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31 Astonishing Facts About The Great Actor – Al Pacino You Never Knew Before


Nearly six decades on big screen, numerous box-office sensations, career defining roles, intense and explosive acting style, some unforgettable lines of Hollywood, Al Pacino has come a very long way from his humble roots. The veteran actor, who is always memorable for his bold and captivating performances, has numerous accolades to his name. One of the greatest actors of all time, there’s more to the actor than that meets the eye. Here are some facts about Al Pacino that will make you love him more:

  1. Alfred James Pacino, known popularly as Al Pacino was born on April 25, 1940, in New York, as the only child of Italian American parents Rose Gerardi and Salvatore Pacino. His parents split when he was two years old and he moved in with his maternal grandparents.
  2. Though he attended Herman Ridder Junior High School, he dropped out and gained admission into the High School of Performing Arts, against the wishes of his mother. He supported himself by taking up low paying jobs of messenger, busboy, janitor postal clerk and in the mail room at Commentary magazine.
  3. Pacino was introduced to alcohol at a very young age of nine and used marijuana when he was only 13. As a teenager he was often unemployed and homeless spent his time on the street, theaters, or at friends’ house.
  4. In pursuit of his dream he joined at the Herbert Bergh of Studio and spent four years playing small parts in off-Broadway productions, including a 1963 role in the William Saroyan play ‘Hello, Out There.’
  5. Pacino made it into the prestigious Actors Studio in 1966, studying under Lee Strasberg, creator of the Method Approach to acting. The studio launched his career and he had the honor of serving as its co-president along with Ellen Burstyn in 2010.
  6. Early in his theatre career he had little success with string of supporting roles until he won an ‘Obie Award,’ for Best Actor during the 1966-67 season, for his role as street punk, Murph, in the Israel Horovitz’s ‘The Indian Wants the Bronx,’.
  7. He made his Broadway debut on February 25, 1969 in the Don Peterson’s ‘Does the Tiger Wear a Necktie?’ and won ‘Tony Award,’ for excellence in Broadway Theatre. He continued to appear on stage winning his second Tony Award in 1970 for ‘The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel.’
  8. Pacino’s other stage performance include David Mamet’s ‘American Buffalo,’ Eugene O’Neill’s ‘Hughie,’ ‘Oscar Wilde’s ‘Salome,’ and ‘Lyle Kessler’s ‘Orphans.’ He was also part of Hollywood star cast in Bertolt’s ‘The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui,’ in 2002.
  9. Pacino made his television debut in the TV series ‘Deadly Circle of Violence,’ an episode of ABC television series NYPD, premiered on November 12, 1968 and his film debut with Fred Coe’s ‘Me, Natalie,’ in 1969, as Tony.
  10. He earned first leading role in his very second film appearance in the romantic drama film ‘The Panic in Needle Park,’ directed by Jerry Schatzberg. His performance drew the attention of director Francis Ford Coppola, who cast him in the epic film ‘The Godfather.’
  11. Pacino’s performance as Michael Corleone in the crime dram film ‘The Godfather,’ earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He boycotted the award ceremony, taking offense for being nominated in the supporting cast.
  12. In a strange coincidence there are number of indirect reference of his real name ‘Alfredo,’ and childhood nickname ‘Sonny,’ with the names of his siblings in his breakthrough movie ‘The Godfather.’ His maternal grandparents originate from Corleone, Sicily in direct reference Corleone family in the family.
  13. After the success of The Godfather, Pacino, was very selective in his choice of films and turned down number of films including, Kramer vs Kramer, Star Wars: Episode IV-A New Hope, Close Encounters of Third Kind, Apocalypse Now, Born on the Fourth of July, Pretty Women, and Crimson Tide.
  14. Pacino then co-starred with Gene Hackman, in the 1973 film ‘Scarecrow,’ which won the ‘Palm d’Or,’ at the 1973 ‘Cannes Film Festival.’ According to him it was the greatest script he had ever read, though he had hard time working with Hackman, due to their differences in personalities.
  15. Pacino won his first Golden Globe award for Best Actor and second Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of true life story of a New York Policeman Frank Serpico, in the film ‘Serpico.’ He considers this movie to be one of his greatest achievements as an actor.
  16. Pacino was the second male actor, after Fitzgerald, and one of the twelve actors to have been nominated for both a Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor Oscar in the same year.
  17. He earned his third Oscar nomination when he reprised his role as Michael Corleone in the sequel ‘The Godfather: Part II,’ which Newsweek called ‘arguably cinema’s greatest portrayal of the hardening of a heart.
  18. He was part of eight films, The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II, Dog Day Afternoon, The Godfather: Part III, Scent of a Women, The Insider, The Irishman, and Once upon a Time… in Hollywood, which were all nominated for Oscar in Best Picture category.
  19. Third year in succession he was nominated for the ‘Academy Award for Best Actor,’ for his portrayal of bank robber John Wojtowicz, in the biographical crime dram film ‘Dog Day Afternoon.’ Pacino’s performance as Sonny Wortzik is ranked #4 on premier magazine’s 100 Greatest Performance of All Time.
  20. Pacino was nominated for Academy Award for Best Actor in lead role for the fourth time for courtroom drama film ‘…And Justice for All,’ while being lauded by critics for his wide range of acting abilities.
  21. The ‘Scarface,’ was another gangster role which proved to be a career highlight and a defining role as a Cuban drug lord Tony Montana. To play the character Pacino, worked with experts in knife combat, boxing and gunfight.
  22. After the failure of 1985 Revolutionary War- themed film ‘Revolution,’ considered among the worst film ever made. He took four-year break from films and returned to stage, appearing in Julius Caesar apart from Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival.
  23. The 1989 marked the second phase of Pacino’s career, when he lifted self-imposed exile with film like ‘Sea of Love,’ ‘The Local Stigmatic,’ ‘Dick Tracy,’ and ‘The Godfather: Part III.’ He earned an Academy Award nomination for his role as Big Boy Caprice in the Dick Tracy.’
  24. He earned his first Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance of a blind retired Army Officer Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade in the 1992 ‘Scent of a Women.’ He lived the part by painstakingly studying their technique with help from New York’s Associated Blind.
  25. With his nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role of a real estate salesman in the 1992 film ‘Glengarry Glen Ross,’ Pacino became the first male actor ever to receive two acting nominations for two movies in the same year, and win for the lead role.
  26. As an iconic figure in American movies and for lifetime achievement in motion picture, Pacino, was awarded the ‘Cecil B. DeMille,’ award in 2001. He was voted by British television viewers as the greatest film star of all time in a poll in 2003, for Channel 4.
  27. Apart from winning an Oscar, out of nine nominations, he has won four Golden Globes, from 18 nominations. He also has to his credit five BAFTA nomination winning one and two Primetime Emmy Awards for his work on television, including two Tony awards.
  28. On October 20, 2006, Pacino was honored with ‘AFI Life Achievement Award,’ by the American Film Institute and on November 22, in the same year, he was awarded the ‘Honorary Patronage of the Society,’ by the University Philosophical Society of Trinity College, Dublin.
  29. Throughout his film career he had number of relationship with Jan Tarrant, Beverly D’Angelo, Diane Keaton, Tuesday Weld, Jill Clayburgh, Marthe Keller, Kathleen Quinlan, Lyndall Hobbs, and Lucila Polak, but was never committed to marriage, even while fathering three children, Julie Marie, Anton James, and Oliver Rose.
  30. Apart from expressing different characters as an actor, he ventured into the role of direction with ‘Looking for Richard,’ ‘Chinese Coffe,’ ‘Wilde Salome,’ and ‘Salome.’
  31. Al Pacino Net Worth: $165 Million
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