Al Pacino Fact Files:
Birth Name: Alfredo James Pacino
Birthdate: April 25, 1940
Birthplace: New York, NY
Height: 5' 6"
Awards: Won 1 Oscar, 2 BAFTAs, 3 Golden Globes
Pacino was arrested in 1961 for carrying a concealed weapon
Coppola wanted for The Godfather Marlon Brando and the then unknown Caan and Pacino. The studios wanted more famous or in-favour actors (Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Ryan O´Neal). Coppola ended up by spending $400.000 in repeated screen tests. Paramount boss: “Ok, I´ll use the midget(Pacino)”
Alfredo Pacino was a rather sensitive child, and his overprotective grandparents cherished and coddled him to such a degree that he wasn't even allowed out of the house until he had safely passed his seventh birthday. He got to tag along with his mother to evening features at the local movie theatre, but his days were spent housebound with nothing better to do than reenact for his grandmother the plots of the films he had seen.
At fourteen, Al Pacino attended a performance of Chekhov's The Seagull at Elsmere Theater in the South Bronx, whereupon he decided to transfer to the High School of the Performing Arts. Unfortunately, English seemed to be the only subject he wasn't continually flunking at the renowned school, and so at the age of seventeen, it took little deliberation for Pacino to decide to throw in the academic towel once and for all. Pacino began taking acting classes and appearing in basement-staged plays of little repute. Later on he eventually gained acceptance to the famed Actors Studio in 1966, where he received further training in Lee Strasberg's school of Method acting. Pacino scored his first Tony Award on Broadway in the play Does the Tiger Wear a Necktie. In 1977 Pacino won his second Tony in the production The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel.
Al Pacino's first two features, Me, Natalie and The Panic in Needle Park, recycled his proven virtuosity in the role of junkie. In preparation for the latter film, Pacino and Panic co-star Kitty Winn schooled themselves in the mannerisms of heroin addicts by doing extensive research in and around various methadone treatment centers and drug-pusher haunts. On the basis of his gut-wrenching performance in the film, Pacino was offered the role of Michael Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather, a plum assignment plucked handily away from the likes of Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty.
Pacino followed up quickly with forceful performances, in Serpico, The Godfather, Part II, and Dog Day Afternoon. In 1995 he acted together with Robert de Niro in Heat. Although the two giants played both Don Corleone in The Godfather II, they never appeared in the same scene, Heat changed that.In 1997 he returned as his stock-in-trade urban crime figure in Donnie Brasco, and portrayed a Mephistophelean lawyer in Devil's Advocate (1997). In 1999 he did The Insider, which tells the story of an investigative reporting into the American tobacco industry; and headlined Oliver Stone's gridiron drama Any Given Sunday. Pacino still performs theatre work and has also dabbled in direction; Looking for Richard and Chinese Coffee are both highly acclaimed.