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September 28th, 2009
03:27 PM ET

Tumultuous Polanski always in spotlight

Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate are pictured together in London in the 1960s.

Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate are pictured together in London in the 1960s.

Peter Wilkinson
CNN

Roman Polanski is regarded as one of the finest directors of his generation, winning an Oscar for "The Pianist" and nominations for "Tess" and "Rosemary's Baby," but he is probably as equally well known for his own tumultuous life.

Polanski, who was arrested Saturday in Switzerland on a U.S. arrest warrant stemming from a decades-old sex charge, had lived in France for decades to avoid being arrested if he enters the United States.

The 76-year-old declined to collect his Academy Award for Best Director in person when he won it for "The Pianist" in 2003. He was en route to the Zurich Film Festival, which is holding a tribute to him, when he was arrested by Swiss authorities, the festival said.

Polanski was put in "provisional detention" and now faces the possibility of being extradited to the U.S., where a warrant for his arrest was issued in 1978.

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Film
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