Al Pacino is an out standing American film actor, and a creative genius of all times with a career in film and stage spanning for over 40 years. He is an Oscar Award winner, and an eight times Oscar nominee with over 30 films under his belt. He is a brooding intense guy with a trademark volcanic tirade, smoke–burnished voice. Al Pacino was born on April 25th, 1940 to Italian immigrant parents, Rose and Salvatore Pacino. They later separated when he was about two years old. He moved in with his maternal grandparents in South Bronx. He attended the high school of performing arts where he dropped out as he flanked all subjects apart from English. This decision did not settle well with his mother, so they quarreled and he moved out of their home. Al Pacino’s love for the theatre began at an early age. His mother would take him to the cinema as special treat, and on returning home he would act out the storylines for his grand mother. He actually wanted to become a baseball player when he grew up. Upon moving out of his grand parents’ home, he had to take on odd jobs to support himself. Al Pacino’s journey in theatre began on a low note, but has since greatly expanded over the years.
Al Pacino’s personal life is extremely interesting. This is mainly because he has never been married, but has had numerous affairs with Hollywood actresses. He has three children; two (Anton & Olivia Rose) from his long Relationship with Beverly D’Angelo, and a daughter (Julie Marie) with his former acting coach, Jan Tarrant. Early in his acting career in 1967, during the filming of the film America Hurray, he met actress Jill Clay burgh who he dated, and lived with for 5 years then separated. Although he was an only child, he has step brothers and sisters from his father’s second marriage.
In 1962, fate dealt him a terrible blow when his mother passed away, and a year later his grandfather James Gerardi followed. He was devastated because his grand father was his role model. Despite all this, he started doing basement plays in New York City, and auditioned to join Actors Studio that did not accept him. Later, he went to HB studio where he met his mentor and best friend Charlie Laughton. After spending 4 years at HB studio, in 1966 he was accepted at the Actors studio where he is currently a co-president with Ellen Burstyn and Harvey Keitel.
He made his TV debut in 1968 in a TV series known as “NYPD” playing a role of a racist southerner, and his stage performance of “The Indian wants the Bronx” worn him an OBIE Award. His broad way debut of the play “Do tigers wear neck tie” earned him a Tony Award in April 1969. His career alternates between films, movies and stage performances. His earlier movies such as Me and Natalie, in 1969, were a flop, but the movie Panic in the Needle Park in 1971 caught Francis Coppola’s eye, who later cast him in the 1972 mafia epic The God father. When the director decided to cast Pacino for that role, other famous Hollywood stars like Robert De niro, wanted Pacino, and he was ridiculed during the filming and in an interview he said that he was always afraid he would be fired. This movie launched his career as he was nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar and he went on to take serious roles.
In 1973, he starred in Scare crow with Gene Hackman and won a Palme d’or at the Cannes Film Festival. He followed that with Serpico, a movie about a New York detective who goes undercover to expose his fellow officers. In 1974, he went on to star in the Godfather part II which was the 1st sequel to win an Oscar award for Best Picture, and a third Oscar nomination for Al Pacino. He played the role of a bank robber in Dog Day Afternoon in 1975 and as a race car driver in Bobby Deerfield in 1977.
In the 1980’s, his movie career started deteriorating with the controversial Cruising movie (1980), and the badly received comedy Author in 1982. He started concentrating more on stage performances than movies. He claimed that he was just returning to his first love, not that his movies were not doing that well. In 1983, he starred as a Cuban drug lord in the movie “Scarface” that was initially received well, but did not do that well but earned him a Golden Globe nomination.
In 1990, he was cast as Michael Corleone in the God father part III, which was not such a big hit, as there were too many pre-production issues with some actors withdrawing from the movie. As fate would have it, in 1992, he finally won an Oscar for the Best male Actor, and a nomination for Glengarry Glen Rose, becoming the 1st male actor to receive two nominations for two different movies in the same year, and winning for the lead role. Al Pacino has done many roles as a godfather character like in the Godfather trilogy, Scarface and Dick Tracy.
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In the 2000’s, he returned with Insomnia (2001), People I know (2002) and The recruit (2003). He still did a lot of stage performances and tried his hand at directing the movie Chinese coffee, whose casting took about 3 years, and its production solely financed by Pacino. All this goes to show his versatility and energetic character as he took on the roles of a troubled detective investigating a murder to a film producer who creates a virtual actress. He has received many awards in his career from the Cecil D. De Mille award for lifetime achievement for motion pictures in 2001 and American film Institute to a star on the Holly wood walk of fame. As a director, he has done some stage performances and films notably; Looking for Richard in 1996, that earned him an award as an outstanding director.
Through the characters he plays on stage or on film, he has made quotes that have stuck in the memories of film lovers and his fans. They include a scene from Devil’s Advocate playing the role of John Milton as Satan he says “Look but don't touch, Touch but don't taste, Taste don't swallow” (Imdb 1997). Al Pacino gives life to the characters he plays and it’s hard to separate the two. His best and most memorable roles are as Michael Corleone in the Godfather Trilogy, Tony Montana in Scar face, Frank Slade in Scent of a woman , Alphonse “Big boy” Caprice in Dick Tracy and Carlito Brigante in the movie Carlitos Way.
In the 2010’s, he continues to deliver amazing performances as seen in the movie “You don’t know Jack”, which earned him an Emmy award, and his 4th Golden Globe Award. This year, in May, he was honored with “Glory to the filmmaker award at the Venice International film festival”. Al Pacino is a theatre icon whose acting capabilities reign among many of his fans. He is an illustration that the end is what matters. He started as young inexperienced actor, but has grown to be famous throughout his career.
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