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…more
In 2010, Al won another Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie playing Jack Kervorkian in You Don't Know Jack.
Al Pacino and Robert De Niro filed a lawsuit against Tutima Inc. and Overture Films, claiming a series of advertisements for Tutima watches made it look like they endorsed the watches. The ads included images of De Niro and Pacino from "Righteous Kill."
Al Pacino and Robert De Niro were criticized when a poster for their film Righteous Kill, which had the tagline "There's nothing wrong with a little shooting as long as the right person gets shot" was posted in the Stockwell underground station in South London in which Jean Charles de Menezes was shot dead by police after being mistaken for a suicide bomber.
He is one of only three actors to have been nominated for an Academy Award for both "Best Actor in a Leading Role" and "Best Actor in a Supporting Role" in the same year (Scent of a Woman for "Leading Role" and Glengarry Glenross for "Supporting Role" in 1993.)
There are eight actresses who have received the same honor. They include Fay Bainter (Jezebel and White Banners), Teresa Wright (Mrs. Miniver and Pride of the Yankees), Jessica Lange (Francis and Tootsie), Sigourney Weaver (Gorillas in the Mist and Working Girl), Emma Thompson (Remains of the Day and In the Name of the Father), Holly Hunter (The Piano and The Firm), Julianne Moore (Far From Heaven and The Hours) and Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth and I'm Not There).
Over the course of his career, Al Pacino had turned down the leading role in a number of highly successful movies. The list includes films like Star Wars (1977), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Apocalypse Now (1979), Born on the Fouth of July (1989), Pretty Woman (1990) and Crimson Tide (1995).
The executives at Paramount Studios tried repeatedly to fire Al Pacino during the filming of The Godfather. They felt that Robert Redford or Ryan O'Neil would be a better pick for the role of Michael Corleone. It was only due to Francis Ford Coppola's fight to keep Pacino that he kept the role.
When Martin Scorsese was casting the movie classic, Goodfellas, he originally approached Al Pacino to play the role of James "Jimmy" Conway. Al turned the role down and it eventually went to Robert DeNiro.
Ricky Gervais had asked Al to make an appearance on his comedy show Extras in October 2008. Unfortunately, Al's schedule did not permit it.
While at the Rome International Film Festival in 2008, Al made a plea to filmmakers to drastically cut the long hours that actors and crews are expected to put in everyday during a film shoot. Average days can run from 4am to 10pm, which can be physically and emotionally taxing on prolonged filming schedules.
At the start of the Rome Film Festival in 2008, Al Pacino was awarded the Marc'Aurelio Acting Award for his collective contributions to the arts.
As a young stage and film actor, Al was taken under the wing of of film legend, Charles Laughton.
When Al was a struggling stage actor, there was a period of time when he was homeless. He slept on the stage of the theatre that he was performing on.
As a boy, Al Pacino considered himself very shy. It was through acting that he learned how to deal with his shyness.
Al's maternal grandfather, James, was the only stable male role in his formative years. Al credits his grandfather with having raised him in his fathers absence.
His nickname,"Sonny" came from the Al Jolson song, "Sonny Boy" which Pacino used to mimic as a small child.
He is a co-president of "The Actors Studio" along with Ellen Burstyn and Harvey Keitel.
He is one of only a handful of actors to have recieved an Oscar (Scent of a Woman) for his work in a film, a Tony Award (Does the Tiger Wear a Necktie?) for his work on stage and an Emmy (Angels in America) for his work on a television broadcast.
He has been a longtime sufferer of chronic insomnia.
Al worked for a brief time as a stand up comic early in his career.
When asked why he prefers to wear black clothing, he claimed it was because it he feels it gives him an air of authority.
Al shares a birthday (April 25) with his Godfather co-star, Talia Shire.
In Dog Day Afternoon, Al and his co star, Chris Sarandon, improvised the entire phone booth scene.
Like many serious actors, Al Pacino has a profound appreciation for the works of Shakespeare. In addition to performing in several Shakespearean plays, he also attends performances whenever he is able.
It was 21 years between Al Pacino's first Academy Award nomination (for The Godfather) and his first win (for Scent of a Woman)
He has always been a huge fan of the opera. He tries to make the time to attend a performance whenever he is able.
In 1994, he quit his 2 pack per day smoking habit to protect his voice.
The executives at Paramount didn't want Al for the part of Michael Corleone in The Godfather. They often teased him by calling him "The Midget Pacino".
Al received 5 million dollars for his part in The Godfather: Part II. His salary demands for the highly anticipated sequel to Francis Ford Coppola's masterpiece almost convinced the director to kill off the character of Michael Corleone in the opening scene.
When The Godfather: Part III was being set up for production, Al asked for 7 million dollars to recast himself as Michael Corleone.
In 1997 the UK's magazine Empire rated Al 4th of the Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time.
He is known for playing "Men of Power" or authoritative roles.
Al Pacino: People always said that time, the '70s, was about pretty boys. And then I came along!
Al Pacino: The reason I was hired in The Godfather finally, is because they (the Paramount movie executives) saw eight minutes of The Panic In Needle Park.
Al Pacino: (talking about his mother, Rose) My mom was a great influence on my life. A real encourager in terms of acting because she was an avid reader and quite interested in theatre. Quite interested in films, of course.
Al Pacino: Who speaks of triumph? To endure is everything.
Al Pacino: I'd like to be remembered as the only man who lived to be 250 years old!
Al Pacino: It's easy to fool the eye but it's hard to fool the heart.
Al Pacino: I was a kid when (James) Dean came out. Dean was the inspiration. Even the red jacket he wore in 'Rebel Without a Cause,' you saw that red jacket popping up all over the place. He really reached people in a way; it was kind of a phenomenon when you think of it. I wonder what it would be like today, that kind of a person ... he made that connection with his audience. And I remember at that time my mother loved him. He reached everybody.
Al Pacino: I don't need bodyguards. I'm from the South Bronx.
Al Pacino: Man is a little bit better than his reputation, and a little bit worse
Al Pacino: We start to realize that there are anodynes in life that help us through the day. I don't care if it's a walk in the park, a look out the window, a good bubble bath - whatever. Even a meal you like, or a friend you want to call. That helps us solve all this stuff in our head.
Al Pacino: My weaknesses... I wish I could come up with something. I'd probably have the same pause if you asked me what my strengths are. Maybe they're the same thing.
Al Pacino: The actor becomes an emotional athlete. The process is painful--my personal life suffers.
Al Pacino: No one ever asked me to play Hamlet. I don't think I'm right for the part, but it would have been nice to be asked.
Al Pacino: My first language was shy. It's only by having been thrust into the limelight that I have learned to cope with my shyness.
Al Pacino: I'm an actor, not a star. Stars are people who live in Hollywood and have heart-shaped swimming pools.
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