"One of the greatest actors in all of film history", Even this would be a understatement to describe the legendary "Al Pacino". He established himself as a Hollywood icon when he burst onto the scene in The Godfather and followed that critically acclaimed performance with eight Academy Award nominations.
Alfredo James “Al” Pacino was born April 25, 1940 in East Harlem, New York City to Italian American parents. He was raised by his mother, Rose, and maternal grandparents.
- 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.
- Before becoming a professional actor he held a number of jobs including a messenger, shoe salesman, supermarket checker, shoe shiner, furniture mover, office boy, fresh-fruit polisher, and a newsboy.
- He made his feature film debut in the 1969 film "Me, Natalie" in a minor supporting role.
- Except for Coppola(director of Godfather), nobody wanted Pacino in the film, but he earned his first Academy Award nomination for Godfather.
- Pacino decided not to ride a wave of Hollywood success into lightweight blockbusters. Instead, he took a series of difficult, important film roles that highlighted his genuine acting abilities.
- His performance as "Michael Corleone" in The Godfather: Part II (1974) is ranked #11 on the American Film Institute's 100 Heroes & Villains.
- Was voted the Number 1 greatest movie star of all time in a Channel 4 (UK) poll.
- Won his first Oscar twenty-one years after his first nomination(for Scent of Woman).
- Al Pacino trademark: Frequently plays men of power and/or authority, Surly but essentially moral characters with deep capacity for violence.
- Pacino was an enduring bachelor, one of the few Hollywood men never to marry.
- He is reluctant to talk to reporters. " Pacino has never been comfortable with fame."
- When he attained fame, he was un-equipped to handle it. He started drinking heavily and became reclusive and unstable. But his friends convinced him to join Alcoholics Anonymous, and in two years he quit both drinking and smoking.
- Has suffered from chronic insomnia(sleep disorder).
- Pacino often turned down potential hit movies to do theater, he took long breaks between films, and he was constantly involved in independent ventures.
- Characteristically tight-lipped about most of his movies and his private life.
- Spoke three of the American Film Institute's 100 Movie Quotes: "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer." from The Godfather: Part II (1974), "Say 'hello' to my little friend!" from Scarface (1983), and "Attica! Attica!" from Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
- He was nominated eight times for Oscars, 14 Golden Globe nominations , wining three and American Film Institute's "Lifetime Achievement Award", and other numerous awards.
Al Pacino Quotes :
"The problem with me is, I guess, the way I express myself, you have to be with me 50 years before you can get a sense of what I'm talking about."
"My first language was shy. It's only by having been thrust into the limelight that I have learned to cope with my shyness."
[on people considering him a legend] " I'm very flattered to hear that, that compliment. I don't think of myself as anything but an actor struggling to find the next role and when I do get the role to try and see if I can find any way into it."
Pacino is a living legend. He "can play small as rivetingly as he can play big… . he can implode as well as explode." His commitment to acting as a profession and his constant screen dominance has established him as one of the movies' true legends.
Al Pacino's AFI Life Achievement Award: