Author(s): Christopher Sandford
Born in Paris to Polish-Jewish parents, Polanski dealt with the terrors of his childhood - including internment in Auschwitz - by creating an elaborate fantasy world in which he lived as a film star. He would go on to become one of the very best and most infamous directors in Hollywood's history - with a backlist that includes "Repulsion", "Rosemary's Baby", "Macbeth", "Chinatown", "Tess", "Frantic" and, more recently, the Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning "The Pianist". Yet, it is within his own personal life that the most dramatic story unfolds - he's been at the centre of two of the most lurid crimes ever committed in Hollywood. In August 1969 his wife Sharon Tate, eight months pregnant, and seven of the couple's friends were butchered by the Manson family; Polanski himself, who was in London at the time, was the intended target. Eight years later he was arrested by LA police on charges of drugging and raping a 13-year old model and aspiring actress. He fled the country and has since lived in exile in Paris, where he complains of continual harassment by the US authorities. Polanski's latest film was the hit "Oliver Twist" and, "Variety" insists, he promises to follow it with his long-awaited version of the Tate killings. Both projects, dealing with child exploitation and murder, can only fuel the controversy that surrounds him. This biography is the first chance his fans and detractors will have to read about him in real depth. It will reveal the brilliant invention, self-destruction, talent, self-destruction, sex, drugs and wild excesses, with names and stories told for the first time. Fascinating, flawed, wildy creative, this is the full, uncut story of one of the greatest directors of our time.
An in-depth examination of one of Hollywood's most famous, and infamous, directors and stars. 20041109
Christopher Sandford has reviewed and written about film and music for over twenty years. A regular contributor to titles on both sides of the Atlantic, himself profiled in Rolling Stone magazine, he's published acclaimed biographies of Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, David Bowie, Keith Richards, Paul McCartney and Steve McQueen. His bestselling life of Kurt Cobain is currently in development as a feature film. His biography of Imran Khan will appear in 2009. A dual national, Christopher Sandford divides his time between Seattle, Surrey and Lord's cricket ground. He's married, with one son.