The Biography of
Name: Alfredo Pacino
Occupation: Actor, Director, Writer
Date of Birth: April 25, 1940
Place of Birth: New York, NY, USA
Sign: Sun in Taurus, Moon in Sagittarius
Education: High School of the Performing Arts dropout; studiedacting at the
Actors Studio and the Herbert Berghof Studio, both in New York City.
Relations: Kid: Julie Marie (mother, Jan Tarrant); Companion:Beverly
Height: 5' 6"
One of the greatest actors in all of film history, Al Pacino established
himself during one of film's greatest decades, the 70s, and has become an
enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies. Born on April
25th, 1940 in New York City, Pacino's parents (Salvatore and Rose) divorced
when he was young. His mother moved them into his grandparents' house.
Pacino found himself often repeating the plots and voices of characters who
he had seen in the movies, one of his favorite activities. Bored and
unmotivated in school, the young Al Pacino found a haven in school plays,
and his interest soon blossomed into a full-time career. Starting on the
stage, Pacino went through a lengthy period of depression and poverty,
sometimes having to borrow bus fare to make it to auditions. He made it into
the prestigious Actors Studio in 1966, studying under the legendary acting
coach Lee Strasberg, creator of the Method Approach that would become the
trademark of many 70s era actors. Making appearances in various plays,
Pacino finally hit it big with "The Indian Wants the Bronx", winning an Obie
award for the 1966-67 season. Gaining notoriety on the theater scene, Pacino
then won the Tony Award for "Does the Tiger Wear a Necktie?". His first
feature films made little departure from the gritty realistic stage
performances that earned him respect: he played a junkie in Me, Natalie
(1969) and Panic in Needle Park, The (1971). What would come next would
change his life forever.
The part of Michael Corleone
in Godfather, The (1972) was one of the most sought-after roles in film
history. Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, 'Ryan ONeal, Robert
De Niro, and a host of others were bandied about for the role, but director
Francis Ford Coppola had his heart set on the unknown Italian Pacino. From
the studio, to the producers, to the cast on down, nobody else wanted Al
Pacino. Though Coppola won out through slick persuasion, Pacino was in
constant fear of being fired and replaced at any minute during the hellish
shoot. But the role was a career-making hit, and earned him his first
Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Instead of taking on
easier projects for money, Pacino threw his support behind tough important
films, such as the true life crime drama Serpico (1973) and the tragic real
life bank robbery film Dog Day Afternoon (1975). Pacino opened eyes around
the film world for his brave choice of roles; and he was nominated three
consecutive years for the "Best Actor" Academy Award. He faltered slightly
with Bobby Deerfield (1977), but regained his stride with the law film
...And Justice for All (1979), for which he received another Academy Award
nomination for Best Actor. This would unfortunately signal one of the only
bad points in his career, one that produced the flops Cruising (1980) and
Author! Author! (1982). He took on another vicious gangster role and
cemented his legendary status in the ultra-violent Scarface (1983), but a
monumental mistake was about to follow. Revolution (1985) endured an endless
and seemingly cursed shoot in which equipment was destroyed, weather was
terrible, and Pacino became terribly ill with pneumonia. Constant changes in
the script also further derailed an already terrible project. The
Revolutionary War film is considered one of the worst films ever, gained
Pacino his first truly awful reviews, and kept him out of movies for the
next four years.
Returning to the stage, Pacino
has done much to give back and contribute to the theatre, which he considers
his first love. He directed a film Local Stigmatic, The (1989) but it
remains unreleased to the public. His self-imposed exile lifted, he returned
in striking form in Sea of Love (1989) as a hard-drinking cop. The film
marks the second phase of Pacino's career, the first film to feature his now
famous dark, owl eyes and hoarse, gravelly voice. Making a return to the
Corleones he made Godfather: Part III, The (1990), and earned raves for his
first comedic role in the colorful Dick Tracy (1990). This earned him
another Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and two years
later he was nominated for Glengarry Glen Ross (1992). He went into romantic
mode for Frankie and Johnny (1991). In 1992 he finally won the Academy Award
for Best Actor for his amazing performance in Scent of a Woman (1992). A mix
of technical perfection (he plays a blind man) and charisma, the role was
tailor-made for him, and remains a classic. The next few years would see
Pacino becoming more comfortable with acting and movies as a business,
turning out great roles in great films with more frequency and less of the
demanding personal involvement of his wilder days. Carlito's Way (1993)
proved another gangster classic, as did the epic crime drama Heat (1995)
directed by Michael Mann. He returned to the director's chair for the highly
acclaimed and quirky Shakespeare adaptation Looking for Richard (1996). City
Hall (1996), Donnie Brasco (1997), and Devil's Advocate, The (1997) all came
out in this period. Reteaming with Mann and then Oliver Stone, he gave two
commanding performances in Insider, The (1999) and Any Given Sunday (1999).
In his personal life, Pacino
is one of Hollywood's most enduring and notorious bachelors, having never
been married. He has a daughter Julie Marie with acting teacher Jan Tarrant,
and a new set of twins with long-time girlfriend Beverly D'Angelo. His
romantic history includes a long-time romance with Godfather co-star Diane
Keaton. With his intense and gritty performances, Pacino was an original in
the acting profession. His Method approach would become the process of many
actors throughout time, and his unbeatable number of classic roles has
already made him a legend among film buffs and all aspiring actors and
directors. His commitment to acting as a profession and his constant screen
dominance has established him as one of movies' legends.
IMDb mini-biography by
(16 October 1997) Recieved a
star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
(October 1997) Ranked #4 in
Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list.
Was arrested in January 1961,
charged with carrying a concealed weapon.
Son of Salvatore Pacino
(insurance agent) and Rose Pacino (she died when Al was 22).
He has a daughter, named Julie
Marie, with acting teacher Jan Tarrant.
Dropped out of school at the
age of 17.
Turned down Kramer vs. Kramer
Turned down Born on the Fourth
of July (1989).
Turned down Apocalypse Now
Turned down the role of Han
Solo in Star Wars (1977).
Turned down Pretty Woman
Turned down Crimson Tide
Originally asked for $7
million for _Godfather: Part III, The (1990)_ (qv), a figure that so enraged
director Francis Ford Coppola that he threatened to write a new script that
opened with Michael Corleone's funeral. Pacino settled for $5 million.
Father of twins Anton and
Olivia with Beverly D'Angelo.
His grandparents originate
from Corleone, Sicily.
Was frequently refered to as
"that midget Pacino" by producers of 'The Godfather' who didn't want him for
the part of Michael Corleone.
Francis Ford Coppola asked
Pacino to play Captain Willard in his film 'Apocalypse Now'. Pacino politely
turned down the offer saying he'd "do anything" for Francis but he "woudn't
go to war with him!"
Stopped a 2-pack-a-day smoking
habit in 1994 to protect his voice. He now only occasionally smokes herbal
Al was so much into character
(playing a plain-clothes NYC cop) while filming 'Serpico' he actually pulled
over and threatened to arrest a truck driver for exhaust pollution.
Is an avid fan of opera.
Once worked as an usher at
Larry King considers Pacino's
appearance on his show ("Larry King Live") in November 1996 one of his
personal all-time favorite interviews.
As of 2002, Al Pacino's
current salary is around $10 million a picture.
One of the few Hollywood stars
who has never married.
Godfather: Part II, The (1974) $500,000 + 5% of gross
Godfather: Part III, The (1990) $5,000,000
Insomnia (2002) ca. $11,000,000