Roman Polanski net worth

Roman Polanski net worth

Roman Polanski ( Polish : Rajmund Roman Thierry Polański ; Paris , August 18, 1933) is a French -Polish 1 film director , producer , screenwriter and actor of Jewish origin . Recognized as one of the most important filmmakers of the second half of the 20th  century and the beginning of the 21st, he is a Holocaust survivor (his mother was murdered in Auschwitz ). He was a student at the Łódź Film School . His first feature film, The Knife in the Water(1962), was selected to compete for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. He then emigrated to the United Kingdom , where he was able to make Repulsion (1965), Dead End (1966), which won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival , and The Vampire Ball (1967).

He was then able to carry out in the United States , with complete creative freedom, the great critical and public success Rosemary’s Baby (1968), which ended up confirming him as one of the most respected and important directors of his generation. Despite his fame and prestige, he has not been able to prevent disastrous incidents in his personal life from seriously affecting his career. In 1969, his wife, Sharon Tate , was brutally murdered by the La Familia cult , led by Charles Manson ., and in 1977 he was accused of rape (which finally ended in “illicit relations”) on the minor of 13 years of age Samantha Geimer. This serious case cut short his career in the United States, a country in which he was able to finish only one more film, the highly acclaimed Chinatown (1974), because when he had to return to prison he secretly took a flight to London and another immediately to Paris. , and never set foot on American soil again.

In Europe , he directed one of his films considered to be the most personal, rigorous and exciting: Tess , an adaptation of the novel Tess, of the d’Urbervilles , by Thomas Hardy ; Released in 1979, and with Nastassja Kinski in the main character, it was hugely successful, especially in France . After a few years of financial and critical failures, he returned to the top of his career with his most daring and biographical film, The Pianist (2002), which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and the Oscar for Best Director, among many other awards.

Roman Polanski Net Worth

in Richest Celebrities › Directors
Roman Polanski Net Worth:
$50 Million



Polański was born in Paris in 1933 under the name of Raymond Roman Thierry Liebling , in the bosom of a married couple of Polish Jewish emigrants. His father Ryszard Polański , worked in a record store, changed his last name in 1932 and was renamed Ryszard Liebling, so Polański’s legal name was Rajmund Roman Thierry Liebling, until his return to Krakow ( Poland ), at the beginning July 1936, where he recovered his original Polish surname and was renamed Rajmund Roman Thierry Polański, responding to the nickname of Romek, short for Roman. Her mother, née Bula Katz, was of Russian origin and was raised Catholic because her mother was, although her father (Polański’s maternal grandfather), surnamed Katz, was an Ashkenazi Jew . Bula Katz was divorced when she married Ryszard Liebling in 1932 and they had only one child together. They settled at number 5 rue Saint-Hubert, in Paris, where Polański lived for the first three years of his life. In Polański’s family tree, therefore, there are 75% Jewish roots (his paternal grandparents and his maternal grandfather, Katz) and 25% Russian Catholic roots (his maternal grandmother). Polański’s parents did not practice the Jewish religion and Roman Polański received no religious education, neither Jewish nor Catholic, neither in Paris nor in Kraków.

Because of his Jewish ancestors , he experienced firsthand the evils of World War II , since shortly before the start of the conflict he moved with his parents from Paris to Krakow (Poland), believing that they would be safer there. Settling in Poland became the first of many misfortunes in his life. During the war, sometime in 1943, she lost her mother—Catholic, but “racially classified” as Jewish by her father—in the Auschwitz concentration camp along with other relatives of hers. Her father, despite the fact that he was also imprisoned for two years in the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp , survived, becoming one of the few Polish survivors of the Holocaust .. During the war, Polański survived the Krakow ghetto and then, after living as a beggar on the streets, managed to escape from the Nazis by posing as a Catholic son in foster families, first the Wilks in Krakow, then the Puteks and the Buchalas. , in the town of Wysoka , from July 1943 until the liberation by the Soviet Army in January 1945, as recounted by the filmmaker in his memoirs.

Professional beginnings 

After the war, being very young, he already began to be interested in the world of cinema and began his career as a stage actor. He later studied at the Łódź Film School .

His first short film was made at the young age of 21. It was about Rower ( The Bicycle , 1955), in which he also plays the lead role. It was followed by Rozbijemy zabawę… (1957), Uśmiech zębiczny (1957), Dwaj ludzie z szafą (1958) (known in Spanish as Two Men and a Wardrobe ), Lampa ( The Lamp , 1959) and Gdy spadają anioły (1959) ( When angels fall , in Spain). During the filming of this film, the 26-year-old Polański began an affair with the leading actress, 19-year-old Barbara Kwiatkowska-Lass, whom he married that same year and divorced in 1962.

This helped him to make his first feature film in Poland: The Knife in the Water (shot in 1961 but released in 1962), with which he got a nomination for best foreign film at the 1963 Oscars . The film already showed some of the characteristics of his subsequent productions, due to his taste for claustrophobic environments, by placing only three characters (a couple and a stranger) who sail in a small boat.

Shortly after, Polański made his last short films: Le Gros et le maigre (1961), which he shot in France and with which he won several awards, and Ssaki (1963).


Thanks to the recognition garnered with The Knife in the Water , Polański shot Repulsion (1965). He wrote the script together with his friend Gérard Brach and had a soundtrack by the also close Krzysztof Komeda , who had already made several musical compositions for Roman’s short films. This film was already produced by a more or less important company and meant his first major production in the United Kingdom , with Catherine Deneuve as the main star and with a psychological thriller plot that earned him several awards, including the Silver Bear at the festival . of Berlin that year.

In 1966 he filmed Cul-de- sac ( Cul-de-sac ), again in the United Kingdom, with Donald Pleasence as the protagonist, in which, apart from the claustrophobic atmosphere so characteristic of the author, he reveals glimpses of a very particular black humor that will accompany some of his best films. Cul-de-sac won the Golden Bear at the Berlin festival, as well as many other awards.

Tate and the best period of his life 

In 1967 Polański made the big leap to the United States with the filming of The Vampire Ball, the first film he shot in color. This film, a parody of vampire movies of the time, allowed him to show his acting skills and established him in the American market.

Before and during filming, he began a love affair with 23-year-old actress Sharon Tate (despite the fact that she was dating Jay Sebring , a prestigious Hollywood hairdresser at the time ), whom he married in January 1968. in London.

The film was destroyed due to the excessive censorship of the time and could only be seen in its entirety some time later.

In 1968, Polański shot one of his most emblematic and controversial films in the United States: Rosemary’s Baby . Played by actress Mia Farrow , the film garnered numerous awards (including several Oscar nominations), achieved international success, and had great acclaim. Polański had in mind casting Sharon Tate for the title role . However, when the producers did not say anything about it, Roman scrapped the idea.

Polański, 35, was in the best stage of his life, as he himself admitted.

Murder of his wife

In April 1969, film music composer Krzysztof Komeda died in an accident. It was the prelude to a series of misfortunes that would befall the Polish director.

At that time, Polański had moved to a huge mansion at 10050 Cielo Drive, in Los Angeles ( California ), where one of the events that would mark his life, both personal and cinematographic, took place. His wife, actress Sharon Tate , who was eight and a half months pregnant, was one of the victims of the massacre (she and four other friends were brutally murdered) that the band “La Familia” led by leader Charles Manson carried out in said house. The events took place while Polański was in London preparing another feature film, The Day of the Dolphin.which never ended. The event occurred at dawn on August 9, and Polański had in mind to return to the United States on the 12th after having been in the British capital since July 20.

Chinatown and other premieres 

After a period of inactivity he returned to the cinema in 1971 with Macbeth , in a personal adaptation of the work of William Shakespeare . The film was Polański’s first commercial failure, although in England it did well. He highlights in the film the killing carried out by the protagonist on the King’s bodyguards, which alludes to the murders of his wife and friends.

In 1973 he traveled to Italy to shoot ¿Qué? , a crazy comedy with Sydne Rome and Marcello Mastroianni that was reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland at times and contains some of the funniest moments in her filmography. The film was a flop in the United States, but in Europe it achieved notable success, especially in France, Italy and Germany . In Spain it was prohibited by the censorship of the time, due to the continuous nudity of Sydne Rome, and it could only be seen in art and essay rooms in the original version with subtitles. It has currently been released on DVD in Spain by Filmax.

In 1974, Polański made a big comeback by shooting Chinatown , a film inspired by film noir classics, starring Jack Nicholson , Faye Dunaway and John Huston . The film was a worldwide success and would achieve 11 Oscar nominations, of which it would obtain only one, for best original screenplay, as well as numerous other awards.

In 1975 he began preparing for the shooting of Pirates , again with Jack Nicholson, investing much of his own money in the preparation. As no major film production company was ultimately interested in the project, Polański was forced to abandon it, so he traveled to France, where, again supported by multinationals, he began filming The Tenant , a thriller. Psychological film that may be the masterpiece of the Polish director and in which he himself acts as the protagonist. As the French authorities intended to present the feature film at the Cannes Film Festival, Polański was forced to carry out the project at great speed, so that only eight months passed from the time the script was written until the film was released.

The Chimerical Tenant was released in 1976, it failed at the Cannes Film Festival and received very bad reviews. It was a tremendous commercial fiasco and, curiously, today it has become the favorite feature film of some of his followers, since it is one of Polański’s most personal works and, at the same time, the most twisted, mixing terror with black humor. .

In 1977 Polański, back in the United States, was accused of having raped a thirteen-year-old girl. The event occurred because Polański took advantage of the fact that he was in charge of taking some minor photos for a very commercial fashion magazine. During the realization of these both were at the house of Jack Nicholson, who at that time was Anjelica Huston ‘s partner , in a jacuzzi with alcohol and drugs. He left the country while he was out on bail and after spending a few months in prison in Chino , California, anticipating a longer sentence. He has never set foot on American soil again.

Flight to Europe and Emmanuelle Seigner

In 1979, after an intense shooting of more than a year and a half in France, Polański released Tess , based on the period novel by Thomas Hardy , with Nastassja Kinski as the protagonist. He dedicated the film to his late wife Sharon Tate with a simple “To Sharon,” who gave the novel to Polański, along with other belongings, on the last day they saw each other before the actress returned to Los Angeles . “We can make a fascinating movie with this book,” she told him at the time. Tess was one of the biggest successes of her career, winning several Golden Globes and being a candidate for six Oscar statuettes, of which she would get three. It should be noted by Polański himself that withTess would achieve the pinnacle of her career, although the director himself had planned to make it by giving Sharon herself the leading role.

Recognized as one of the greatest filmmakers in film history, Polański took a six-year hiatus from directing. At that time he writes his autobiography, Roman by Polański (1985), where he makes it clear that he has not yet gotten over the death of his wife.

In 1986 he returned with Pirates , a project that he had tried to shoot ten years earlier, inspired by pirate movies and which, without Jack Nicholson as the lead, was, as the production companies predicted ten years earlier, a commercial failure.

Roman Polański and Emmanuelle Seigner at the Cannes Film Festival in 1992.

Two years later, at the age of 55, he returned to the thriller genre with an American production shot in France, Frantic , alongside Harrison Ford and Polański’s future wife in 1989, 22-year-old Emmanuelle Seigner . Frantic worked very well commercially and allowed the director to delve into even darker issues regarding the relationship in Lunas de hiel , his next work, again with Emmanuelle Seigner as the protagonist, along with Peter Coyote and Hugh Grant . The film was released in 1992 and, without being considered one of the best of Polański’s films, it surpasses the director’s work in the 1990s.80 and 90 .


In 1993, at almost 60 years of age, his first daughter, Morgane, was born from his marriage to Emmanuelle Seigner, thirty years his junior. In 1994 he released Death and the Maiden , based on the book of the same name by Ariel Dorfman , starring Sigourney Weaver . The tape was a moderate success both commercially and critically. In 1998 his second son, Elvis, was born from the same marriage.

After leaving a film project with John Travolta in 1996 due to disagreements with the actor, in 1999 Polański filmed The Ninth Door , in which he originally adapted Arturo Pérez-Reverte ‘s novel The Dumas Club and gave the leading role to Johnny Depp . The film, although a commercial success, earned the status of one of Polanski’s worst films from critics.

It was in 1997 when Polański ventured into musical theater , with the German-Austrian production Tanz der Vampire (based on Polański’s film, with a book by Michael Kunze and scored by the famous Jim Steinman ). Said version starred the late American actor Steve Barton . The musical was a success, achieving a great season in Vienna ( Austria ) and later being staged in some German cities such as Stuttgart , Hamburg and Berlin . The Polish version has also recently been releasedof the musical, personally directed by Polański. The musical featured an American version, Dance of the Vampires , which despite having a large budget failed to capture the original sentiment of the German version. The result was a ridiculous comedy, with a rather mediocre translation/adaptation into English, which was a resounding failure, not even reaching one hundred performances.

It is also worth noting his role as an actor in the film A pure formality , in which he plays a police inspector who tries to discover a case with the character of Gérard Depardieu as a suspect. The film was shot entirely in a gloomy police station.

21st  century 

In 2002, he received the Palme d’Or at the 55th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, the event’s highest award, for the film The Pianist , an adaptation of the memoirs of Władysław Szpilman , a Polish Jewish pianist who survived the Nazi massacres thanks to the help of a German officer. At the 75th Academy Awards , The Pianist received three awards; Best Actor ( Adrien Brody ), Best Adapted Screenplay (Ronald Harwood) and Best Director for Polański, who did not attend the ceremony because he is a fugitive from US justice.

Polański released in 2005 Oliver Twist , a film with which he identified. In 2007 he was preparing for a new turn in his career, with the adaptation of the novel Pompeii , by Robert Harris . Delays beyond his control forced him to resign in September 2007 after several years dedicated to the project.

In February 2009, Polański began filming The Ghost Writer in Berlin , which also includes sequences filmed at Studio Babelsberg, in Potsdam ( Brandenburg ), the same studios where he filmed The Pianist , as well as on the Island of Sylt . Polański also wrote the script, adapted from the homonymous novel by English writer Robert Harris, distributed in Spain under the title El poder en la sombra . It features the photography of the Polish operator Pawel Edelman, the same as The Pianist and Oliver Twist , as well as its usual producers: Robert Benmussa, Timothy Burrill and Alain Sarde. The leading actors were the ScottishEwan McGregor and Irishman Pierce Brosnan . And as secondary the English Olivia Williams , Kim Cattrall and Tom Wilkinson , as well as the Americans Timothy Hutton and James Belushi , among others. The production company was Summit International. The Ghost Writer was released in Germany on February 18, 2010. According to the German newspaper Märkische Allgemeine , Polański spoke about the film to the press at the Filmmuseum Potsdam, on February 19, 2009.

However, he was suddenly arrested on Saturday, September 26, 2009 in Zurich on charges of sexual abuse that had been brought against him in the United States since 1977, with a search and arrest warrant. Polański had been invited by the Zurich Film Festival.

For this reason he could not be present at the delivery of the Best Director Award that was awarded to him on February 20, 2010 at the Berlin Festival for his film The Ghost Writer . The film was released in Spain as El escritor on March 26 of that year, with excellent reviews from the general and specialized press.

On July 14, 2010, Polański confirmed that he would take Un Dios savage , a play by the French writer of Sephardic Jewish origin Yasmina Reza , to the cinema . Polański and Reza wrote the first version of the script together during their house arrest in Gstaad , Switzerland.

On May 20, 2012, he presented his short film A Therapy , starring Ben Kingsley and Helena Bonham Carter , at the Cannes Film Festival to promote the fashion brand Prada .

Based on real events (2017) is an adaptation of the French novel by the author Delphine de Vignan. The film follows a writer (Emmanuelle Seigner) who struggles to finish a new novel, while she is followed by an obsessed fan ( Eva Green ). The film participated in the 2017 edition of the Cannes Film Festival.

In 2019 he filmed The Officer and the Spy , about the Dreyfus case . The film was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the 76th edition of the Venice Film Festival 2 and made 3 of the 12 César Award nominations : for best direction, best adaptation and best costumes. 3

Problems with justice 

Samantha Geimer 

In 1977, at the age of 43, the director was involved in a scandal for sexual abuse of a minor, Samantha Gailey (later Samantha Geimer 4 ), 13 years old. According to Gailey, Polański took her to Jack Nicholson ‘s house on Mulholland Drive under the pretense of photographing her for Vogue magazine ; but once there, he gave her champagne with quaaludes , took photos of her with her bare chest, took her to a jacuzzi and from there he took her to her bedroom, where he raped her despite the opposition of the woman. girl of hers 5 ​6

Polański was accused of sexual abuse of a minor, drug use, perversion and sodomy, as well as administration of narcotics to a minor under thirteen years of age. After negotiating a plea deal, almost all charges were dismissed in exchange for him pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a minor. 7Polański was first sentenced to 90 days in state prison for a psychiatric evaluation in order to decide his final sentence, but he was given another 90 days leave to finish his pending project. In accordance with the terms of the sentence, he was given permission to travel abroad. Polański returned to California and underwent evaluation at Chino State Prison, from which he was released after 42 days. On February 1, 1978, Polanski flew to London, where he had a residence. The next day he traveled to France, the country in which he had and continues to have nationality, thus avoiding the risk of being extradited .to the United States by the United Kingdom, since according to the extradition treaty between France and the United States, France can refuse to extradite its citizens, as it did in this case. 8 Since then she has lived in France and Poland and has avoided visiting countries where she could probably be extradited, such as the United Kingdom.

Polański has not set foot in the United States or the United Kingdom again. He did not attend, for example, the 2002 Oscar ceremony , where he won the best director Oscar for The Pianist , and filmed Oliver Twist in Prague with British actors.

On September 26, 2009, Polański was arrested at the Zurich airport by the authorities of the Swiss country, at the request of the United States for the open case of the year 1978. ​10​ On July 12 of the following year, the Minister of Justice of Switzerland, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf , announced that Switzerland would not extradite Polański, considering that the US authorities had not proven that the filmmaker had not already served the entire sentence imposed at the time by spending 42 days in a psychiatric institution . This decision put an end to the house arrest suffered by the filmmaker. 11

After several attempts by the United States to extradite Polański, on December 6, 2016, the Polish Supreme Court refused to reopen the case. 12

Charlotte Lewis 

For her part, actress Charlotte Lewis has stated that Polański, on the set of Pirates , told her: “If you’re not adult enough to have relations with me, you’re not adult enough to do a camera test either.” Lewis said that at that moment she began to cry and finally agreed to not miss an opportunity that could be the only one in her career. 13“Polański knew that I was only 16 when he met me, and he forced me into his Paris apartment. He took advantage of me and I have lived with the effects of his behavior ever since it happened,” Lewis said during a statement at a press conference in Los Angeles in 2010. Lewis previously, in a 1999 interview, claimed to have been in a consensual romantic relationship. six months with the filmmaker. «I knew that Roman had done something bad in the United States, but I wanted to be his lover. He loved him, probably more than he loved me ».


On August 15, 2017, a woman identified only as “Robin” accused Polański of sexual assault 40 years earlier in Los Angeles in 1973, when she was 16 years old. Robin commented that she was encouraged by the complaint filed by Samantha Geimer and was asked to file her complaint. 14

Renate Langer 

On September 26, 2017, the 61-year-old German actress reported to the Swiss police that film director Roman Polański sexually abused her during her teenage years. The victim stated that the event occurred in the Swiss town of Gstaad in 1972, when she was 15 years old. Swiss police do not yet know if criminal charges will be brought against Polański. 15

Valentine Monnier 

In 2019 he was publicly accused of rape by Valentine Monnier . The events, which occurred in 1975, are supported by the testimony of a friend of Polański. 16


Short films

Year Title Duration Format storyline 17 Role Ref(s).
1955 Rower
“The Bicycle” )
b/w director, screenwriter 18
1957 Uśmiech zębiczny
“A smile” )
2 min b/w, mute A man watches a naked woman through a window Director,
uncredited screenwriter
Rozbijemy zabawę
“Interrupting the party” )
8 min b/w, polish Some hooligans intend to end the celebrations of a party. director, screenwriter 20
“Murder” )
2 min b/w, mute In the darkness of a room, a stranger disturbs his victim’s sleep. Director,
uncredited screenwriter
1958 Dwaj ludzie z szafa
“Two men and a closet” )
15 min b/w, polish Two men carrying a wardrobe emerge from the sea and enter the city where they will not be welcomed. director, screenwriter 22
1959 Lampa
“The Lamp” )
8 min B/W, music In a toy workshop, these come to life and burn due to an electrical fault when the owner leaves. director, screenwriter 23
Gdy spadają anioły
“Fallen Angels” )
21 min B/W and color , Polish An old woman takes care of the public bathrooms in the basement of a building, observing the behavior of the men who enter and remembering her own youth, as well as her love affair with a soldier. Director, screenwriter, actor 24
1963 Ssaki
“Mammals” )
11 min B/W, music Two men in the snow take turns carrying each other on a sled. Their relationship of affection and hatred leads them to lose him and have to go on without him. director, writer 25

All of these shorts except Rower were released in 2007 on a DVD titled Roman Polanski: Short Films 1957-1963 . 17

Feature films

As producer

  • Bitter Moon (1992) ( Ball Moons )

As director

  • The Fat and the Skinny (1961)
  • The Knife in the Water (1962)
  • Les plus belles escroqueries du monde (1964, one episode only)
  • Repulsion (1965)
  • Dead End (1966)
  • The Vampire Ball (1967)
  • Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
  • Cinema Different 3 (1970)
  • Macbeth (1971)
  • What? (1973)
  • Chinatown (1974)
  • The Landlord (1976)
  • Tess (1979)
  • Pirates (1986)
  • Frantic (1988)
  • Bitter Moon (1992)
  • Death and the Maiden (1994)
  • The Ninth Gate (1999)
  • The Pianist (2002)
  • Oliver Twist (2005)
  • To each his cinema (2007)
  • The Ghostwriter (2010)
  • Carnage (2011)
  • Venus in Fur (2013)26
  • Based on true events (2017)27
  • The Officer and the Spy (2019)

As a screenwriter 

  • The Knife in the Water (1962)
  • Aimez-vous les femmes? (1964)
  • Les plus belles escroqueries du monde (1964)
  • Repulsion (1965)
  • Dead End (1966)
  • A Taste for Women (1966)
  • The Vampire Ball (1967)
  • Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
  • La fille d’en face (1968)
  • A Day at the Beach (1970)
  • Cinema Different 3 (1970)
  • Macbeth (1971)
  • What? (1973)
  • The Tenant (1976)
  • Tess (1979)
  • Pirates (1986)
  • Frantic (1988)
  • Bitter Moon (1992)
  • The Ninth Gate (1999)

As an actor 

  • Generation ( Pokolenie , 1954)
  • The Haunted Bicycle (1955)
  • Shipwrecks (1957)
  • End of the night ( Koniec nocy , 1957)
  • What will my wife say? (1958)
  • Lotna (1959)
  • Until Tomorrow (1960)
  • The Vampire Ball (1967)
  • The Magic Christian (1969)
  • Blood for Dracula (1973)
  • What? (1973)
  • Chinatown (1974)
  • The chimerical tenant (1976)
  • Back in the USSR (1991)
  • A pure formality (1994)
  • Grosse fatigue (1994)
  • Rush Hour 3 (2007)
  • Calm Chaos (2008)

Awards and nominations 

Oscar awards
Year Category Movie Result
1964 28 Best Foreign Language Film the knife on the water nominated
1969 29 Best Adapted Screenplay Rosemary’s Baby Candidate
1975 30 best director chinatown Candidate
1981 31 best director Tess Candidate
2002 best director The pianist Winner
Golden Globe Awards
Year Category Movie Result
2003 Best European Film The pianist Winner
1980 best director Tess Candidate
1974 best director chinatown Winner
1968 Best screenplay Rosemary’s Baby Candidate
Goya Awards
Year Category Movie Result
2002 Best European Film The pianist Winner
Medals of the Circle of Cinematographic Writers 32
Year Category Movie Result
2011 Best Adapted Screenplay Carnage Winner
Cannes International Film Festival
Year Category Movie Result
2002 33 palm d’or The pianist Winner
Venice International Film Festival
Year Category Movie Result
1962 34 FIPRESCI Award the knife on the water Winner
1993 35 Special Golden Lion Winner
2011 36 Leoncino d’Oro Agiscuola a wild god Winner
2019 37 Grand Jury Prize The officer and the spy Winner