Al Pacino, a name which has long been associated with cold-blooded murder and villainous roles in some of the most historic movies of Hollywood, is an epoch-making star who took acting to a whole new level. He is often been counted among one of the most legendary villains of Hollywood, known for his extremely riveting portrayals of antagonists. But then, playing negative roles are not his only forte as his acting abilities know no boundaries. He is a resourceful actor who fits into the shoes of any character he is assigned to play. Be it a romantic or a comic role, he does it all with finesse. A brilliant actor with a unique style, Pacino, has set landmarks with almost every film he has worked in. Charming and appealing, young Pacino was not one of those actors, who believed good-looks were only associated with protagonists. He chose to play characters, who were handsome, attractive and charismatic, but evil. He belongs to the generation of actors who challenged the conventions and changed the face of modern day cinema through their sheer brilliance and hard work. If you wish to know more about this immensely talented actor scroll down.
Childhood & Early Life
Al Pacino was born in East Harlem, New York City, to Italian-American parents, Rose and Salvatore Pacino. His parents divorced when he was two years old.
He was called ‘Sonny’ during his teen age days by his friends and he wanted to become baseball player. He was also nicknamed ‘The Actor’.
He failed in nearly all of the subjects except English and dropped out of school at the age of 17. His mother did not agree to his decision and after an argument, he left home.
He took several odd jobs such as messenger, busboy, janitor, and postal clerk, in order to finance his trainings in acting. During this time he also started acting in basement plays in New York's theatrical underground, but was rejected for the Actors Studio.
He then joined the ‘Herbert Bergh of Studio’ (HB Studio), where he met his acting teacher Charlie Laughton, who became his mentor and best friend.
During his training days, he was frequently unemployed and homeless. Sometimes, he even had to sleep on the street, in theaters, or at friends' houses.
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He soon began acting in theatre productions and in 1969 he performed in the Broadway play ‘Does A Tiger Wear a Necktie?’ for which he received a Tony Award. He also played a minor role in the short film, ‘Me, Natalie’.
He was cast as ‘Bobby’ in the 1971 movie ‘The Panic in Needle Park’. The movie didn’t taste great success, but, his acting skills grabbed attention.
He shot to unprecedented fame with the movie ‘The Godfather’, released in 1972. The movie received wide critical praise and won three Academy Awards.
In 1973, he starred as Francis Lionel ‘Lion’ Delbuchi in ‘Scarecrow’ and won and won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. In the same year, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in 'Serpico', based on the true story of New York City policeman Frank Serpico
In 1974, he appeared in the second movie of the Godfather series, the Academy Award-winning ‘The Godfather: Part II’.
With the 1975 film ‘Dog Day Afternoon’, he hit the big screen again and was again nominated for Best Actor.
His career slumped in 1980s and his movies were critically panned and were also not very successful commercially.
In 1990, he starred in the third and final Godfather series film, ‘The Godfather, Part III’, for which he was nominated for Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.
During the 90’s he acted in several successful films including ‘Frankie and Johnny’ in 1991, ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ in 1992, ‘Scent of a Woman’ in 1992, ‘Heat’ in 1995, ‘Donnie Brasco’ in 1997, ‘The Devil's Advocate’ in 1997, etc.
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In 2000, he directed and acted in the movie ‘Chinese Coffee', nearly a decade after playing a part in the original, Broadway version.
In 2002, he starred in the film ‘Insomnia’, a film about a young woman's mysterious murder.
He also appeared in the smash hit ‘Ocean's Thirteen’, in 2007.
In 2010, he received wide critical acclaim for his role as Dr. Jack Kevorkian, an assisted-suicide advocate, in TV movie ‘You Don’t Know Jack’.
In 2011, he directed a movie based on Oscar Wilde, ‘Wilde Salome’.
Pacino garnered great fame and critical appreciation for the movie ‘Scent of a Woman’, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1992. The movie earned US$63,095,253 in the US and $71 million internationally, totaling $134,095,253 worldwide.
He is also remembered for his roles in the Godfather series, i.e. ‘The Godfather’, ‘The Godfather Part II’ and ‘The Godfather Part III’, which is considered to be one of the best movies ever made.
Awards & Achievements
He received Academy Award for Best Actor, for playing the role of the blind U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade, in the film ‘Scent of a Woman’.
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He was nominated for the Academy Award under the Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor category for the films, ‘The Godfather’ and ‘The Godfather II’, respectively.
‘Michael Corleone’, the role which he played with great finesse was recognized as the 11th most iconic villain in film history by the American Film Institute.
Personal Life & Legacy
He didn’t get married but has three children. The eldest of all is Julie Marie, his daughter with acting coach Jan Tarrant.
His son Anton James and daughter Olivia Rose (twin) were born from a relationship with actress Beverly D'Angelo, with whom he had a relationship from 1996 until 2003.
He also had a relationship with Diane Keaton, his co-star in the Godfather Trilogy.
This great actor turned down the offer for the lead role in the 1990 blockbuster movie ‘Pretty Woman’.
This exceptional actor won his first Oscar Award twenty-one years after his first nomination.
In a ‘Playboy’ magazine interview, this famous Hollywood celebrity mentioned that he was fired from his job as a movie theater attendant, while walking down the staircase and admiring himself in the mirrored wall.
This great film star suffers from chronic insomnia.