Al Pacino is an American actor of stage and screen, filmmaker, and screenwriter.
Let’s find out some fun facts about him!
1. Alfredo James “Al” Pacino was born April 25, 1940, in New York City (East Harlem).
2. His parents were Sicilian-American Salvatore Pacino and Rose, who divorced when he was two years old.
3. 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.
4. His father, who was from San Fratello in the Province of Messina, moved to Covina, California, and worked as an insurance salesman and restaurateur.
5. In his teen years “Sonny”, as he was known to his friends, aimed to become a baseball player, and was also nicknamed “The Actor”.
6. Pacino went through Herman Ridder Junior High School, but in secondary school dropped out of many classes, though not English.
7. He attended the High School of Performing Arts, but dropped out of school at age 17.
8. His mother disagreed with his decision; they argued and he left home.
9. 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.
10. He began smoking and drinking at age nine, and took up casual cannabis use at age 13, but never used hard drugs.
11. His two closest friends died from drug abuse at the ages of 19 and 30.
12. Growing up in The Bronx, he got into occasional fights and was considered something of a troublemaker at school.
13. He acted in basement plays in New York’s theatrical underground but was rejected for the Actors Studio while a teenager.
14. 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.
15. In this period, he was often unemployed and homeless and sometimes slept on the street, in theaters, or at friends’ houses.
16. In 1962, his mother died at the age of 43.
17. The following year, Pacino’s grandfather James Gerardi, one of the most influential people in his life, also died.
18. After four years at HB Studio, Pacino successfully auditioned for the Actors Studio.
19. The Actors Studio is a membership organization of professional actors, theatre directors and playwrights in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City.
20. Pacino studied “method acting” under acting coach Lee Strasberg, who appeared with Pacino in the films The Godfather Part II and in …And Justice for All.
21. During later interviews he spoke about Strasberg and the Studio’s effect on his career.
22. Pacino is currently co-president, along with Ellen Burstyn and Harvey Keitel, of the Actors Studio.
23. A method actor and former student of the HB Studio and the Actors Studio in New York City, where he was taught by Charlie Laughton and Lee Strasberg, Pacino made his feature film debut with a minor role in Me, Natalie (1969) and gained favorable notices for his lead role as a heroin addict in The Panic in Needle Park (1971).
24. He achieved international acclaim and recognition for his breakthrough role as Michael Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather (1972).
25. He received his first Oscar nomination and would reprise the role in the equally successful sequels The Godfather Part II (1974) and The Godfather Part III (1990).
26. Pacino’s performance as Corleone is now regarded as one of the greatest screen performances in film history.
27. Pacino received his first Best Actor Oscar nomination for Serpico (1973); he was also nominated for The Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon (1975) and …And Justice for All (1979) and won the award in 1993 for his performance as a blind Lieutenant Colonel in Scent of a Woman (1992).
28. For his performances in The Godfather, Dick Tracy (1990) and Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), Pacino was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
29. Other notable roles include Tony Montana in Scarface (1983), Carlito Brigante in Carlito’s Way (1993), Lieutenant Vincent Hanna in Heat (1995), Benjamin Ruggiero in Donnie Brasco (1997), Lowell Bergman in The Insider (1999) and Detective Will Dormer in Insomnia (2002).
30. In television, Pacino has acted in several productions for HBO including the miniseries Angels in America (2003) and the Jack Kevorkian biopic You Don’t Know Jack (2010), both of which won him the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.
31. In addition to his work in film, Pacino has had an extensive career on stage and is a two-time Tony Award winner, in 1969 and 1977, for his performances in Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? and The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel respectively.
32. A lifelong fan of Shakespeare, Pacino directed and starred in Looking for Richard (1996), a documentary film about the play Richard III, a role which Pacino had earlier portrayed on-stage in 1977.
33. He has also acted as Shylock in a 2004 feature film adaptation and a 2010 production of The Merchant of Venice.
34. Having made his filmmaking debut with Looking for Richard, Pacino has also directed and starred in the independent film Chinese Coffee (2000) and the films Wilde Salomé (2011) and Salomé (2013), about the play Salomé by Oscar Wilde.
35. Although he has never married, Pacino has 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.
36. Pacino had a relationship with Diane Keaton, his co-star in the Godfather trilogy. The on-again, off-again relationship ended following the filming of The Godfather Part II.
37. He has had relationships with Tuesday Weld, Jill Clayburgh, Marthe Keller, Kathleen Quinlan and Lyndall Hobbs.
38. The Internal Revenue Service filed a tax lien against Pacino, claiming he owes the government a total of $188,000 for 2008 and 2009. A representative for Pacino blamed his former business manager Kenneth Starr for the discrepancy.