survive the onslaught of Nazi tyranny during World War II in this drama based on his memoirs. In spite of his well-known talent, Szpilman spends several years holed up in Warsaw, clinging to life.