Interesting facts about Al Pacino

al pacino

Al Pacino is an American actor of stage and screen, filmmaker, and screenwriter.

His full name is Alfredo James Pacino.

He was born on April 25, 1940, in the Bronx, New York, to an Italian-American family.

His parents Salvatore Pacino and Rose, divorced when he was two years old.

His mother moved to The Bronx to live with her parents, Kate and James Gerardi, who, coincidentally, had come from a town in Sicily named Corleone.

Pacino was raised by his mother and grandparents in the Bronx.

Though somewhat shy as a child, in his early teens Pacino developed an interest in acting and was later accepted at the High School of Performing Arts.

However, he proved to be a poor student, failing most of his classes before he eventually dropped out at age 17. His mother disagreed with his decision; they argued and he left home.

al pacino young

He worked at low-paying jobs; messenger, busboy, janitor, and postal clerk, to finance his acting studies. He once worked in the mail room for Commentary magazine.

He acted in basement plays in New York’s theatrical underground but was rejected for the prestigious Actors Studio while a teenager.

Pacino then joined the Herbert Berghof Studio (HB Studio), where he met acting teacher Charlie Laughton (not to be confused with the British actor Charles Laughton), who became his mentor and best friend.

He made it into the Actors Studio in 1966, studying under legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg, creator of the Method Approach that would become the trademark of many ’70s-era actors.


After appearing in a string of plays in supporting roles, he finally hit it big with “The Indian Wants the Bronx”, winning an Obie award (Off-Broadway Theater Awards) for the 1966-67 season. That was followed by a Tony Award for “Does the Tiger Wear a Necktie?”.

It was the 1971 film The Panic in Needle Park, in which he played a heroin addict, that brought Pacino to the attention of director Francis Ford Coppola, who cast him as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

al pacino the godfather

Although several established actors — including Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, and
little-known Robert De Niro — also tried out for the part, Coppola selected the relatively unknown Pacino, to the dismay of studio executives.

But Coppola’s confidence was fully justified, for Pacino’s performance in ‘The Godfather’ earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and firmly established him as a leading Hollywood actor.

In 1974 he starred in Serpico, the true story of police officer Frank Serpico, whose undercover work during the 1960s helped expose corruption in the NYPD. The film earned him an Oscar nomination.

al pacino serpico

Also in 1974, Pacino reprised his role as Michael Corleone in the sequel The Godfather Part II, which was the first sequel to win the Best Picture Oscar; Pacino, meanwhile, was nominated for his third Oscar.

During the 1970s, Pacino had two more Oscar nominations for Best Actor in the tragic real-life bank robbery film Dog Day Afternoon (1975) and …And Justice for All. (1979)

Pacino’s career slumped in 1980s. With the exception of his role as crazed drug dealer Tony Montana in the Brian De Palma–directed hit Scarface (1983), Pacino’s other films from this era were significantly less successful and his roles less memorable.

al pacino scarface

Returning to the Corleones, he made The Godfather: Part III (1990) and earned raves for his first comedic role in the colorful Dick Tracy (1990).

In 1991, Pacino starred in Frankie and Johnny with Michelle Pfeiffer, who co-starred with Pacino in Scarface.

In 1992 he finally won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his amazing performance in Scent of a Woman (1992).

al pacino winning oscar

Carlito’s Way (1993) proved another gangster classic, as did the epic crime drama Heat (1995) directed by Michael Mann and co-starring Robert De Niro.

In the latter half of the decade, parts in such films as, gangster film Donnie Brasco (1997), supernatural thriller The Devil’s Advocate (1997), Oliver Stone’s football classic Any Given Sunday (1999) and Academy Award–winning The Insider (1999) helped keep Pacino both busy and relevant.

al pacino the devils advocate

In the 2000s, Pacino starred in a number of theatrical blockbusters, including Ocean’s Thirteen (2007), but his choice in television roles (the vicious Roy Cohn in HBO’s miniseries Angels in America (2003) and his sensitive portrayal of Jack Kevorkian, in the television movie You Don’t Know Jack (2010)) are reminiscent of the bolder choices of his early career. Each television project garnered him an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.

Pacino has had a career spanning more than fifty years, during which time he has received numerous accolades and honors both competitive and honorary, among them an Academy Award, two Tony Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, a British Academy Film Award, four Golden Globe Awards, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, and the National Medal of Arts. He is also one of few performers to have won a competitive Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony Award for acting, dubbed the “Triple Crown of Acting”.

Pacino has never abandoned his love for the theater, and Shakespeare in particular, having directed the Shakespeare adaptation Looking for Richard (1996) and played Shylock in The Merchant of Venice (2004).

al pacino the merchant of venice

Al Pacino is a lifelong bachelor. He is, however, the father of three children. The eldest, Julie Marie (born 1989), is his daughter with acting coach Jan Tarrant. He also has twins, son Anton James and daughter Olivia Rose (born January 25, 2001), with actress Beverly D’Angelo, with whom he had a relationship from 1996 until 2003.

Al Pacino has an estimated net worth of $145 million.

He made just $35,000 for The Godfather, but for the sequel he made $500,000, along with 10 percent of the net gross.

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.

His pay per film is now approximately $10 million or more.


Al Pacino turned down starring roles in: Apocalypse Now (1979), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Born on the Fourth of July (1989), Pretty Woman (1990) and Crimson Tide (1995).

He also turned down the role of Han Solo in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977).

When asked by the AFI, he named The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978) and Singin’ in the Rain (1952) as his favorite films.

His favorite actress is Julie Christie.

Pacino is an avid fan of opera.

Until 2010, Pacino did not endorse any products, but that year shot an ad for Australia-based coffee Vittoria.

He 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.

Al Pacino’s height is 5 ft 7 in or 170 centimeters.

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.

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.

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