Al Pacino


25 Apr 1940


New York City, New York, USA


Alfredo James Pacino


One of the greatest actors in all of film history, Al Pacino established himself during one of film's greatest decades, the 1970s, and has become an enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies.

Pacino was born on April 25, 1940, in the Bronx, New York, to an Italian-American family. His parents, Rose (Gerardi) and Sal Pacino, divorced when he was young. His mother moved them into his grandparents' house. Pacino found himself often repeating the plots and voices of characters 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, he 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 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 for the 1966-67 season. That was followed by a 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 The Panic in Needle Park (1971) after his film debut in Me, Natalie (1969). What came next would change his life forever. The role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972) was one of the most sought-after of the time: Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Ryan O'Neal, Robert De Niro and a host of others either wanted it or were mentioned for it, but director Francis Ford Coppola had his heart set on the unknown Italian Pacino for the role, although pretty much everyone else--from the studio to the producers to some of the cast members--didn't want him. Though Coppola won out through slick persuasion, Pacino was in constant fear of being fired during the hellish shoot. Much to his (and Coppola's) relief, the film was a monster hit that did wonders for everyone's career, including Pacino's, and earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Instead of taking on easier projects for the big money he could now command, however, Pacino threw his support behind what he considered tough but important films, such as the true-life crime drama Serpico (1973) and the tragic real-life bank robbery film Dog Day Afternoon (1975). He 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 ...and justice for all. (1979), for which he received another Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. This would, unfortunately, signal the beginning of a decline in his career, which produced such critical and commercial flops as Cruising (1980) and Author! Author! (1982). He took on another vicious gangster role and cemented his legendary status in the ultra-violent cult hit 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 a project that seemed doomed from the start anyway. The Revolutionary War film is considered one of the worst films ever, not to mention one of the worst of his career, resulted in his first truly awful reviews and kept him off the screen 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, The Local Stigmatic (1990), but it remains unreleased. He lifted his self-imposed exile with the striking Sea of Love (1989) as a hard-drinking cop. It marked the second phase of Pacino's career, being the first to feature his now famous dark, owl eyes and hoarse, gravelly voice. 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). 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 mixture 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 and co-starring Robert De Niro, although they only had a few scenes together. 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 The Devil's Advocate (1997) all came out in this period. Reteaming with Mann and then Oliver Stone, he gave two commanding performances in The Insider (1999) and Any Given Sunday (1999).

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.

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 longtime 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 the movies' true legends.

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).

Actor ( 113 credits )

The Irishman (2018) Jimmy Hoffa
The Trap (2017) (rumored)
Dabka (2017) Seymour Tolbin
Misconduct (2016) Abrams
Danny Collins (2015) Danny Collins
Quick Reviews with Maverick (2015)  Ricky Roma / ... (archive footage) (1 episode, 2016)
Manglehorn (2014) A.J. Manglehorn
The Humbling (2014)
Salomé (2013) King Herod
Casting By (2012) Himself
Stand Up Guys (2012) Val
America's Book of Secrets (2012)  Tony Montana (uncredited) (1 episode, 2013)
Welcome to the Basement (2012)  Ricky Roma / ... (archive footage) (3 episodes, 2012-2
Jack and Jill (2011) Himself
The Son of No One (2011) Detective Charles Stanford
Whistleblowers: The Untold Stories (2011)  Himself - Award Winning Actor (archive footage) (1 epi
Wilde Salomé (2011) Himself / King Herod
Little Spain (2011) Himself
Special Collector's Edition (2010)  Frank Serpico (1 episode, 2013)
The Being Frank Show (2010)  Himself (3 episodes, 2010-2012)
I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale (2009) Himself
Glenn Beck (2009)  Michael Corleone (2 episodes, 2009)
Righteous Kill (2008) Rooster
Caia Quem Caia (2008)  Himself
Return To.. (2008)  Himself (archive footage) (1 episode, 2008)
88 Minutes (2007) Jack Gramm
Ocean's Thirteen (2007) Willy Bank
Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters (2006) Michael Corleone (archive footage) (uncredited)
Close Up (2006)  Actor / ... (1 episode, 2012)
Two for the Money (2005) Walter
Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream (2005) Himself (archive footage)
Cinema mil (2005)  Himself (1 episode, 2005)
Based on a True Story (2004) (archive footage)
The Merchant of Venice (2004) Shylock
The Culture Show (2004)  Himself (1 episode, 2004)
Gigli (2003) Starkman
The Recruit (2003) Walter Burke
MythBusters (2003)  Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade (1 episode, 2008)
Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2003)  Himself - Ocean's 13 Premiere (1 episode, 2007)
Celebrities Uncensored (2003)  Himself (1 episode, 2004)
Cartaz Cultural (2003)  Himself
S1m0ne (2002) Viktor Taransky
Insomnia (2002) Will Dormer
People I Know (2002) Eli Wurman
Caiga quien caiga (2002)  Himself (1 episode, 2004)
Chinese Coffee (2000) Harry Levine
Any Given Sunday (1999) Tony D'Amato
The Insider (1999) Lowell Bergman
Exclusif (1999)  Himself (1 episode, 2002)
Pitch (1997) Himself
The Devil's Advocate (1997) John Milton
Donnie Brasco (1997) Benjamin 'Lefty' Ruggiero
Corazón de... (1997)  Himself (3 episodes, 2004-2005)
Leute heute (1997)  Himself (1 episode, 2002)
City Hall (1996) Mayor John Pappas
The Rosie O'Donnell Show (1996)  Himself (1 episode, 1999)
Magacine (1996)  Himself (3 episodes, 1999-2005)
Mundo VIP (1996)  Himself (1 episode, 1998)
Caiga quien caiga (1996)  Himself (1 episode, 1996)
E! True Hollywood Story (1996)  Himself (archive footage) (1 episode, 2002)
À part ça... (1996)  Himself (1 episode, 1998)
Looking for Richard (1996) Himself / Richard III
Heat (1995) Lt. Vincent Hanna
Two Bits (1995) Grandpa
Jonas in the Desert (1994) Himself
Inside the Actors Studio (1994)  Himself (1 episode, 2006)
Extra (1994)  Himself - The Humbling (1 episode, 2014)
In the Name of the Father (1993) Michael Corleone (archive footage)
Carlito's Way (1993) Carlito
Late Show with David Letterman (1993)  Himself - Guest / ... (4 episodes, 2002-2013)
Scent of a Woman (1992) Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade
The Making of 'Scent of a Woman' (1992) Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) Ricky Roma
HBO First Look (1992)  Himself (1 episode, 2007)
Gomorron (1992)  Himself (1 episode, 1995)
Frankie and Johnny (1991) Johnny
Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991) Himself (uncredited)
The Godfather: Part III (1990) Don Michael Corleone
Dick Tracy (1990) Big Boy Caprice
The Local Stigmatic (1990) Graham
Tonight with Jonathan Ross (1990)  Himself (1 episode, 1991)
Primer plano (1990)  Himself (1 episode, 1996)
Sea of Love (1989) Det. Frank Keller
The Making of 'Sea of Love' (1989) Himself
This Morning (1988)  Himself (1 episode, 2005)
The American Experience (1988)  Hickey / ... (1 episode, 2006)
Biography (1987)  Himself (uncredited) (1 episode, 2001)
The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986)  Himself (1 episode, 2005)
The Movie Show (1986)  Himself (uncredited) (1 episode, 1995)
Revolution (1985) Tom Dobb
Larry King Live (1985)  Himself (2 episodes, 2004-2007)
Showbiz Today (1984)  Himself (1 episode, 1995)
Scarface (1983) Tony Montana
Author! Author! (1982) Ivan Travalian
Entertainment Tonight (1981)  Himself (7 episodes, 2007-2010)
Cruising (1980) Steve Burns
...and justice for all. (1979) Arthur Kirkland
Bobby Deerfield (1977) Bobby
America at the Movies (1976) Himself (archive footage)
The Barbara Walters Summer Special (1976)  Himself (1 episode, 1993)
Dog Day Afternoon (1975) Sonny Wortzik
Lumet: Film Maker (1975) Himself
The Godfather: Part II (1974) Michael
Serpico (1973) Serpico
Scarecrow (1973) Lion
The Godfather (1972) Michael Corleone
The Panic in Needle Park (1971) Bobby
Film '72 (1971)  Himself (1 episode, 2008)
The Godfather: Behind the Scenes (1971) Himself
Me, Natalie (1969) Tony
60 Minutes (1968)  Himself - Interviewee (segment "Al Pacino") (2 episode
N.Y.P.D. (1967)  John James (1 episode, 1968)
Hangman (0) Detective Archer

Producer ( 3 credits )

The Humbling (2014) producer
Looking for Richard (1996) producer
The Local Stigmatic (1990) producer

Writer ( 2 credits )

Wilde Salomé (2011) (written by)
Looking for Richard (1996)

Director ( 4 credits )

Salomé (2013)
Wilde Salomé (2011)
Chinese Coffee (2000)
Looking for Richard (1996)