It is with great pleasure and reverence I present to you, Al Pacino. 2) Al Pacino was born on April 25, 1940 in Manhattan, New York. 1) When he was three years old, he and his mother moved to the South Bronx, which he claims as his hometown. 2) In 1966 he was granted admission to the prestigious Actors Studio where he was taught by renowned actor and coach, Lee Strasburg. 3) The lessons paid off quickly for Al Pacino. 4) In 1967 he won an OBIE award (equivalent to an Off-Broadway Tony), and in 1968, he won a Tony award for “Does the Tiger Wear a Necktie”.
) In 1971, Al got a shot in a feature film called “The Panic in Needle Park” where he plays a junkie who gets trapped in the ups and downs of dealing heroin. 1) This performance led him into the role that would propel him to greatness, the role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather.
2) The network executives didn’t want Pacino to play the youngest son to Marlon Brando’s Vito Corleone, but at the insistence of Brando, and director Francis Ford Coppola, Al won the part.
) This was the first of four consecutive Oscar nominations, and eight total for his career. 2) After portraying a real New York City undercover detective in Serpico in 1973, and reprising his role as Michael Corleone in 1974’s The Godfather II, Al’s next role was a huge departure from his usual gritty, tough guy roles. 3) In 1975, Al starred as Sonny, a would be bank robber who needs money to get his boyfriend a sex change operation in the movie Dog Day Afternoon.
4) In 1979, Al plays attorney Arthur Kirkland in the movie,…and justice for all.
Arthur is forced to defend a judge (whom he hates) in a rape trial. Arthur is torn between defending the judge (even though he knows he’s guilty), and human decency. 1) For the next few years, Al’s career had taken a downward turn. 1) Less than expected box office revenues from 1980’s Cruising and 1982’s Author! Author! left many in Hollywood to think the Al had lost his magic. In 1983, screenwriter Oliver Stone and Director Brian De Palma created a vehicle that would launch Al Pacino’s career into the stratosphere.
Pacino’s portrayal of Cuban-born drug kingpin Tony Montana in the movie Scarface is legendary Performance was worthy of an Oscar nod, which he didn’t receive. Pacino did finally win his Oscar in 1992. For his spot on performance as retired Army Officer Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman, he won the award, Pacino has done several films since Scent of a Woman, constantly stretching the limits of his craft, and ever bit as masterful today as he was in his heyday of the 1970’s. Al Pacino approaching his 72nd birthday has not slowed down.
He is still acting, but not as much for major studio productions, but doing more independent type films and the occasional work on the stage. From a poor kid growing up in the Bronx, to a legendary film icon, Al Pacino has never forgotten his roots, and still claims the Bronx as his home. From having to borrow bus fare to get to auditions, to writing his own ticket, the humble, charismatic star can look back on a career filled with hard work, natural talent and people who believed in him with pride.
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