Body of missing wealthy Polish film producer is found

WARSAW, Poland — Rescuers have found the body of a Polish celebrity businessman who went missing after falling from his motorboat into a lake, a Polish minister said Thursday.

Piotr Wozniak-Starak, 39, who produced some of Poland's most popular movies, hadn't been seen since late Saturday. A search began early Sunday after his empty motorboat was spotted floating on Kisajno Lake in northeastern Poland. A 27-year-old woman, identified only as Ewa O., was soon found and said she and the businessman fell off the boat into the lake and she swam 100 meters (yards) to the shore. Wozniak-Starak's family has a vacation estate on the lake.

Deputy Interior Minister Jaroslaw Zielinski tweeted Thursday: "Everything indicates the body of Piotr Wozniak-Starak has been found." He extended his condolences to the family.

Watchout Studio on Facebook confirmed Wozniak-Starak's death, describing him as a "true friend."

Wozniak-Starak was the husband of a popular television journalist Agnieszka Wozniak-Starak, and the two were regularly featured in the country's tabloids. His stepfather, Jerzy Starak, is among Poland's richest men, with business chiefly in pharmaceuticals. His mother, Anna Wozniak-Starak, is a former model and runs an upscale restaurant in Warsaw's historic Lazienki Park.

Wozniak-Starak studied at Emmerson College in Boston and at the Parsons School of Design in New York, chosing to build a career in the movie business rather than join the family pharmaceutical business. He founded Watchout Studio, which produced the successful movie "Gods," starring Tomasz Kot, about cardiologist Zbigniew Religa who, against all odds under communism, launched Poland's heart transplant program.

"He was a very warm, extraordinary person with an open heart, and a professional filmmaker ... (who left) a lasting impression in Poland's and world cinematography," Watchout Studio said.

His latest production, a Cold War spy thriller "Ukryta Gra," English title "The Coldest Game," starring Bill Pullman, is to hit movie theaters soon, the studio said.

He is survived by his wife. There was no immediate word on funeral arrangements.

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