Al Pacino, a signature which has long been connected with cold-blooded murder and villainous characters in some of the most famous movies of Hollywood, is an epoch-making actor who took acting to a whole new level. He is often been counted among one of the most legendary villains of Hollywood, known for his extremely riveting portrayals of antagonists. But then, playing negative roles are not his only forte as his acting abilities know no boundaries. He is a resourceful actor who fits into the shoes of any character he is assigned to play. Be it a romantic or a comic role, he does it all with finesse.
An excellent actor with a unique style, Pacino, has set benchmarks with almost every film he has worked in. Charming and appealing, young Pacino was not one of those actors, who believed good-looks were only connected with protagonists. He chose to play characters, who were handsome, charming, and charismatic, but evil. He relates to the generation of actors who challenged the practices and changed the face of modern-day cinema through their sheer brilliance and hard work. If you wish to know more about this immensely talented actor scroll down.
Al Pacino Wiki/Bio[table id=1642 /]
Alfredo James Pacino was born in the East Harlem section of New York City on April 25, 1940. He is the son of Italian American parents Rose Gerardi and Salvatore Pacino. His parents separated when he was two years old. He then traveled with his mother to the Bronx to live with her parents, Kate and James Gerardi, who were Italian emigrants from Corleone, Sicily.
Pacino’s father was from San Fratello, Sicily, and traveled to work as an insurance salesman and restaurateur in Covina, California. In his teenage years, Pacino was recognized as “Sonny” to his friends. He had aspirations to become a baseball player and was also nicknamed “The Actor”. He served Herman Ridder Junior High School but soon dropped out of most of his classes except for English.
He consequently attended the High School of Performing Arts, after getting admission by audition. His mother opposed his decision and, after an argument, he left home. To finance his acting studies, Pacino took low-paying jobs as a messenger, busboy, janitor, and postal clerk, as well as once operating in the mailroom for Commentary magazine.
Pacino started smoking and drinking at age nine and used marijuana casually at age 13, but he refrained from hard drugs. His two closest friends died from drug abuse at the ages of 19 and 30. Growing up in the Bronx, Pacino took into occasional fights and was held somewhat of a troublemaker at school. He acted in the basement operates in New York’s theatrical underground but was denied as a teenager by the Actors Studio.
Pacino joined the HB Studio, where he met playing teacher Charlie Laughton, who became his mentor and best friend. In this period, he was often jobless and homeless and sometimes slept on the street, in theaters, or at friends’ houses.
In 1962, Pacino’s mother expired at the age of 43. The following year, his grandfather James also died. Pacino recalled it as the lowest point of his life and said, “I was 22 and the two most powerful people in my life had gone, so that gave me into a tailspin.”
Al Pacino Net Worth
Al Pacino has a net worth of $130 million.[table id=1643 /]
Al earned $35,000 for his character in the first Godfather in 1972. That’s the same as around $215,000 today after adjusting for expansion. For the second Godfather, his salary was increased to $500,000, which is the same as $2.6 million in today’s dollars. More importantly, he won 10% of the film’s gross after break-even, which over time would translate into tens of millions in bonus profits.
For the third installment, Al asked $7 million-plus a percentage of gross receipts BEFORE costs, Francis Ford Coppola ignored and even frightened to make the opening scene of the third movie, Michael Corleone’s funeral. Al eventually accepted a flat $5 million.
Pacino received $1.5 million for 1992’s “Glengarry Glen Ross” and $6 million for 1993’s “Carlito’s Way. By the mid-1990s he was earning a compatible $10+ million per movie appearance no matter how big or small. For example, he earned $11 million for 2002’s “S1m0ne”, a relative bomb in his career.
Al has a multi-year ongoing deal with HBO that insures him a flat payday of $10 million for any feature film he stars in for the network. So far three films have been provided through this deal, “You Don’t Know Jack”, “Paterno” and “Phil Spector”.
Al Pacino Movies And TV Shows
- He soon began acting in theatre productions and in 1969 he worked in the Broadway play ‘Does A Tiger Wear a Necktie?’ for which he won a Tony Award. He also performed a minor character in the short film, ‘Me, Natalie’.
- He was cast as ‘Bobby’ in the 1971 movie ‘The Panic in Needle Park’. The movie didn’t taste fabulous success, but, his acting skills grabbed attention.
- He shot to unique fame with the movie ‘The Godfather’, released in 1972. The movie earned wide critical praise and won three Academy Awards.
- In 1973, he starred as Francis Lionel ‘Lion’ Delbuchi in ‘Scarecrow’ and got and won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. In the same year, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in ‘Serpico’, based on the true story of New York City policeman Frank Serpico
- In 1974, he arrived in the second movie of the Godfather series, the Academy Award-winning ‘The Godfather: Part II’.
- With the 1975 film ‘Dog Day Afternoon’, he hit the big screen again and was again nominated for Best Actor.
- His career fell in the 1980s and his movies were critically followed and were also not very successful commercially.
- In 1990, he starred in the third and final Godfather series film, ‘The Godfather, Part III’, for which he was nominated for Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.
- During the 90’s he acted in various successful films including ‘Frankie and Johnny’ in 1991, ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ in 1992, ‘Scent of a Woman’ in 1992, ‘Heat’ in 1995, ‘Donnie Brasco’ in 1997, ‘The Devil’s Advocate’ in 1997, etc.
- In 2000, he directed and performed in the movie ‘Chinese Coffee’, nearly a decade after performing a part in the original, Broadway version.
- In 2002, he starred in the film ‘Insomnia’, a film about a young woman’s hidden murder.
- He also performed in the smash hit ‘Ocean’s Thirteen’, in 2007.
- In 2010, he received wide critical praise for his performance as Dr. Jack Kevorkian, an assisted-suicide advocate, in the TV movie ‘You Don’t Know Jack’.
- In 2011, he directed a movie based on Oscar Wilde, ‘Wilde Salome’.
Al Pacino on the path of new heights After ‘The Godfather’
But it would be Pacino’s appearance in a little-known 1971 movie called The Panic in Needle Park that would set his career on a path to new heights. Pacino’s depiction of a heroin addict got the eye of Francis Ford Coppola, who was in the midst of casting for his forthcoming picture The Godfather, based on the novel by Mario Puzo.
Although he had been considering such superstars as Robert Redford and Jack Nicholson for the part, Coppola eventually chose the comparatively unknown Pacino to play Michael Corleone. Released in 1972, The Godfather was a massive success and is widely considered (along with its first series) to be among the greatest films of all time.
Telling the story of the Corleone crime family and Michael Corleone’s rise to power, Pacino was just one of many actors—including Marlon Brando, James Caan, Robert Duvall, and Diane Keaton, to receive significant acclaim for their performances.
The Godfather dominated the 1973 Academy Awards, winning Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor (Brando), and adapted screenplay while accepting nominations for direction, sound, costume design, and editing. Caan, Duvall, and Pacino each accepted a supporting actor nomination, but, fumed over not receiving a greeting from the Academy in the category of the lead actor, Pacino avoided the event.
- He served alongside his former acting coach Lee Strasberg in The Godfather Part II. Lee was cast in the lead negative character of Hyman Roth.
- Although he fought with academics, he was still voted as the most likely to get in junior high due to his amazing skills.
- When he was 22 years old, his mother did suicide (she had been struggling with depression. Within a year, his maternal grandfather passed away as well. He has often held that period of time his darkest.
- His first audition for the character of Michael Corleone in The Godfather was unfortunate as he was hungover and didn’t know his lines. He had to do the screen test three times for the performance and most of them were simply bad.
- When he was ultimately offered the character of Michael Corleone, he almost had to refuse it as he had signed a contract with MGM for an arrangement of Jimmy Breslin’s book, and they weren’t made to release him.
- When the acclaimed playwright and director Israel Horovitz went on to argue Pacino’s case with movie producers, they informed him that they would only release him on the condition that he must find an evenly talented actor of Italian origin for them. He then led them to Robert de Niro.
- Even after he was chosen for Michael’s character, the movie producers wanted to fire him. Luckily, he had to do the Sollozzo view (in which he kills two men) at that time, and his appearance in the scene changed the producers that they had found a star actor.
- He had basically asked for the fee of $7 million to reprise his character in The Godfather III. The movie director Francis Ford Coppola was so indignant that he said Pacino that the movie would open with a scene of Michael Corleone’s funeral. He admitted to working for $5 million.
- Over the years, he has become some huge characters such as Han Solo in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope and Ted Kramer in Kramer vs. Kramer. He also set down a moment to work in Pretty Woman, Apocalypse Now, and Crimson Tide.
- He began smoking at the age of 9 and by the eighties, he was smoking four packs a day. He finally gave up smoking in 1994 to protect his voice. At that time, he was smoking two packs a day.
- He went so deep in his role as a policeman in Serpico (1973) that he once pulled over a truck driver and threatened him with arrest for exhaust pollution.
- He was once fired from his job as a movie theater guide for admiring himself in the mirrored wall while walking down the staircase.
- He has founded the production company under the title of Chal Productions. The first two letters ‘Ch’ is a tribute to his dear friend Charlie Laughton and the suffix ‘Al’ is from his own nickname.
- He was once employed as an usher at the iconic Carnegie Hall. He was also hired to work in the mailroom of Commentary magazine. The other miscellaneous jobs he did include being a shoe shiner, supermarket checker, office boy, furniture mover, and fresh-fruit polisher.
- Earlier in his career, he found it hard to find quality work as he was typecast due to his Italian name. Briefly, he thought about adopting Sonny Scott as his screen name.
- In 2006, the Premiere magazine listed his performance as Sonny Wortzik in Dog Day Afternoon on the #4 spot in the list featuring 100 Greatest Performances of All Time. His performance in The Godfather II was placed on #20 rank in the same list.
- While growing up, he dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player. However, he eventually fell more in love with acting.
- He began hard drinking at the age of 9 and by the age of 13 was using casual cannabis. But having lost two of his close friends to hard drugs, he never delivered it a try.
- All his life, he has battled chronic insomnia.
- In February 2012, he was praised with an American National Medal of the Arts, at the White House in Washington, D.C., in recognition of his services to the drama.
- He is not on social media.
Al Pacino And Robert De Niro Have Spanned Generations As Acting Royalty. And Their Latest, The Irishman, Has The Feeling Of One Final Coronation.
The Godfather Was A Massive And Unprecedented Success; In Addition To Spawning An Entire Film Genre, The Film Made It Impossible For Pacino To Walk Down The Street Without Being Recognized. In Response, He Began Escaping Through Alcohol, Which He’d Been Drinking Since Age 13.
Pacino’s Great, But He Always Seems To Be Playing Al Pacino, Which Isn’t A Bad Thing But Versatile It Is Not. De Niro Knows A Thing Or Two About Danger. Pacino Hasn’t Taken As Many Of Those Parts, But He Brings An Always-simmering-just-below-the-surface Madness To The Most Mundane Moments.
Robert De Niro And Al Pacino Had Never Acted On The Same Screen (Appearing Separately In Godfather: Part II ) But Faced Off In Michael Mann’s Heat (1995) For The First Time. Both Of Them Are One Of The Finest Actors And Shares Healthy Competition. The Competition Between The Two Usually Misunderstood As Rivalry For Obvious Reasons. Once Robert Had Said To Al: “Al, Over The Years We’ve Taken Roles From One Another.
People Have Tried To Compare Us To One Another, To Pit Us Against One Another And To Tear Us Apart Personally. I’ve Never Seen The Comparison Frankly. I’m Clearly Much Taller, More The Leading-man Type. Honestly, You Just May Be The Finest Actor Of Our Generation – With The Possible Exception Of Me.” Now, You Can Assume How Frank And Cool Were The Things Between The Two Legends.