Al Pacino

Biography: Alfredo James Pacino (nicknamed "Sonny" by his friends) is quite possibly the greatest actor of his generation. Some would even say he is among the greatest actors of any generation. Born in the South Bronx in New York on April 25 1940 to Rose and Salvatore Pacino, his parents divorced when he was only two years old. Al, his four sisters (Josette, Roberta, Paula and Desiree) and his mother went to live with Al's grandparents on his mother's side, Kate and James Gerardi. Salvatore moved to California to sell insurance and eventually go into business as a restaurateur, but still kept in touch with his children. Al's childhood was a difficult one. As a single mother during and after World War II, times were tough for Rose and her kids. It was partly due to living without material possessions that Al became interested in school plays. It was one of the only activities he could get involved in that didn't require any equipment. As a teen, he attended The High School of the Performing Arts, but dropped out when he was 17. After working for a while as an usher in Carnegie Hall and in the mail room of "Commentary Magazine", Pacino moved to Greenwich Village at the age of 19 to study acting at the Herbert Berghof Studio. His early stage performances included some off-Broadway productions like Hello Out There (1963) and Why is a Crooked Letter (1966). As his talent and acting style began to take form, he studied further under Lee Strasberg and soon landed a small roll in the film Me, Nathalie in 1969 and The Panic in Needle Park in 1971.It was Al's portrayal of a heroin addict in Panic in Needle Park that caught the attention of film maker Francis Ford Coppola. When Coppola was casting his newest film in 1971, he was impressed with the then unknown Pacino and felt that he would be perfect as Michael Corleone, the returning war hero and youngest son of Mafia Don Vito Corleone who would be drawn into the family business and eventually become the ruthless head of this crime family. Coppola's instincts were right on the mark. The Godfather (1972) was a smash hit and is regarded as one of the greatest films ever made. At the age of 21, Pacino found himself in the public eye and nominated for an Academy Award as "Best Actor in a Supporting Role". He did not win the award that year, but the unknown Al Pacino was unknown no longer.Soon after The Godfather, Al found himself cast in films like Scarecrow" and Serpico (both in 1973) and Dog Day Afternoon (1975). Pacino was again nominated for an Oscar for his work in Serpico, but this time, it was for "Best Actor in a Leading Role". The award eluded him the second time as well, but Al took it in stride. With filming for The Godfather: Part II underway and Coppola taking the helm again, Al knew, somewhere in the back of his mind, that the Oscar would eventually be his. As the 1970s came to a close, Coppola approached Pacino to play Captain Willard in his new Viet Nam era film, Apocalypse Now. Certain that Al would accept, Coppola was surprised when Pacino turned him down. Although he knew the movie would be a sensational hit, Al told Francis that he would do anything him, but he wouldn't go to war for him.The early 1980s were a bit of a dry period for Al's career. Films like ...And Justice for All, Cruising, and Author! Author! were not the financial successes that Al had been used to and the latter two films were not well received by critics. That spell ended abruptly with the 1983 release of the brutally violent and extremely controversial Scarface. Many people had assumed from the title that this was a remake of the Al Capone story of the 1920s. It was not. Playing Cuban refugee Tony Montana, Al stunned the world with his portrayal of a small time hood that ruthlessly seizes control of the Miami drug scene. Al Pacino was back on his A-game.Pacino's next film project was Revolution (1985). This was quite possibly the lowest period of his film career. Pacino suffered through what seemed to an endless filming period during which cameras and equipment were destroyed, the weather was terrible, and Pacino himself became deathly ill with pneumonia. Constant changes in the script further derailed the project that seemed doomed from the start. The Revolutionary War film is widely considered one of the worst films of his career and spawned his first truly awful reviews. The experience kept him off movie screens for the next four years as he returned to the stage, where he was able to explore his love of Shakespeare and indulge every actor's love of performing in front of a live audience.He returned to the screen in 1989 with the crime drama Sea of Love and followed that with a string of critical and financial successes including Dick Tracy, Glengarry Glenross, and Scent of a Woman. It was his performance as the blind Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade that finally earned Al Pacino the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role that had eluded him so many times before. The years that followed held various degrees of success for Al, topped with high points like Heat and Donnie Brasco, modest films like Carlito's Way and City Hall and a few truly unfortunate adventures like S1m0ne and the abysmal Gigli. However, even when his films fail to impress critics or fans, Al Pacino will always be thought of as one of the world's greatest living actors.Al Pacino's career can be measured by the now-historic roles that he had turned down as much as by the roles he had played. He had refused the roles of Han Solo in Star Wars: A New Hope, Ted Kramer in Kramer vs. Kramer, Ron Kovic in Born on the Fourth of July, Captain Willard in Apocalypse Now, Edward Lewis in Pretty Woman and Captain Ramsey in Crimson Tide.His personal life is largely unknown. Although he had never been married and claims he never will be, that did not mean he never intended to be a father. In 1989, he and acting teacher Jan Tarrant became parents to daughter Julie Marie. He also has twins Anton and Olivia with actress Beverly D'Angelo. He had a long term romance with Godfather co-star Dianne Keaton. His father, Salvatore, remarried to Hollywood makeup artist Katherine Kovin Pacino, who is now Al's stepmother. On October 16 1997, he was honoured with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. When he was interviewed by Larry King on Larry King Live in 1996, King had commented that the Pacino interview was one of his personal favourites in his long and storied history as an interviewer. Expand

Al Pacino's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average career score: 60
Highest Metascore: 100 The Godfather
Lowest Metascore: 17 88 Minutes
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 29
  2. Negative: 4 out of 29
29 movie reviews
Title: Year: Credit: User score:
23 Jack and Jill Nov 11, 2011 Himself 2.6
36 The Son of No One Nov 4, 2011 Detective Stanford 4.3
36 Righteous Kill Sep 12, 2008 David 'Rooster' Fisk 4.8
17 88 Minutes Apr 18, 2008 Jack Gramm 5.1