AL PACINO


Born: April 25, 1940, New York Birth Name: Alfred James Pacino Education: High School for the Performing Arts, New York; Herbert Herghof Studio, New York; Actors Studio Sign: Sun in Taurus, Moon in Sagittarius Family: Father-Salvatore Pacino (Insurance Salesman); Mother-Rose Pacino; Daughter-Julie Marie Pacino (Born in 1989, Mother is Jan Tarrant) Quote: "The actor becomes an emotional athlete. The process is painful, my personal life suffers." Other Pacino info Acting Biography Dark, volatile, award-winning actor of offbeat 1960s stage fare who, after playing a drug addict in THE PANIC IN NEEDLE PARK (1971), gained screen prominence for his finely calibrated performance as war-hero-turned-mob-heir Michael Corleone in the landmark revisionist gangster saga, THE GODFATHER (1972).

With his sad, sunken eyes and flair for volcanic tirades, Pacino went on to become a major star of the 1970s, playing a series of brooding, anti-authoritarian, streetwise figures who seemed to reflect the cynical mood of the times. His recreation of Michael Corleone for the strikingly bifurcated sequel, THE GODFATHER, PART II (1974), occupied one of the drama's center stages, and Pacino was also acclaimed for his role as the tightly-coiled cop in SERPICO (1973). A change of pace came with SCARECROW (1973), as Pacino was removed from his most typical environs, the inner city, to play an insecure drifter who unexpectedly makes a close friend (Gene Hackman) while on the road. A more typical Pacino part, but nonetheless one of his most fascinating and courageous, came with his fiery bisexual bank robber in DOG DAY AFTERNOON (1975), a character by turns tragic and unwittingly comical as he gains media attention while trying to finance his male lover's sex change operation. Pacino eventually had to make a false step after such an impressive string of well-written and forcefully rendered characterizations. His first role to trade in merely on his name as a star was BOBBY DEERFIELD (1977), which cast him as a sports car racer involved in a maundering romance with Marthe Keller.

AND JUSTICE FOR ALL (1979) seemed like a move back to terra firma, but its mix of sadness and satire didn't come off, and Pacino displayed lots of angry flash but little complexity or soul. CRUISING (1980), meanwhile, was greeted with either scorn or outrage by audiences and critics, for its ridiculous, simplistic and hateful story of a cop who goes undercover into New York's gay scene to find a killer and ends up being "corrupted." AUTHOR! AUTHOR! (1982), Pacino's first real comedy, was a mildly enjoyable attempt to channel his intensity and energy in a new direction, and his performance in the remake of SCARFACE (1983) was, like the film, over the top but undeniably potent. The slight gains he made with these two films were scuttled, however, by the incredible miscasting that placed him in the dull, superficial saga of 1776, REVOLUTION (1985). Pacino's film work had been slowing down for some time as he continued to return to the stage in properties that caught his fancy. He won a Tony for The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel (1977), took an interesting shot at Richard III (1979), and played a memorable Teach both off-Broadway (1981-82) and on (1983-84) in an unsurprisingly snug collaboration with playwright David Mamet in American Buffalo. After four years away from films, Pacino made a successful comeback with the enjoyable hit SEA OF LOVE (1989) and the less popular but worthy FRANKIE AND JOHNNY (1991). He amusingly parodied his previous gangster roles with an appropriately outlandish turn as Big Boy Caprice in DICK TRACY (1990), dusted off his Michael Corleone for THE GODFATHER, PART III (1990) and showed actorly grace in another fine supporting role in the adaptation of Mamet's blistering GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS (1992). After many nominations, Pacino finally copped an Oscar with the uneven, unabashed star showcase of SCENT OF A WOMAN (1992), as a blind veteran cutting loose on the town.

Similarly, his prison-sprung druglord in CARLITO'S WAY (1993) showed that his way with gutter-tough poetry and his talent for various ethnic characterizations could be as riveting as ever. Pacino returned to the big screen in 1995 with two vastly different holiday releases: Michael Mann's epic crime story HEAT (1995) and the Depression-era family drama TWO BITS (1995). In the former, he starred opposite fellow master thespian Robert De Niro as a driven high-strung police detective on the trail of a cool professional thief. HEAT (1995) marked the first time that these two legendary actors were paired in a feature. (Both were featured in the 1974 sequel, THE GODFATHER: PART II (1974), but had no scenes together.) They both received high marks from reviewers, but the lion's share of the praise went to writer-director Mann. Pacino aged himself for a key supporting role in TWO BITS (1995), playing a grandfather with a memorable legacy for his grandson. He followed with a turn as the mayor of New York City embroiled in a corruption scandal in Harold Becker's CITY HALL (1996). Pacino made his feature directorial debut with LOOKING FOR RICHARD (1996) in which he also starred as an actor portraying Shakespeare's Richard III.


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