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Facts about Al Pacino
Biography for Al PacinoAlfredo James "Al" Pacino (born Apr. 25, 1940 (77 years ago)) is an American movie and stage actor and director.
He is best known for his roles as Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy, Sonny Wortzik in Dog Day Afternoon, Tony Montana in Scarface, Carlito Brigante in the 1993 (24 years ago) movie Carlito's Way, Frank Serpico in Serpico, Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman, and Roy Cohn in Angels in America. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1992 (25 years ago) for his role in Scent of a Woman after receiving seven previous nominations.
Early lifePacino was born in East Harlem, Manhattan, the son of Italian-American parents Rose (née Gerardi) and Salvatore Alfred Pacino, who divorced when he was two years old. His mother subsequently moved to the South Bronx, to live with her parents, Kate and James Gerardi, who originated from Corleone, Sicily. His father moved to Covina, California, working as an insurance salesman and owner of a restaurant called Pacino's Lounge, which closed down in 1992 (25 years ago). Pacino attended a school officially named High School of Performing Arts, a division of the Fiorello H. La Guardia High School of Music and the Arts in New York City, the main school of which was attended by Godfather II costar Robert De Niro. Pacino flunked nearly all of his classes except English and dropped out of school at the age of 17. His mother disagreed with his decision, they had an argument and he left home. He worked at a string of low-grade jobs, including messenger boy, busboy, janitor and postal clerk, in order to finance his acting studies.
He acted in basement plays in New York's theatrical underground, and then joined the Herbert Berghof Studio (HB Studio), where he met acting teacher Charlie Laughton, his mentor and best friend. During this period he was most of the time out of work and homeless, and sometimes had to sleep on the street, in theaters or at friends' houses. In 1962 (55 years ago), his mother died at age 43. The following year, his grandfather, James Gerardi, one of the most influential people in his life, also died.
Personal lifeWhile Pacino has never married, he has three children. The first, Julie Marie (b. 1989 (28 years ago)), is his daughter with acting coach Jan Tarrant. He also has twins, Anton James and Olivia Rose (b. Jan. 25, 2001 (16 years ago)), with ex-girlfriend Beverly D'Angelo, whom he dated from 1996 (21 years ago) until 2003 (14 years ago). Pacino also had a relationship with Diane Keaton, his co-star in the Godfather Trilogy. The on-again, off-again relationship ended following the filming of The Godfather Part III.
In 1966 (51 years ago), after many previous unsuccessful attempts, he auditioned at The Actors Studio and got accepted. He studied under legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg (who later costarred with Pacino in the 1974 (43 years ago) movie The Godfather Part II). During later interviews he spoke about Strasberg and the Studio's effect on his career:
"The Actors Studio meant so much to me in my life. Lee Strasberg hasn’t been given the credit he deserves.... Next to Charlie, it sort of launched me. It really did. That was a remarkable turning point in my life. It was directly responsible for getting me to quit all those jobs and just stay acting." During another interview he added, "It was exciting to work for him [Lee Strasberg] because he was so interesting when he talked about a scene or talked about people. One would just want to hear him talk, because things he would say, you’d never heard before.... He had such a great understanding... he loved actors so much."
Today, Pacino is co-president along with Ellen Burstyn and Harvey Keitel of the Actors Studio.
Pacino found acting to be enjoyable and realized he had a gift for it. However, it did put him in financial straits until the end of the decade. In 1967 (50 years ago), Pacino spent a season at the Charles Playhouse in Boston, performing in Clifford Odets' Awake and Sing! (his first major paycheck: $125 a week); and in Jean-Claude Van Itallie's America, Hurrah, where he met actress Jill Clayburgh while working on this play. They went on to have a five-year romance. At the end of 1967 (50 years ago), they moved together back to New York City.
In 1968 (49 years ago), Pacino starred in Israel Horovitz's The Indian Wants the Bronx at the Astor Place Theater, playing Murph, a street punk. The play opened Jan. 17, 1968 (49 years ago), and ran for 177 performances; it was staged in a double bill with Horovitz's It's Called the Sugar Plum, starring Clayburgh. Pacino won an Obie Award for Best Actor for his role, with John Cazale winning for Best Supporting actor and Horowitz for Best New Play. Martin Bregman saw the play and offered to be Pacino's manager, a partnership that became fruitful in the years to come. Pacino and this production of The Indian Wants the Bronx traveled to Italy for a performance at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto. It was Pacino's first journey to Italy; he later recalled that "performing for an Italian audience was a marvelous experience".
Pacino and Clayburgh were cast in "Deadly Circle of Violence", an episode of the ABC TV series N.Y.P.D., premiering Nov. 12, 1968 (49 years ago). Clayburgh at the time was also appearing on the soap opera Search for Tomorrow, playing the role of Grace Bolton. Her father would send the couple money each month to help.
On Feb. 25, 1969 (48 years ago), Pacino made his Broadway theatre debut in Don Petersen's Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? at the Belasco Theater. It closed after 39 performances on Mar. 29, 1969 (48 years ago), but Pacino received rave reviews and won the Tony Award on Apr. 20, 1969 (48 years ago).
That same year he made his movie debut with a brief screen appearance in Me, Natalie, an independent movie starring Patty Duke, released Jul. 1969 (48 years ago). In 1970 (47 years ago), Pacino signed with the talent agency Creative Management Associates (CMA).
It was the 1971 (46 years ago) movie The Panic in Needle Park, in which he played a heroin addict, that would bring Pacino to the attention of director Francis Ford Coppola, who cast him as Michael Corleone in the blockbuster 1972 (45 years ago) Mafia movie The Godfather. Although several established actors, including Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, and a little-known Robert De Niro (6 walls) also wanted to portray Michael Corleone, Coppola selected the relatively unknown Pacino, much to the dismay of studio executives. Pacino's performance earned him an Academy Award nomination, and offered a prime example of his early acting style, described by Halliwell's movie Guide as "intense" and "tightly clenched".
In 1973 (44 years ago), Pacino starred in the popular Serpico, based on the true story of New York City policeman Frank Serpico who went undercover to expose the corruption of fellow officers. That same year he co-starred in Scarecrow, with Gene Hackman, and won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes movie Festival. In 1974 (43 years ago), Pacino reprised his role as Michael Corleone in the successful sequel The Godfather Part II, acclaimed as being comparable to the original. In 1975 (42 years ago), he enjoyed further success with the release of Dog Day Afternoon, based on the true story of bank robber John Wojtowicz. It was directed by Sidney Lumet, who also directed him in Serpico a few years earlier, and for both movies Pacino was nominated for Best Actor.
In 1977 (40 years ago), Pacino starred as a race-car driver in Bobby Deerfield, directed by Sydney Pollack, and received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion picture (wallpaper) Actor – Drama for his portrayal of the title role, losing out to Richard Burton, who won for Equus.
with Lee Strasberg in Godfather IIDuring the 1970s, Pacino had four Oscar nominations for Best Actor, for his performances in Serpico, The Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon, and...And Justice for All. He continued performing onstage, winning a second Tony Award for The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel and performing the title role in Richard III for a record run on Broadway, despite poor notices from critics.
Pacino's career slumped in the early 1980s, and his appearances in the controversial Cruising and the comedy-drama Author! Author! were critically panned. However, 1983's Scarface, directed by Brian DePalma, proved to be a career highlight and a defining role. Upon its initial release, the movie was critically panned but did well at the box office, grossing over US$45 million domestically. Pacino earned a Golden Globe nomination for his role as Cuban drug dealer Tony Montana.
In 1985 (32 years ago), Pacino worked on his most personal project, The Local Stigmatic, a 1969 (48 years ago) Off Broadway play by the English writer Heathcote Williams. He starred in the play, remounting it with director David Wheeler and the Theater Company of Boston in a 50-minute movie version. It was later released as part of the Pacino: An Actor's Vision box set in 2007 (10 years ago).
His 1985 (32 years ago) movie Revolution was a commercial and critical failure, resulting in a four-year hiatus from films, during which Pacino returned to the stage. He mounted workshop productions of Crystal Clear, National Anthems and other plays; he appeared in Julius Caesar in 1988 (29 years ago) in producer Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival. Pacino remarked on his hiatus from film: "I remember back when everything was happening, '74, '75, doing The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui on stage and reading that the reason I'd gone back to the stage was that my movie career was waning! That's been the kind of ethos, the way in which theater's perceived, unfortunately." Pacino returned to movie in 1989's Sea of Love.
His greatest stage success of the decade was David Mamet's American Buffalo, for which Pacino was nominated for a Drama Desk Award.
Pacino received an Oscar nomination for playing Big Boy Caprice in the box office hit Dick Tracy (1990, 27 years ago), followed by a return to one of his most famous characters, Michael Corleone, in The Godfather Part III (1990, 27 years ago). In 1991 (26 years ago), Pacino starred in Frankie and Johnny with Michelle Pfeiffer, who co-starred with Pacino in Scarface. He would finally win the Academy Award for Best Actor, for his portrayal of Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade in Martin Brest's Scent of a Woman (1992, 25 years ago). That year, he was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Glengarry Glen Ross, making Pacino the first male actor ever to receive two acting nominations for two different movies in the same year, and to win for the lead role (as did Jamie Foxx in 2004 (13 years ago)).
During the 1990s, Pacino had acclaimed performances in such crime dramas as Carlito's Way (1993, 24 years ago), Donnie Brasco (1997, 20 years ago), and the multi-Oscar nominated The Insider (1999, 18 years ago). In 1995 (22 years ago), Pacino starred in Michael Mann's Heat, in which he and fellow movie icon Robert De Niro (6 walls) appeared onscreen together for the first time (though both Pacino and De Niro starred in The Godfather Part II, they did not share any scenes). In 1996 (21 years ago), Pacino starred in his theatrical feature Looking for Richard, and was lauded for his role as Satan in the supernatural thriller The Devil's Advocate in 1997 (20 years ago). Pacino also starred in Oliver Stone's critically acclaimed Any Given Sunday in 1999 (18 years ago).
Pacino has not received another nomination from the Academy since Scent of a Woman, but has won two Golden Globes during the last decade, the first being the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2001 (16 years ago) for lifetime achievement in motion pictures, and the second, for Best Performance by an Actor for his role as McCarthyite Roy Cohn in the highly praised HBO miniseries Angels in America in 2004 (13 years ago). Pacino also won an Emmy Award for Best Lead Actor and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his role.
Pacino's stage work during this period include revivals of Eugene O'Neill's Hughie and Oscar Wilde's Salome.
Pacino turned down an offer to reprise his role as Michael Corleone in The Godfather: The Game, ostensibly because his voice had changed dramatically since playing Michael in the first two Godfather films. As a result, Electronic Arts was not permitted to use Pacino's likeness or voice in the game, although his character does appear in it. He did allow his likeness to appear in the game adaptation of the remake of 1983's Scarface, titled Scarface: The World is Yours.
Rising director Christopher Nolan worked with Pacino for Insomnia, a remake of the Norwegian movie of the same name. The movie and Pacino's performance were critically lauded and the movie did moderately well at the box office. Pacino next starred as lawyer Roy Cohn in the 2003 (14 years ago) HBO miniseries of Tony Kushner's play Angels in America. Pacino still acts on stage and has dabbled in movie directing. His movie festival-screened Chinese Coffee has earned good notices. On the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains, he is one of only two actors to appear on both lists: on the "heroes list" as Frank Serpico and on the "villains list" as Michael Corleone (the other being Arnold Schwarzenegger, for his roles as the Terminator). Pacino starred as Shylock in Michael Radford's 2004 (13 years ago) movie adaptation of The Merchant of Venice.
On Oct. 20, 2006 (11 years ago), the American movie Institute named Pacino the recipient of the 35th AFI Life Achievement Award. On Nov. 22, 2006 (11 years ago), the University Philosophical Society of Trinity College, Dublin awarded Pacino the Honorary Patronage of the Society.
He starred in Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean's Thirteen alongside George Clooney (5 walls), Brad pitt (17 walls), Matt Damon (4 walls), and Andy Garcia as the villain Willy Bank, a casino tycoon who is targeted out of revenge by Danny Ocean and his crew. The movie received generally favorable reviews.
On Jun. 19, 2007 (10 years ago), a boxed set titled Pacino: An Actor's Vision was released, containing three rare Al Pacino films: The Local Stigmatic, Looking For Richard and Chinese Coffee, as well as a documentary, Babbleonia. Pacino produced prologues and epilogues for the discs containing the films.
88 Minutes was released on Apr. 18, 2008 (9 years ago) in the United States, having already been released in various other countries in 2007 (10 years ago). The movie was critically panned, although critics found the fault to be in the plot instead of Pacino's acting. In Righteous Kill, Pacino's next scheduled film, Pacino and Robert De Niro (6 walls) co-star as New York detectives searching for a serial killer. Rapper 50 Cent also stars in it. The movie was released to theaters on sep. 12, 2008 (9 years ago). In Rififi, a remake of the 1955 (62 years ago) French original based on the novel by Auguste Le Breton, Pacino will play a career thief just out of prison who finds his wife has left him; in his anger, he starts planning a heist. Also Pacino is set to play surrealist Salvador Dalí in the movie Dali & I: The Surreal Story. Pacino is in negotiations to play Dr. Jack Kevorkian in an upcoming HBO movies biopic entitled You Don't Know Jack.
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