Gene Gutowski

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Gene Gutowski
Born Witold Bardach
(1925-05-07) May 7, 1925 (age 89)
Lwów, Poland
Occupation Film producer
Years active 1958–present
Spouse(s) Zillah Rhoades (1947–55), Judy Wilson (1963–73), Corinna Liddell (1976–83), Dorota Puzio (1990–94)

Gene Gutowski, born as Witold Bardach, (May 7, 1925 in Lwów, Poland (now Ukraine)) is most known as a Polish-American film producer having produced many of Roman Polanski's films.

Formative years[edit]

Witold Bardach is the son of Julius Bardach (Lawyer) and Anna Bardach née Garfunkel (Concert Pianist). He and his family lived in Rawa Ruska from 1933 until the beginning of war in 1939 when the Bardach family moved to Lwów where under Soviet occupation Witold Bardach began his studies as sculptor at the Institute of Plastic Arts.

In 1941 the Germans occupied Lwów and a year later his entire family who has lived there for generations was killed, Witold escaped to Warsaw where he took on the name 'Eugene Gutowski'. He first worked for a photographer and later as an employee of the Junkers factory at Okęcie Airport, secretly removing Luftwaffe radio-transmitters for delivery to the Polish underground army (Armia Krajowa) Escaping from the Gestapo at 18 he became the head of a construction company working for the Organisation Todt in Riga, Latvia and was later evacuated to Germany at the end of 1944.

At the end of war in May 1945, again escaping from the advancing Soviet army, Gene Gutowski joined the US Army Counter Intelligence Corps. Worked as Special Agent out of the Garmisch-Partenkirchen office until March 1947 when he married an American State Department employee, Zillah Rhoades and moved with her to New York.

After working for a few years as fashion illustrator, Gene Gutowski become a TV and film producer and with a few low budget productions to his name, including the TV series I Spy. He moved to London in 1960 to produce Station Six Sahara and to join forces with Roman Polanski in 1963. In a creative partnership they made Repulsion, Cul-De-Sac and The Fearless Vampire Killers, until Polanski moved to Hollywood under contract to Paramount in 1967.

Pursuing separate paths, though remaining close friends, Gutowski and Polański joined forces again to produce together THE PIANIST an Oscar winning film. Residing in Warsaw, Gene Gutowski has staged several plays and in 2004 published his Polish autobiography "Od Holocaustu do Hollywood (From Holocaust to Hollywood)". The English edition of his autobiography, titled "With Balls and Chutzpah, A Story of Survival", was published in the US in August 2011 by iUniverse, Inc.


Station Six-Sahara (1962) Producer
Repulsion (1965) Producer
Passion Flower Hotel (1965) Producer
Cul-de-sac (1966) Producer
The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967) Producer
The Adventures of Gerard (1968) Writer/Producer
Romance of a Horsethief (1970) Producer
A Day at the Beach (1972) Producer
– 'The Pianist' Co-Producer
Doubt: A Parable (2007 stageplay) Producer, in Warsaw, Poland

References and external links[edit]