Al Pacino

Alfredo James Pacino (/pəˈtʃiːnoʊ/, Italian: [paˈtʃiːno]; born April 25, 1940) is an American actor and filmmaker.[1] Pacino has had a career spanning more than five decades, during which time he has received numerous accolades and honors both competitive and honorary, among them an Academy Award, two Tony Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, a British Academy Film Award, four Golden Globe Awards, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, and the National Medal of Arts. He is one of few performers to have won a competitive Oscar, an Emmy, and a Tony Award for acting, dubbed the "Triple Crown of Acting".

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 notice for his lead role as a heroin addict in The Panic in Needle Park (1971). He achieved international acclaim and recognition for his breakthrough role as Michael Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather (1972) receiving 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). Pacino's performance as Michael Corleone in these films is regarded as one of the greatest screen performances in film history.

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 blind Lieutenant Colonel Slade in Scent of a Woman (1992). 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. 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). 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); he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for each role.

In addition to his work in film, Pacino has had an extensive career on stage. He 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. 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. He has also acted as Shylock in a 2004 feature film adaptation and a 2010 stage production of The Merchant of Venice.

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. Since 1994, Pacino has been the joint president of the Actors Studio with Ellen Burstyn and Harvey Keitel. In 2016, he received the Kennedy Center Honor.[2]

Al Pacino
Al Pacino
Pacino in 2004
Alfredo James Pacino

April 25, 1940 (age 78)
Alma mater
  • Actor
  • filmmaker
Years active1967–present

Early life and education

Pacino was born in East Harlem, New York City, to Italian American parents Salvatore and Rose (née Gerardi) Pacino. His parents divorced when he was two years old.[3] His mother took him to The Bronx where they lived with her parents, Kate and James Gerardi who were immigrants from Corleone, Sicily.[4] His father, who was from San Fratello in the Province of Messina, moved to Covina, California to work as an insurance salesman and restaurateur.[3][5]

In his teenage years, Pacino was known as "Sonny" to his friends. He had ambitions to become a baseball player and was also nicknamed "The Actor".[6] Pacino attended Herman Ridder Junior High School,[7] but by secondary school he had dropped out of most of his classes except for English. He subsequently attended the High School of Performing Arts,[8] after gaining admission by audition. His mother disagreed with his decision and, after an argument, he left home. To finance his acting studies, Pacino took low-paying jobs as messenger, busboy, janitor, and postal clerk,[3] and once worked in the mailroom for Commentary magazine.[9]

Pacino began smoking and drinking at age nine, and used marijuana casually at age 13, but he abstained from hard drugs.[10] His two closest friends died from drug abuse at the ages of 19 and 30.[11] Growing up in the Bronx, Pacino got into occasional fights and was considered somewhat of a troublemaker at school.[12] He acted in basement plays in New York's theatrical underground but was rejected as a teenager by the Actors Studio.[6] Pacino 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.[6] In this period, he was often unemployed and homeless, and sometimes slept on the street, in theaters, or at friends' houses.[4][13]

In 1962, his mother died at the age of 43.[14] The following year, Pacino's grandfather James Gerardi, also died.[3] Pacino recalled it as "the lowest point of my life"; he said, "I was 22 and the two most influential people in my life had gone, so that sent me into a tailspin."[5]

Actors Studio training

After four years at HB Studio, Pacino successfully auditioned for the Actors Studio.[6] The Actors Studio is a membership organization of professional actors, theatre directors, and playwrights in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan.[15] Pacino studied "method acting"[3] under acting coach Lee Strasberg, who appeared with Pacino in the films The Godfather Part II and in ...And Justice for All.[4]

During later interviews he spoke about Strasberg and the Studio's effect on his career. "The Actors Studio meant so much to me in my life. Lee Strasberg hasn't been given the credit he deserves ... Next to Charlie, it sort of launched me. It really did. That was a remarkable turning point in my life. It was directly responsible for getting me to quit all those jobs and just stay acting."[16] In another interview he added, "It was exciting to work for him [Lee Strasberg] because he was so interesting when he talked about a scene or talked about people. One would just want to hear him talk, because things he would say, you'd never heard before ... He had such a great understanding ... he loved actors so much."[17]

In 2010 Pacino was co-president, along with Ellen Burstyn and Harvey Keitel, of the Actors Studio.[15]

Stage career

Al Pacino - Hummel
Pacino in the play The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel (1971)

In 1967, Pacino spent a season at the Charles Playhouse in Boston, performing in Clifford Odets' Awake and Sing! (his first major paycheck: US$125 a week); and in Jean-Claude Van Itallie's America, Hurrah. He met actress Jill Clayburgh on this play. They had a five-year romance and moved back together to New York City.[18]

In 1968, Pacino starred in Israel Horovitz's The Indian Wants the Bronx at the Astor Place Theater, playing Murph, a street punk. The play opened January 17, 1968, and ran for 177 performances; it was staged in a double bill with Horovitz's It's Called the Sugar Plum, starring Clayburgh. Pacino won an Obie Award for Best Actor for his role, with John Cazale winning for Best Supporting actor and Horowitz for Best New Play.[19] Martin Bregman saw the play and became Pacino's manager, a partnership that became fruitful in the years to come, as Bregman encouraged Pacino to do The Godfather, Serpico, and Dog Day Afternoon.[20] "Martin Bregman discovered me off Broadway. I was 26, 25. And he discovered me and became my manager. And that's why I'm here. I owe it to Marty, I really do," Pacino has said about his career.[21]

Pacino and this production of The Indian Wants the Bronx traveled to Italy for a performance at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto. It was Pacino's first journey to Italy; he later recalled that "performing for an Italian audience was a marvelous experience".[18] Pacino and Clayburgh were cast in "Deadly Circle of Violence", an episode of the ABC television series NYPD, premiering November 12, 1968. Clayburgh at the time was also appearing on the soap opera Search for Tomorrow, playing the role of Grace Bolton. Her father would send the couple money each month to help with finances.[22]

On February 25, 1969, Pacino made his Broadway debut in Don Petersen's Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? at the Belasco Theater, produced by A&P Heir Huntington Hartford. It closed after 39 performances on March 29, 1969, but Pacino received rave reviews and won the Tony Award on April 20, 1969.[18] Pacino continued performing onstage in the 1970s, winning a second Tony Award for The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel and performing the title role in Richard III.[3] In the 1980s, Pacino again achieved critical success on stage while appearing in David Mamet's American Buffalo, for which Pacino was nominated for a Drama Desk Award.[3] Since 1990, Pacino's stage work has included revivals of Eugene O'Neill's Hughie, Oscar Wilde's Salome and in 2005 Lyle Kessler's Orphans.[23]

In 1983, Pacino became a major donor for The Mirror Theater Ltd, alongside Dustin Hoffman and Paul Newman, matching a grant from Laurence Rockefeller.[24] The men were inspired to invest by their connection with Lee Strasberg, as Lee's daughter-in-law Sabra Jones was the founder and Producing Artistic Director of The Mirror. In 1985, Al offered the company his production of Hughie by Eugene O'Neill, but the company was unable to do it at the time due to the small cast.

In October 2002, Pacino starred in Bertolt Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui for the National Actor's Theater and Complicite.[25] Directed by Simon McBurney, the production starred a host of Hollywood names, including John Goodman, Charles Durning, Tony Randall, Steve Buscemi, Chaz Palmentari, Paul Giamatti, Jacqueline McKenzie, Billy Crudupp, Lothaire Bluteau, Dominic Chianese and Sterling K. Brown.[26] The production was a critical success in which "Pacino grabs and holds the attention like a coiled spring about to snap. He is all brooding menace and crocodile grimace, butchering his way to the top with unnervingly sinister glee."[27]

Pacino returned to the stage in the summer of 2010, playing Shylock in the Shakespeare in the Park production, The Merchant of Venice.[28] The acclaimed production moved to Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre in October, earning US$1 million at the box office in its first week.[29][30] The performance also garnered him a Tony Award nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Play.[31]

Pacino starred in the 30th-anniversary Broadway revival of David Mamet's classic play, Glengarry Glen Ross, which ran from October 2012 to January 20, 2013.[32] In January 2016, he starred on Broadway in China Doll, a play written for him by Mamet. This was in a limited run of 87 performances following the acclaimed reviews of four performances in October 2015.

Film career

Early film career

Pacino found acting enjoyable and realized he had a gift for it while studying at The Actors Studio. However, his early work was not financially rewarding.[4] After his success on stage, Pacino made his film debut in 1969 with a brief appearance in Me, Natalie, an independent film starring Patty Duke.[33] In 1970, Pacino signed with the talent agency Creative Management Associates (CMA).[18]


His role as a heroin addict in The Panic in Needle Park (1971) brought Pacino to the attention of director Francis Ford Coppola, who cast him as Michael Corleone in what became a blockbuster Mafia film, The Godfather (1972).[34] Although Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, and the little-known Robert De Niro were tried out for the part, Coppola selected Pacino, to the dismay of studio executives who wanted someone better known.[4][35]

Pacino's performance earned him an Academy Award nomination, and offered a prime example of his early acting style. This was described by Halliwell's Film Guide as "intense" and "tightly clenched". Pacino boycotted the Academy Award ceremony, insulted at being nominated for the Supporting Acting award, as he noted that he had more screen time than co-star and Best Actor winner Marlon Brando—who also boycotted the awards, but for unrelated reasons.[36]

In 1973, Pacino co-starred in Scarecrow, with Gene Hackman, and won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. That same year, Pacino was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor after starring in Serpico, based on the true story of New York City policeman Frank Serpico, who went undercover to expose the corruption of fellow officers.[36] In 1974, Pacino reprised his role as Michael Corleone in the sequel The Godfather Part II, which was the first sequel to win the Best Picture Oscar; Pacino, meanwhile, was nominated a third time for an Oscar, this second nomination for the Corleone role being in the lead category.[36] Newsweek magazine has described his performance in The Godfather Part II as "arguably cinema's greatest portrayal of the hardening of a heart".[37]

In 1975, he enjoyed further success with the release of Dog Day Afternoon, based on the true story of bank robber John Wojtowicz.[4] It was directed by Sidney Lumet, who had directed him in Serpico a few years earlier, and Pacino was again nominated for Best Actor.[38]

In 1977, Pacino starred as a race-car driver in Bobby Deerfield, directed by Sydney Pollack, and received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama for his portrayal of the title role. His next film was the courtroom drama ...And Justice for All. Pacino was lauded by critics for his wide range of acting abilities, and nominated for the Best Actor Oscar for a fourth time.[38] He lost out that year to Dustin Hoffman in Kramer vs. Kramer—a role that Pacino had declined.[38]

During the 1970s, Pacino had four Oscar nominations for Best Actor, for his performances in Serpico, The Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon, and ...And Justice for All.[4]


Pacino's career slumped in the early 1980s; his appearances in the controversial Cruising, a film that provoked protests from New York's gay community,[39] and the comedy-drama Author! Author!, were critically panned.[3] However, his performance in Scarface (1983), directed by Brian De Palma, proved to be a career highlight and a defining role.[4] Upon its initial release, the film was critically panned due to violent content, but later received critical acclaim.[40] The film did well at the box office, grossing over US$45 million domestically.[41] Pacino earned a Golden Globe nomination for his role as Cuban drug lord Tony Montana.[42]

In 1985, Pacino worked on his personal project, The Local Stigmatic, a 1969 Off Broadway play by the English writer Heathcote Williams. He starred in the play, remounting it with director David Wheeler and the Theater Company of Boston in a 50-minute film version. The film was not released theatrically, but was later released as part of the Pacino: An Actor's Vision box set in 2007.[4]

His 1985 film Revolution about a fur trapper during the American Revolutionary War, was a commercial and critical failure, which Pacino blamed on a rushed production,[43] resulting in a four-year hiatus from films. At this time Pacino returned to the stage. He mounted workshop productions of Crystal Clear, National Anthems and other plays; he appeared in Julius Caesar in 1988 in producer Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival. Pacino remarked on his hiatus from film: "I remember back when everything was happening, '74, '75, doing The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui on stage and reading that the reason I'd gone back to the stage was that my movie career was waning! That's been the kind of ethos, the way in which theater's perceived, unfortunately."[44][45] Pacino returned to film in 1989's Sea of Love,[4] when he portrayed a detective hunting a serial killer who finds victims through the singles column in a newspaper. The film earned solid reviews.[46]


Al Pacino Cannes 1996
Al Pacino at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival

Pacino received an Academy Award nomination for playing Big Boy Caprice in the box office hit Dick Tracy in 1990, of which critic Roger Ebert described Pacino as "the scene-stealer".[47] Later in the year he followed this up in a return to one of his most famous characters, Michael Corleone, in The Godfather Part III (1990).[4] The film received mixed reviews, and had problems in pre-production due to script rewrites and the withdrawal of actors shortly before production.

In 1991, Pacino starred in Frankie and Johnny with Michelle Pfeiffer, who co-starred with Pacino in Scarface. Pacino portrays a recently paroled cook who begins a relationship with a waitress (Pfeiffer) in the diner where they work. It was adapted by Terrence McNally from his own Off-Broadway play Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune (1987), that featured Kenneth Welsh and Kathy Bates. The film received mixed reviews, although Pacino later said he enjoyed playing the part.[48] Janet Maslin in The New York Times wrote, "Mr. Pacino has not been this uncomplicatedly appealing since his "Dog Day Afternoon" days, and he makes Johnny's endless enterprise in wooing Frankie a delight. His scenes alone with Ms. Pfeiffer have a precision and honesty that keep the film's maudlin aspects at bay."[49]

In 1993, Pacino won the Academy Award for Best Actor, for his portrayal of the blind U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade in Martin Brest's Scent of a Woman.[4] That year, he was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Glengarry Glen Ross, making Pacino the first male actor ever to receive two acting nominations for two movies in the same year, and to win for the lead role.[4]

Pacino starred alongside Sean Penn in the crime drama Carlito's Way in 1993, in which he portrayed a gangster released from prison with the help of his lawyer (Penn) and vows to go straight. Pacino starred in Michael Mann's Heat (1995), in which he and Robert De Niro appeared on-screen together for the first time (though both Pacino and De Niro starred in The Godfather Part II, they did not share any scenes).[4]

In 1996, Pacino starred in his theatrical docudrama Looking for Richard, a performance of selected scenes of Shakespeare's Richard III and a broader examination of Shakespeare's continuing role and relevance in popular culture. The cast brought together for the performance included Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey, and Winona Ryder. Pacino played Satan in the supernatural thriller The Devil's Advocate (1997) which co-starred Keanu Reeves. The film was a success at the box office, taking US$150 million worldwide.[50] Roger Ebert wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times, "The satanic character is played by Pacino with relish bordering on glee."[51]

In 1997's Donnie Brasco, Pacino played gangster "Lefty" in the true story of undercover FBI agent Donnie Brasco (Johnny Depp) and his work in bringing down the Mafia from the inside. In 1999, Pacino starred as 60 Minutes producer Lowell Bergman in the multi-Oscar nominated The Insider opposite Russell Crowe, and in Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday.


Pacino has not received another Academy Award nomination since winning for Scent of a Woman, but has won three Golden Globes since the year 2000, the first being the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2001 for lifetime achievement in motion pictures.[52]

In 2000, Pacino released a low-budget film adaptation of Ira Lewis' play Chinese Coffee to film festivals.[53] Shot almost exclusively as a one-on-one conversation between two main characters, the project took nearly three years to complete and was funded entirely by Pacino.[53] Chinese Coffee was included with Pacino's two other rare films he was involved in producing, The Local Stigmatic and Looking for Richard, on a special DVD box set titled Pacino: An Actor's Vision, which was released in 2007. Pacino produced prologues and epilogues for the discs containing the films.[54]

Pacino turned down an offer to reprise his role as Michael Corleone in the computer game version of The Godfather. As a result, Electronic Arts was not permitted to use Pacino's likeness or voice in the game, although his character does appear in it. He did allow his likeness to appear in the video game adaptation of 1983's Scarface, quasi-sequel titled Scarface: The World is Yours.[55]

Al Pacino Roma Film Fest cropped
Al Pacino at the Rome Film Festival in 2008

Director Christopher Nolan worked with Pacino on Insomnia, a remake of the Norwegian film of the same name, co-starring Robin Williams. Newsweek stated that "he [Pacino] can play small as rivetingly as he can play big, that he can implode as well as explode".[56] The film and Pacino's performance were well received, gaining a favorable rating of 93 percent on the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes.[57] The film did moderately well at the box office, taking in $113 million worldwide.[58] His next film, S1m0ne, did not gain much critical praise or box office success.[59]

He played a publicist in People I Know, a small film that received little attention despite Pacino's well-received performance.[60] Rarely taking a supporting role since his commercial breakthrough, he accepted a small part in the box office flop Gigli, in 2003, as a favor to director Martin Brest.[60] The Recruit, released in 2003, featured Pacino as a CIA recruiter and co-stars Colin Farrell. The film received mixed reviews,[61] and has been described by Pacino as something he "personally couldn't follow".[60] Pacino next starred as lawyer Roy Cohn in the 2003 HBO miniseries Angels in America, an adaptation of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize winning play of the same name.[4] For this performance, Pacino won his third Golden Globe, for Best Performance by an Actor, in 2004.[62]

Pacino starred as Shylock in Michael Radford's 2004 film adaptation of The Merchant of Venice, choosing to bring compassion and depth to a character traditionally played as a villainous caricature.[63] In Two for the Money, Pacino portrays a sports gambling agent and mentor for Matthew McConaughey, alongside Rene Russo. The film was released on October 8, 2005, to mixed reviews.[64] Desson Thomson wrote in The Washington Post, "Al Pacino has played the mentor so many times, he ought to get a kingmaker's award ... the fight between good and evil feels fixed in favor of Hollywood redemption."[65]

On October 20, 2006, the American Film Institute named Pacino the recipient of the 35th AFI Life Achievement Award.[66] On November 22, 2006, the University Philosophical Society of Trinity College, Dublin awarded Pacino the Honorary Patronage of the Society.[67]

Pacino played a supporting role in Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's Thirteen, alongside George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Elliott Gould and Andy García, as the villain Willy Bank, a casino tycoon targeted by Danny Ocean and his crew. The film received generally favorable reviews.[68]

88 Minutes was released on April 18, 2008, in the United States, after having been released in various other countries in 2007. The film co-starred Alicia Witt and was critically panned,[69] although critics found fault with the plot, and not Pacino's acting.[70] In Righteous Kill, Pacino and Robert De Niro co-star as New York detectives searching for a serial killer. The film was released to theaters on September 12, 2008. While it was an anticipated return for the two stars, it was not well received by critics.[71] Lou Lumenick of the New York Post gave Righteous Kill one star out of four, saying: "Al Pacino and Robert De Niro collect bloated paychecks with intent to bore in Righteous Kill, a slow-moving, ridiculous police thriller that would have been shipped straight to the remainder bin at Blockbuster if it starred anyone else."[72]


Manglehorn 03 (15272211442)
Pacino (2014)

Pacino played Jack Kevorkian in an HBO Films biopic titled You Don't Know Jack, which premiered April 2010. The film is about the life and work of the physician-assisted suicide advocate. The performance earned Pacino his second Emmy Award[73] for lead actor[74] and his fourth Golden Globe award[75]. He co-starred as himself in the 2011 comedy film Jack and Jill. The film was panned by critics, and Pacino "won" the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor at the 32nd ceremony.[76]

He was presented with the Glory to the Film-maker award on September 4, 2011, prior to the premiere of Wilde Salomé, a 2011 American documentary-drama film written, directed by and starring Pacino.[77][78] Its US premiere on the evening of March 21, 2012, before a full house at the 1,400-seat Castro Theatre in San Francisco's Castro District, marked the 130th anniversary of Oscar Wilde's visit to San Francisco, the event was a benefit for the GLBT Historical Society.[79][80][81] Pacino, who plays the role of Herod in the film, describes it as his "most personal project ever".[78]

Pacino starred in a 2013 HBO biographical picture about record producer Phil Spector's murder trial, titled Phil Spector.[82] It was announced in January 2013 that Pacino would play the late former Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno in the television film Paterno based on a 2012 biography of Paterno by sportswriter Joe Posnanski.[83] He took the title role in the comedy-drama Danny Collins (2015) and this performance as an aging rock star garnered him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy nomination.[84]

Martin Scorsese's biographical crime film The Irishman with Pacino and Robert De Niro, is anticipated to be released in 2019. [85] Pacino will star alongside Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood which is scheduled for release on July 26, 2019. [86]

Personal life

Although he has never married, Pacino has fathered 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.[87][88] 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.[89] He has had relationships with Tuesday Weld, Jill Clayburgh, Marthe Keller, Kathleen Quinlan, and Lyndall Hobbs.[54]

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.[90]

Awards and nominations

Pacino has been nominated and has won many awards during his acting career, including eight Oscar nominations (winning one), 17 Golden Globe nominations (winning four), five BAFTA nominations (winning two), two Primetime Emmy Awards for his work on television, and two Tony Awards for his stage work. In 2007, the American Film Institute awarded Pacino with a lifetime achievement award and, in 2003, British television viewers voted Pacino as the greatest film star of all time in a poll for Channel 4.[91]



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  • Grobel, Lawrence (2006). Al Pacino: The Authorized Biography. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-9497-1.

External links

Preceded by
Paul Newman
President of the Actors Studio
With: Ellen Burstyn
Harvey Keitel
Preceded by
Lee Strasberg
Artistic Director of the Actors Studio
With: Ellen Burstyn
Succeeded by
Ellen Burstyn
Al Pacino on stage and screen

Al Pacino is an American film and stage actor and director. He is the recipient of one Academy Award, one BAFTA Award, two Primetime Emmy Awards, two Tony Awards, and four Golden Globe Awards.

Chinese Coffee

Chinese Coffee is a one-act play, written by Ira Lewis.Chinese Coffee premiered at the Circle in the Square Theatre on Broadway in 1992. Actor Al Pacino was cast as the play's struggling writer, Harry Levine.The play was later adapted into a 2000 independent film, starring Al Pacino and Jerry Orbach. It was released in New York as part of the Tribeca Film Festival. The film, which was also written by Lewis and directed by Pacino, was introduced by Robert De Niro during the opening ceremony. Both the movie and the theater play are chamber plays.

Dog Day Afternoon

Dog Day Afternoon is a 1975 American crime drama film directed by Sidney Lumet, written by Frank Pierson, and produced by Martin Bregman and Martin Elfand. The film stars Al Pacino, John Cazale, Charles Durning, Chris Sarandon, Penelope Allen, James Broderick, Lance Henriksen, and Carol Kane. The title refers to the sultry "dog days" of summer.

The film was inspired by P. F. Kluge's article "The Boys in the Bank" in LIFE magazine, about a similar robbery of a Brooklyn bank by John Wojtowicz and Salvatore Naturale on August 22, 1972.

The film received critical acclaim upon its September 1975 release by Warner Bros., some of which referred to its anti-establishment tone. Dog Day Afternoon was nominated for several Academy Awards and Golden Globe awards, and won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. In 2009, the film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Donnie Brasco (film)

Donnie Brasco is a 1997 American crime drama film directed by Mike Newell, and starring Al Pacino and Johnny Depp. Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby, James Russo, and Anne Heche appeared in supporting roles.

The film is loosely based on the true story of Joseph D. Pistone (Depp), an FBI undercover agent who infiltrated the Mafia Bonanno crime family in New York City during the 1970s, under the alias Donnie Brasco, a.k.a. "The Jewel Man". Brasco maneuvers his way into the confidence of an aging hit-man, Lefty Ruggiero (Pacino), who vouches for him. As Donnie moves deeper into the Mafia, he realizes that not only is he crossing the line between federal agent and criminal, but also leading his friend Lefty to an almost certain death.

It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. The adaptation of the book by Joseph D. Pistone and Richard Woodley was by screenwriter Paul Attanasio. The film was a box office success, earning $124.9 million against a $35 million budget, and receiving critical acclaim.

Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film

The Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film is an award presented annually by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). It is given in honor of an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance in a leading role on a miniseries or motion picture made for television for the calendar year. The award was first presented at the 39th Golden Globe Awards on January 30, 1982 to Mickey Rooney for his role on Bill. Performances by actor in a miniseries or television film were originally awarded in the Best Actor – Television Series Drama category before the creation of this category.

Since its inception, the award has been given to 34 actors. Darren Criss is the current recipient of the award for his portrayal of Andrew Cunanan on The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. Robert Duvall, James Garner, and Al Pacino have won the most awards in this category with two each. James Woods has been nominated for the award on seven occasions, the most within the category.

Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama

The Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama was first awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association as a separate category in 1951. Previously, there was a single award for "Best Actor in a Motion Picture" but the splitting allowed for recognition of it and the Best Actor – Musical or Comedy.

The formal title has varied since its inception. In 2005, it was officially called: "Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama". As of 2013, the wording is "Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama".

Jack and Jill (2011 film)

Jack and Jill is a 2011 American comedy film directed by Dennis Dugan, written by Steve Koren and Adam Sandler, and starring Sandler (in a dual role), Katie Holmes, and Al Pacino. The plot follows an ad executive who must survive the holidays when his annoying twin sister comes to visit. The film was released on November 11, 2011 by Columbia Pictures and grossed $149 million against its $79 million budget.

Jack and Jill was panned by critics, and is considered by some to be one of the worst films ever made. At the 32nd Golden Raspberry Awards, the film was nominated for a record of 12 Razzies in all ten categories. It became the first film to sweep the Razzies, "winning" in each category including Worst Picture, Worst Actor and Worst Actress.

List of awards and nominations received by Al Pacino

This list includes the awards and nominations received by film and stage actor Al Pacino. Among his numerous competitive awards, he has won an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, two Primetime Emmy Awards, two Tony Awards, and four Golden Globe Awards. He was also nominated for a Grammy Award. His honorary awards include the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2001, the National Medal of Arts in 2011, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2016.

Looking for Richard

Looking for Richard is a 1996 documentary film directed by Al Pacino. The film is Pacino's directorial debut. It is both a performance of selected scenes of William Shakespeare's Richard III and a broader examination of Shakespeare's continuing role and relevance in popular culture. The film was featured at the Sundance Film Festival in January 1996 and it was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival.


Manglehorn is a 2014 American drama film directed by David Gordon Green and written by Paul Logan. The film stars Al Pacino, Holly Hunter, Harmony Korine and Chris Messina. It was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 71st Venice International Film Festival. The film was released in theaters on June 19, 2015, by IFC Films.

Paterno (film)

Paterno is a 2018 American television drama film directed by Barry Levinson. It stars Al Pacino as former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, and his career leading up to his dismissal following the university's child sex abuse scandal in 2011. Riley Keough, Kathy Baker, Greg Grunberg and Annie Parisse also star. The film premiered on HBO on April 7, 2018.

Righteous Kill

Righteous Kill is a 2008 American buddy cop crime thriller film directed by Jon Avnet, and starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. This is the second film (the first one is Heat) in which De Niro and Pacino appear together in the same scenes (both De Niro and Pacino starred in The Godfather Part II, but did not appear in any of the same scenes). Righteous Kill also features John Leguizamo, Carla Gugino, Donnie Wahlberg, Brian Dennehy, and 50 Cent. The film was released in the United States on September 12, 2008.

Scarecrow (1973 film)

Scarecrow is a 1973 U.S. road movie directed by Jerry Schatzberg, and starring Gene Hackman and Al Pacino. The story revolves around the relationship between two men who travel from California, aiming to start a business in Pittsburgh.

At the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, it tied for the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film, the highest honor. While a box office bomb in its own country, it later gained cult status.

Scarface (1983 film)

Scarface is a 1983 American crime film directed by Brian De Palma and written by Oliver Stone, a remake of the 1932 film of the same name. The film tells the story of Cuban refugee Tony Montana (Al Pacino) who arrives in 1980s Miami with nothing and rises to become a powerful drug kingpin. The cast also features Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, Robert Loggia, F. Murray Abraham and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.Pacino became interested in a remake of the 1932 version after seeing it, and he and producer Martin Bregman began to develop it. Sidney Lumet was initially hired to direct the film before he was replaced by De Palma, who hired Stone to write the script. Filming took place from November 1982 and concluded in May 1983. The film was shot in Louisville and in Los Angeles. The film's soundtrack was composed by Giorgio Moroder.

Scarface was released on December 9, 1983 and grossed $44 million at the domestic box office and $65.9 million worldwide. Initial critical reception was negative, with criticism over excessive violence and profanity and graphic drug usage. Some Cuban expatriates in Miami objected to the film's portrayal of Cubans as criminals and drug traffickers. In the years that followed, however, the film has received reappraisal from critics, and is now considered by some to be one of the best films in the crime genre. Screenwriters and directors such as Martin Scorsese have praised the film, which has been referenced extensively in pop culture, especially in rap and hip hop music as well as comic books, TV and video games. The film has long since become a cult classic.

Sea of Love (film)

Sea of Love is a 1989 American neo-noir thriller film directed by Harold Becker, written by Richard Price and starring Al Pacino, Ellen Barkin and John Goodman. The story concerns a New York City detective trying to catch a serial killer who finds victims through the singles column in a newspaper.It was Pacino's first film after a four-year hiatus following the critical and commercial failure of Revolution. Sea of Love was a box office success, grossing over $110 million.


Serpico is a 1973 American neo-noir biographical crime film directed by Sidney Lumet, and starring Al Pacino. Waldo Salt and Norman Wexler wrote the screenplay, adapting Peter Maas's biography of NYPD officer Frank Serpico, who went undercover to expose corruption in the police force. Both Maas's book and the film cover 12 years, 1960 to 1972.The film and principals were nominated for numerous awards, earning recognition for its score, direction, screenplay, and Pacino's performance. The film was also a commercial success.

The Irishman (2019 film)

The Irishman is an upcoming American biographical crime film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Steven Zaillian, based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt. The film stars Robert De Niro as Frank Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family, and Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa. Joe Pesci, Anna Paquin, Bobby Cannavale, Harvey Keitel, and Ray Romano also star. It is the ninth feature collaboration between De Niro and Scorsese, the fourth film to star both De Niro and Pacino (following The Godfather Part II, Heat and Righteous Kill) and the first time Pacino has been directed by Scorsese.

The Irishman was always a desired passion project for Scorsese, and in September 2014 it was confirmed it would be his next film following Silence (2016). Pacino and De Niro were confirmed that month, as was Pesci, who came out of his unofficial retirement to star after being asked numerous times to take the role. Filming began in New York City in September 2017, and lasted until March 2018. With a production budget as high as $200 million, it is the most expensive project of Scorsese's career. The film is anticipated to be released by Netflix in October 2019. Also, according to Robert De Niro, the film will have a theatrical release, but it will be limited release.

Wilde Salomé

Wilde Salomé is a 2011 American documentary-drama film written, directed by, and starring Al Pacino. An exploration of Oscar Wilde's play Salomé, the film premiered at the 68th Venice International Film Festival. At the festival, Pacino was presented with the Glory to the Filmmaker! Award and the film won the Queer Lion award.The United States premiere of Wilde Salomé was held on March 21, 2012, at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco's Castro District. Marking the 130th anniversary of Oscar Wilde's visit to San Francisco, the premiere was a fundraiser for the GLBT Historical Society, with 1,000 tickets reserved for sale to the public.A new version of the film without the documentary elements, titled Salomé, was released on August 10, 2013 in the United States and on September 21, 2014 in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

You Don't Know Jack (film)

You Don't Know Jack is a 2010 made-for-television biopic written by Adam Mazer and directed by Barry Levinson. It stars Al Pacino, John Goodman, Danny Huston, Susan Sarandon, and Brenda Vaccaro.

The film dramatizes the efforts of former Oakland County, Michigan pathologist Dr. Jack Kevorkian (Pacino) to help the terminally ill and the profoundly disabled end their lives. The outspoken Kevorkian becomes a polarizing figure and he is often referred to as "Dr. Death" in the press. He is assisted by his sister Margo Janus (Vaccaro), his longtime friend and medical technician Neal Nicol (Goodman), and Janet Good (Sarandon), who founded the eastern Michigan chapter of the Hemlock Society. By accepted accounts, he aided 130 people to die.

Kevorkian is unsuccessfully tried four times, but after taking an unprecedented direct role in the August 1998 death of his final patient, Thomas Youk, he is convicted of second degree murder and is sentenced to 20 to 25 years in prison. He serves over eight years and is released in June 2007.

You Don't Know Jack's screenplay was based largely on the book Between the Dying and the Dead by Neal Nicol and Harry Wylie. The film received numerous award nominations. Al Pacino won Primetime Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild awards for his performance as Kevorkian. It received largely positive reviews and currently has a 90% rating at the aggregate film review website Rotten Tomatoes.

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