Gene Gutowski, Producer of Polanski Films and Holocaust Survivor, Dies at 90

Gutowski worked on four films by Roman Polanski, including 2002’s “The Pianist”

Gene Gutowski, who produced three of Roman Polanski‘s 1960s movies and was a co-producer on the director’s 2002 Oscar winning Holocaust drama, “The Pianist,” has died. He was 90.

Gutowski’s son Adam Bardach told the Associated Press that his father died of pneumonia at a hospital in Warsaw, Poland.

Gutowski and Polanski collaborated on “Repulsion,” “Cul-de-Sac” and “The Fearless Vampire Killers” in the 1960s. They reunited more than three decades later on “The Pianist.”

The movie was “a personal catharsis” for Gutowski, who wrote that “watching crowds of terrified helpless people being pushed into a train to the gas chambers recalled the last journey of my entire family in the summer of 1942. And thus ‘The Pianist,’ a film crowned with three important Oscars, was also in many ways the crowning moment of my life.”

According to AP, Polanski said that Gutowski was “one of the most important figures in my existence.”

Gutowski was born into a Jewish family in eastern Poland in 1925, and he lost his family in the Holocaust. After the war, the worked for the U.S. military intelligence, hunted Nazis and emigrated to the U.S. in 1947.

He then worked as a fashion illustrator in New York before he took on film production. He had six wives in his lifetime. He was also a consultant to Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi.

Gutowski is survived by wife Joanna Smaga-Gutowska, his sons Andrew Gutowski, Alexander Waugh, Bardach, four grandchildren and three great-granchildren.