Al Pacino

Al Pacino
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Al Pacino Biography

Al Pacino, born as "Alfredo James Pacino" (born April 26, 1940), is an American film and stage actor and director. He is famous for playing mobsters, including Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy and Tony Montana in Scarface, though he has also appeared several times on the other side of the law—as a police officer, a detective and a lawyer. For his performance as Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman he won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1992. He had received seven previous Oscar nominations, including one in that same year.

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Al Pacino Awards

YearAwardCategoryForResult
2013 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Phil Spector (2013) (TV). Nominated
2013 Golden Camera, Germany International Won
2012 Dublin International Film Festival For his outstanding contribution to film Won
2012 Razzie Awards Worst Screen Couple Jack and Jill (2011/I). Won
2011 Golden Globes, USA Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television You Don't Know Jack (2010) (TV). Won

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Al Pacino Trivia

  • October 1997: Ranked #4 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list.
  • January 1961: Was arrested, charged with carrying a concealed weapon.
  • Son of Sal Pacino (insurance agent) and Rose Pacino (she died when Al was 22).
  • 6-months before his 50th birthday, he became a first-time father when daughter Julie Marie (aka Julie Pacino) ((born October 16, 1989)) was born to acting teacher Jan Tarrant.
  • Dropped out of school at the age of 17.
  • Turned down the role of Ted Kramer in Kramer vs. Kramer (1979).
  • Turned down Raymond J. Barry's role in Born on the Fourth of July (1989).
  • Turned down Marlon Brando's role in Apocalypse Now (1979).
  • Turned down the role of Han Solo in Star Wars (1977).
  • Turned down Hector Elizondo's role in Pretty Woman (1990).
  • Turned down Gene Hackman's role in Crimson Tide (1995).
  • Originally asked for $7 million for The Godfather: Part III (1990), 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.
  • At age 61, he became the father of twins Anton and Olivia (b. 25 January 2001), with ex-companion Beverly D'Angelo.
  • His maternal grandparents originate from Corleone, Sicily. His paternal grandparents originate from San Fratello, Sicily.
  • Was frequently refered to as "that midget Pacino" by producers of The Godfather (1972) 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 (1979). Pacino politely turned down the offer, saying he'd "do anything" for Francis but he "woudn't go to war with him!"
  • 1994: Stopped a two-pack-a-day smoking habit to protect his voice. In the mid-1980s he had been smoking four packs of cigarettes a day. He now only occasionally smokes herbal cigarettes.
  • Al was so much into character (playing a plain-clothes NYC cop) while filming Serpico (1973) 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 Carnegie Hall.
  • Larry King considers Pacino's appearance on his show "Larry King Live" (1985) in November 1996 as one of his personal all-time favorite interviews.
  • One of the few Hollywood stars who has never married.
  • Despite the fact that he starred in "The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui" for Off- Broadway scale pay (the minimum salary allowed by Actor's Equity), the production had the highest ticket price in Off-Broadway history at $100 per ticket.
  • He is one of the eleven elite thespians to have been nominated for both a Supporting and Lead Acting Academy Award in the same year. The other ten are Barry Fitzgerald Fay Bainter, Teresa Wright, Jessica Lange, Sigourney Weaver, Emma Thompson, Holly Hunter, Julianne Moore, Jamie Foxx and Cate Blanchett. Pacino was the second male actor, after Fitzgerald, to have been nominated for both a Best Supporting Actor and a Best Actor Oscar in the same year; the third is Foxx, who was nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in 2005.
  • Won two Tony Awards: in 1969 as Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Dramatic) for "Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?" and in 1977 as Best. Actor (Play) for "The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel."
  • Won his first Oscar twenty-one years after his first nomination.
  • He and Chris Sarandon improvised their scene on the phone in the film Dog Day Afternoon (1975).
  • Studied acting under his friend Charles Laughton.
  • He is an avid William Shakespeare fan.
  • Was voted the Number 1 greatest movie star of all time in a Channel 4 (UK) poll.
  • For a short while, he was the only actor to be in the #1 Best and Worst Movie on IMDb: The Godfather (1972) and Gigli (2003).
  • In a "Playboy" magazine interview, he claimed that he was fired from his job as a movie theater usher while walking down the staircase and admiring himself in the mirrored wall.
  • He was voted the 41st Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
  • Portrayed crime bosses in The Godfather Trilogy, Scarface (1983) and Dick Tracy (1990).
  • In 2004 he became the 18th performer to win the Triple Crown of Acting. Oscar: Best Actor, Scent of a Woman (1992); Tony: Best Supporting Actor-Play "Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?: (1969) and Best Actor-Play "The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel" (1977); and Emmy: Best Actor-Miniseries/Movie, "Angels in America" (2003).
  • Read for Chazz Palminteri's part in The Usual Suspects (1995). Source: Director Bryan Singer, "Pursuing The Usual Suspects" documentary from UK DVD.
  • He was rejected repeatedly by studio heads while auditioning for the role of Michael in The Godfather (1972) but Francis Ford Coppola fought for him. This film was shot briskly because both the director and the leading actor were in constant fear of being fired. Ironically, it turned out to be a breakthrough for both.
  • He is the stepson of actress and make-up artist Katherin Kovin-Pacino.
  • He has four sisters: Josette, a teacher, twins Roberta Pacino and Paula, and a younger sister named Desiree, whom Pacino's father adopted whilst married to his fourth wife.
  • Was a longtime member of David Wheeler's Theatre Company of Boston, for which he performed in "Richard III" in Boston from Dec. 1972 to Jan. 1973 and at the Cort Theater in New York City from June 10 to July 15, 1979. He also appeared in their productions of Bertolt Brecht's "Aurturo Ui" at the Charles Theater in Boston in 1975 and later in New York and London, and in David Rabe's "The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel" at the Longacre Theater in New York in 1977, for which Pacino won a Tony Award. Wheeler also directed Pacino in Heathcote Williams' "The Local Stigmatic" for Joseph Papp's Public Theater in New York City in 1976. Pacino appeared in a 1989 film of "Stigmatic" (The Local Stigmatic (1990)) directed by Wheeler that was presented at the Cinémathèque in Los Angeles.
  • Won the Best Actor Obie (awarded for the best Off-Broadway performances) for "The Indian Wants The Bronx" in 1968. Was also nominated for a Best Actor Obie for "Why Is A Crooked Letter" in 1966.
  • His performance in the Broadway play "Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?" won him a Tony Award for Best Dramatic Supporting Actor, and a Drama Desk Award and Theatre World Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1969.
  • Turned down the lead role of Roy Neary in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
  • While Paramount brass dithered over whether to cast him as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972), the role that would make him a star, a frustrated Pacino signed up for the role of Mario Trantino in The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight (1971). When Paramount finally decided to offer him the role in "The Godfather", it had to buy him out of his contract with MGM. Ironically, the role went to Robert De Niro, whom The Godfather: Part II (1974) would make a star.
  • His favorite actress is Julie Christie.
  • He and Jamie Foxx are two out of the only three actors to be nominated for an Academy Award for both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in the same year. (Barry Fitzgerald did it first in 1945) Pacino was nominated in 1993 for Scent of a Woman (1992) and Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) / Foxx in 2005 for Ray (2004/I) and Collateral (2004). Both men won the Best Actor award, and they both played blind men in their roles: Pacino as Frank Slade and Foxx as Ray Charles.
  • 2005: Premiere Magazine ranked him as #37 on a list of the Greatest Movie Stars of All Time in their Stars in Our Constellation feature.
  • Grew up in the South Bronx, New York City
  • Attended The High School of the Performing Arts until he dropped out.
  • Has a production company called Chal Productions. The "Ch" is in tribute his friend "Charlie Laughton" (not the actor Charles Laughton) while the "Al" is for himself.
  • Worked in the mail room of Commentary magazine.
  • Briefly worked as a stand-up comic early in his career.
  • Early in his acting career, he considered changing his name to "Sonny Scott" to avoid being typecast by his Italian name. "Sonny" was his childhood nickname.
  • Alec Baldwin, who co-starred with Pacino in Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) and Looking for Richard (1996), wrote a 65-page final thesis on Pacino and method acting for his degree at NYU.
  • Had been friends with John Cazale since they were teenagers. They starred together in Dog Day Afternoon (1975), The Godfather: Part II (1974) and The Godfather (1972).
  • He is one of only five actors to be nominated for an Oscar twice for playing the same role in two separate films. He was nominated as for The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather: Part II (1974). The others are Paul Newman as Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler (1961) and The Color of Money (1986), Bing Crosby as Father O'Malley in Going My Way (1944) and The Bells of St. Mary's (1945), Peter O'Toole as Henry II in Becket (1964) and The Lion in Winter (1968) and Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth I in Elizabeth (1998) and Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007).
  • During the making of The Recruit (2003), he met and became close friends with Colin Farrell. He went on to call Farrell the most talented actor of his generation.
  • Turned down the role of Richard Sherman for a remake of The Seven Year Itch (1955) which was never filmed.
  • Turned down role as Michael Corleone in the Godfather videogame.
  • 2006: His performance as Sonny Wortzik in Dog Day Afternoon (1975) is ranked #4 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time.
  • 2006: His performance as Michael Corleone in The Godfather: Part II (1974) is ranked #20 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time.
  • His performance as Tony Montana in Scarface (1983) is ranked #74 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
  • His performance as "Michael Corleone" in The Godfather: Part II (1974) is ranked #11 on the American Film Institute's 100 Heroes & Villains.
  • His performance as Frank Serpico in Serpico (1973) is ranked #40 on the American Film Institute's 100 Heroes & Villains.
  • Was director Bryan Singer's first choice for the role of "Dave Kujan" in The Usual Suspects (1995). Pacino passed on the role and has since stated that that is the role he regrets passing on the most.
  • 10/16/97: Imprinted his hands and signature in cement at Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
  • Stated in an interview that the movie he most wanted to be in but couldn't get the role was Slap Shot (1977). Director George Roy Hill opted not to go with Pacino because he could not ice skate.
  • Revealed to James Lipton on "Inside the Actors Studio" (1994) for the first time ever that his maternal grandfather was born in Corleone, Sicily.
  • 1970-75: Lived with Jill Clayburgh.
  • At one point, David Cronenberg was in line to direct the film The Singing Detective (2003), with Pacino in the lead.
  • Over the end credits of Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005) the two stars, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon compete at doing Pacino impressions.
  • Oscar-winning director John Schlesinger envisioned a cast of Pacino, Julie Christie and Laurence Olivier for Marathon Man (1976). Pacino has said that the only actress he had ever wanted to work with was Christie, who he claimed was "the most poetic of actresses." Producer Robert Evans, who disparaged the vertically challenged Pacino as "The Midget" when Francis Ford Coppola wanted him for The Godfather (1972) and had thought of firing him during the early shooting of the now-classic film, vetoed Pacino for the lead. Instead, Evans insisted on the casting of the even shorter Dustin Hoffman! On her part, Christie -- who was notoriously finicky about accepting parts, even in prestigious, sure-fire material -- turned down the female lead, which was then taken by Marthe Keller (who, ironically, became Pacino's lover after co-starring with him in Bobby Deerfield (1977)). Of his dream cast, Schlesinger only got Olivier, who was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Pacino has yet to co-star with Christie.
  • Has suffered from chronic insomnia.
  • His Oscar nomination for The Godfather (1972) marked his first of 4 consecutive nominations, a feat he shares with Jennifer Jones (1943-1946), Thelma Ritter (1950-1953), Marlon Brando (1951-1954) and Elizabeth Taylor (1957-1960).
  • He has been a friend of HRH Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, for several years, and has stayed as his guest at Highgrove House.
  • Resides in Beverly Hills, California.
  • Former New York deputy mayor Ken Lipper was one of Pacino's classmates in school.
  • Starred on Broadway alongside Sheryl Lee in Oscar Wilde's "Salome", in the Circle in the Square Theatre, under the direction of Robert Allan Ackerman. The play costarred Suzanne Bertish, Arnold Vosloo and Esai Morales. [Summer 1992]
  • When asked by the AFI, he named The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978) and Singin' in the Rain (1952) as his favorite films.
  • Got Kevin Spacey his first major role in a film. Pacino saw Spacey performing on Broadway and suggested him to the director of Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) for the role of "John Williamson".
  • He is a huge fan of Dick Van Dyke.
  • Lifetime Member of the prestigious Actors Studio. He was accepted into the studio in 1966, studying under legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg.
  • The voice of Moe the Bartender from The Simpsons was based on Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon (1975).
  • Lives in Palisades, New York.
  • He studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village in New York City.
  • Spoke three of the American Film Institute's 100 Movie Quotes: "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer." from The Godfather: Part II (1974) at #58, "Say 'hello' to my little friend!" from Scarface (1983) at #61 and "Attica! Attica!" from Dog Day Afternoon (1975) at #86.
  • Before becoming a professional actor he held a number of jobs including a messenger, shoe salesman, supermarket checker, shoe shiner, furniture mover, office boy, fresh-fruit polisher, and a newsboy.
  • He was awarded the 2011 American National Medal of the Arts for his services to drama on February 13, 2012 at the White House in Washington D.C.
  • Starred as King Herod in Oscar Wilde's "Salomé" on Broadway in 1992 opposite Sheryl Lee (directed by Robert Allan Ackerman), and in 2003 opposite Marisa Tomei (directed by Estelle Parsons). He reprised the role opposite Jessica Chastain in 2006 in Los Angeles and in the documentary-drama film Wilde Salome (2011) that he also wrote and directed.
  • Is one of 9 actors to have won the Triple Crown of Acting (an Oscar, Emmy and Tony); the others in chronological order are Thomas Mitchell, Melvyn Douglas, Paul Scofield, Jack Albertson, Jason Robards, Jeremy Irons, Geoffrey Rush and Christopher Plummer.

    Trade Mark
  • Volcanic tirade, smoke-burnished voice
  • Frequently plays men of power and/or authority
  • Surly but essentially moral characters with deep capacity for violence
  • Jet black hair
  • Diminutive frame, off-set by his formidable bearing


Al Pacino Photos

  • Al Pacino

    8th Annual Los Angeles, Italia Film, Fashion and Art Festival Opening Night - Arrivals

  • Alan Arkin and Al Pacino

    48th Chicago International Film Festival - "Stand Up Guys" Premiere -Arrivals 10/11/2012

  • Al Pacino and Lucila Sola

    48th Chicago International Film Festival - "Stand Up Guys" Premiere -Arrivals 10/11/2012

  • Al Pacino

    48th Chicago International Film Festival - "Stand Up Guys" Premiere -Arrivals 10/11/2012 4 15

  • Al Pacino

    23rd Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala - Arrivals

  • Al Pacino and Jessica Chastain

    23rd Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala - Backstage

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