AL PACINO Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Alfredo James Pacino                                                             
Born 25 April 1940 East Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA                 
Alfredo James Pacino (born April 25, 1940) is an Academy Award-, Golden Globe-,         
Tony-, BAFTA-, Emmy- and SAG award-winning American film and stage actor and           
director, widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential             
actors of all time. He is well known for his roles as Michael Corleone in               
the The Godfather trilogy, Tony Montana in Scarface and Lieutenant Colonel Frank       
Slade in Scent of a Woman.                                                             
Pacino 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 his own restaurant called Pacino's Lounge, which closed down in 1992.         
Pacino attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts.               
In 1966, Pacino studied under legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg (alongside           
whom he would later feature in the 1974 film The Godfather Part II). He 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 when he had won an Obie           
Award for his work in The Indian Wants the Bronx and the Tony for Best Featured         
Actor in a Play for Does the Tiger Wear a Necktie?. He made his first screen           
appearance in an episode of the television series N.Y.P.D. in 1968, and his             
largely unnoticed movie debut in Me, Natalie came the following year.                   
It was the 1971 film The Panic in Needle Park, in which he played a heroin             
addict, that would bring him to the attention of director Francis Ford Coppola.         
Pacino's rise to fame came after portraying Michael Corleone in Coppola's               
blockbuster 1972 Mafia film The Godfather and Frank Serpico in the eponymous           
1973 movie.                                                                             
Although several established actors, including Robert Redford, Warren Beatty,           
and a little-known Robert De Niro were vying to portray Michael Corleone,               
director Coppola selected the relatively unknown Pacino, much to the dismay of         
studio executives. His performance earned him an Academy Award nomination.             
Pacino's performance as Michael Corleone offers one of the finest examples of           
his early acting style, described by Halliwell's Film Guide as "intense" and "tightly   
In 1973 Pacino starred in the very successful Serpico and the less popular             
Scarecrow alongside Gene Hackman. In 1974, Pacino reprised his role as Michael         
Corleone in the very successful sequel The Godfather Part II, acclaimed as being       
comparable to the original. In 1975, he enjoyed further success with the release       
of Dog Day Afternoon, based on the true story of a bank robber John Wojtowicz.         
In 1977, Pacino starred as a race-car driver in Bobby Deerfield, directed by           
Sydney Pollock and received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture           
Actor – Drama, for his portrayal of Bobby Deerfield, but lost out to Richard         
Burton, who ultimately won for Equus.                                                   
During 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.                                                                       
Pacino continued his dedication to the stage, 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.                       
His 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 film was critically panned but           
did well at the box office, grossing over $45 million domestically. Pacino             
earned a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in Scarface as a Cuban drug       
gangster. Years later, he would reveal to interviewer Barbara Walters that Tony         
Montana represented the best work of his career.                                       
Pacino worked on his most personal project, The Local Stigmatic, a 1969 Off             
Broadway play by the English writer Heathcote Williams, in which he starred,           
which he remounted with director David Wheeler and the Theater Company of Boston       
in a 1985 50-minute film version, which was screened in New York in March 1990.         
It was later released as part of the Pacino: An Actor's Vision boxset in 2007.         
1985's 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 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 films 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. Greatest Movie Of The 80's           
Pacino received an Oscar nomination as Big Boy Caprice in the box office hit           
Dick Tracy (1990) followed by a return to arguably his most famous character,           
Michael Corleone, in The Godfather Part III (1990). In 1991, Al Pacino starred         
in Frankie and Johnny with Michelle Pfeiffer, who also co-starred with Pacino in       
Scarface. He would finally win an Oscar for Best Actor, for his portrayal of the       
depressed, irascible, and retired blind Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade in Martin       
Brest's Scent of a Woman (1992). That very year, he was also nominated for the         
supporting actor award 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).                   
Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part III (1990)                             
During that same year, Pacino was offered to voice Batman villain Two-Face in           
the hugely successful Batman The Animated Series but turned down the role.             
Pacino has since turned acclaimed performances in such crime dramas as Carlito's       
Way (1993), Donnie Brasco (1997), the multi-Oscar nominated The Insider (1999)         
and Insomnia (2002).                                                                   
In 1995, Pacino starred in Michael Mann's Heat, in which he and fellow film icon       
Robert De Niro 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. The pairing drew much attention as the two actors have long been               
compared). In 1996, Pacino starred in his theatrical feature Looking for Richard,       
and was lauded for his role as Satan in the supernatural drama The Devil's             
Advocate in 1997. Pacino also starred in Oliver Stone's critically acclaimed Any       
Given Sunday in 1999, playing the team coach. The speech he performs in the film       
has become known world-wide as "the Al Pacino Speech" which is used to inspire         
many athletes around the world.                                                         
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 for lifetime achievement in motion pictures, and         
the second for his role in the highly praised HBO miniseries Angels in America         
in 2004.                                                                               
Pacino has turned down several key roles in his career, including that of Han           
Solo in Star Wars, Jimmy Conway in Goodfellas, Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, Ted       
Kramer in Kramer Vs. Kramer, Paul Sheldon in Misery, Captain Willard in                 
Apocalypse Now, Richard Sherman in a never-filmed remake of The Seven Year Itch,       
and Edward Lewis in Pretty Woman. In 1996, Pacino was slated to play                   
General Manuel Noriega in a major biographical motion picture when director             
Oliver Stone pulled the plug on production to focus on his movie Nixon. Pacino's       
greatest stage successes of the decade were in revivals of Eugene O'Neill's             
Hughie and Oscar Wilde's Salome.                                                       
Pacino recently 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. It is rumored Pacino actually declined the role       
due to a conflict with Electronic Arts' rival, Vivendi Universal, which launched       
a competing game adaptation of the remake of 1983's Scarface, titled Scarface:         
The World is Yours. However, Pacino did not voice his character in this game for       
the same given reason. Pacino allowed his likeness to be used for the game, but         
not his voice.                                                                         
Rising director Christopher Nolan worked with Pacino for Insomnia, a remake of         
the Norwegian Film of the same name. The film and Pacino's performance was             
critically lauded and the film did moderately well at the box office.                   
Pacino starred as lawyer Roy Cohn in the 2003 HBO miniseries of Tony Kushner's         
play Angels in America. Pacino still acts on stage and has dabbled in film             
directing. While The Local Stigmatic remains unreleased, his film festival-screened     
Chinese Coffee has earned good notices. On the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and       
Villains, he is only the second actor to appear on both lists: on the "heroes           
list" as Frank Serpico and on the "villains list" as Michael Corleone.                 
Pacino starred as Shylock in Michael Radford's 2004 film The Merchant of Venice.       
On October 20, 2006, the American Film Institute named Pacino the recipient of         
the 35th AFI Life Achievement Award. On November 22, 2006, the University               
Philosophical Society of Trinity College, Dublin awarded Pacino the Honorary           
Patronage of the Society.                                                               
With his box office earnings relatively modest of late, Pacino looks to be             
gearing up with several new projects. He starred in Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean's       
Thirteen alongside George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Andy Garcia as the       
villain Willy Bank, a casino tycoon who is targeted out of revenge by Danny             
Ocean and his crew.                                                                     
On June 19, 2007, a boxset titled Pacino: An Actor's Vision was released,               
containing 3 rare Al Pacino films: The Local Stigmatic (Disc 1), Looking For           
Richard (Disc 2) and Chinese Coffee (Disc 3), and also a documentary on Pacino's       
entire film career, Babbleonia (Disc 4).                                               
Al Pacino's latest film 88 Minutes is expected to be released in 2008 in America,       
having already been released in various other countries in 2007. In his next           
scheduled release Righteous Kill, Pacino and Robert De Niro co-star as New York         
detectives searching for a serial killer. In Rififi, a remake of the 1955 French       
original based on the novel by Auguste Le Breton, Pacino plays 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           
film Dali & I: The Surreal Story, and the leader of the mysterious                     
organization (Christian Blunner) in the 22nd James Bond film Quantum of Solace