Here are there answers to many of the frequently asked questions about Al.
|Name||Alfredo James Pacino|
|Nickname||Sonny (early in his career he considered acting under the pseudonym "Sonny Scott")|
|Date of Birth||April 25, 1940|
|Place of Birth||East Harlem, New York, NY, USA|
|Ethnic Background||Sicilian (his maternal grandparents immigrated from Corleone Sicily, no kidding) Here is a page on him at Sicilain Culture|
|Occupation||Actor / Director|
|Where to write||CHAL
Productions, 301 W.57th St. #49A, New York, NY 10017, USA
(or try) 350 Park Ave #900, New York, NY 10022, USA (You should get something back within a month or so.)
|Autographs||I am frequently asked if he actually signs the autographs himself or a secretary does it. I don't have any inside info from Al, but I do believe he signs them himself. The reason I think so is because several people have reported sending a picture to his NY address, but getting it back from LA or some other address outside NY. Why would he send the picture to LA etc. to be signed by an assistant? But only Al knows for sure.|
|Production Co.||Chal Productions: 301 W. 57th St. #49A, NY NY, 10017, USA|
|Sign||Sun in Taurus, Moon in Sagittarius|
|Education||High School of the Performing Arts dropout; studied acting at the Actors Studio and the Herbert Berghof Studios, both in New York City|
|Mother||Rose Gerard Pacino Died when she was 43 and Al was 22. As a child Al went to the movies with her after work and acted out the parts later, planting the seeds for his acting career.|
|Father||Salvatore (Sal) Alfred Pacino, Born February 16, 1922. Worked as an Insurance salesman for Metropolitan Life for thirty years. Was drafted into Army/Airforce when Al was two. Later in life he also owned several businesses including a hotel/restaurant/nightclub called Pacino's Lounge, and a beauty supply store. Has appeared in several movies and an exercise video for seniors. For more on Sal Pacino visit his official website www.salpacino.com. Divorced three times, widowed once, he currently lives in California with his fifth wife Katherin Kovin-Pacino.|
|Parents||Divorced after eight on-again, off again years when Al was about seven.|
|Children||daughter Julie Marie (mother -
and Olivia (mother - Beverly
|Siblings||Three half-sisters: Paula, Roberta, Josette from his dads second marriage, an adopted sister Desiree from his fourth marriage and a brother-in-law Mark, Roberta's husband. Roberta is a filmmaker (Quarter to Three Films). More pics & info at www.salpacino.com|
D'Angelo: actress / singer, mom of his twins Anton and Olivia, was divorced
from Italian Duke Lorenzo Salviati in 1995
Penelope Anne Miller: actress, Co-starred with Al in Carlito's Way
Lyndall Hobbs: director / producer
Diane Keaton: actress / director / producer / writer, co-starred with Al in the Godfather films
Jan Tarrant: acting coach, mom to his oldest daughter Julie
Kathleen Quinlan: actress
Carol Kane: actress, co-starred in Dog Day Afternoon as one of the tellers (the one who's husband asks her about dinner), most famous for her role in the tv series Taxi (1981-1983) as Simka Dahblitz-Gravas
Marthe Keller: actress, co-starred in Bobby Deerfield
Tuesday Weld: actress, co-starred in Author! Author
Jill Clayburgh: co-starred in Al's only tv performance, an episode of N.Y.P.D., a tv show in the 60s
|Arrested||January 1961, charged of carrying a concealed weapon. Legend has it they were on the way to an audition and told the police the gun was part of an acting exercise. The charges were eventually dropped.|
|Fan Club||There is no Pacino fan club that I know.|
|Agent||Rick Nicita, CAA, C/O Creative Artists Agency, 9830 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212, USA|
|Organizations||He is a longtime member of David Wheeler's Experimental Theatre Company of Boston, where he performed in Richard III and in Bertolt Brecht's Arturo Ui.|
|Charity||He has allowed pictures of himself to
be used on postcards whose proceeds go to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
He has done a public service announcement for Children's Aid Society.
|Substance Abuse||Renowned for three-day alcohol binges until he joined AA. Ended 40-a-day smoking habit in 1994 to protect his voice. Now smokes herbal cigarettes which have no nicotine in them.|
|Rejection||He was John Schlessinger's original pick for Marathon Man but was overuled by Studio executive Robert Evans, in favor of Dustin Hoffman. Evans would again try to oust Pacino from his role as Michael Corleone in The Godfather. Luckily Francis Coppola fought for him this time and eventually got his man.|
|Influences||He is said to admire and identify with Shakespearean actor Edmund Kean (another article
He studied at the Actor's Studio where many successful stars have also gone. (Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando to name a few) He found a mentor and father figure in Lee Strasberg there. Here is a page that teaches the Strasberg "method".
His friend and mentor Charles Laughton, actor/teacher/director (not the British actor). They met when Al studied under him at the Herbert Berghof Studio. Charles is the CH in CHAL Productions.
|Career Trivia||-Turned down roles in Pretty Woman, Kramer vs Kramer,
-Was cast in Born on the Fourth of July ten years before Tom Cruise with Brian De Palma directing, but financing fell through and it was scrapped.
-Was paid $35,000 for The Godfather, but now can commands millions per movie.
Pacino: A Life on the Wire (book), by Andrew Yule. (very good)
The films of Al Pacino, William Schoell, New York Carol Publishing Group, c1995 (tons of great pictures and some background on each movie) out of print but you can sometimes find one at eBay.
Al Pacino.... and Me (a Tale of Two Actors) by David Sheldon and Joan McCall
A & E Biography (video), available to by at Amazon.com, or check listings for A&E which reruns it from time to time.
Cine Bonus Track (documentary), unavailable for purchase. Aired on TV in ?Canada.
Canal+ (documentary), unavailable for puchasse. Aired on French TV in 1997.
This biography is from the now defunct Mr. Showbiz. I don't know who wrote it. (written about 2001)
A NATIVE son of New York City's East Harlem, Al Pacino was the only child of Rose Gerard Pacino and Salvatore an insurance salesman, (for more on Sal go to www.salpacino.com). His parents had a rocky marriage and it didn't help that Sal was drafted when Al was two. When he got out of service he and Rose tried to make a go of it but eventually divorced when Al was about seven. Al and his mother moved in with her parents in a poor neighborhood near the Bronx Zoo.
Little Alfredo 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. His improvisational skills spilled over into his schoolyard bravado, which included regaling the other kids with whoppers about his exciting and colorful past, living in Texas with his ten dogs--a very cool alternative reality to ten-year-old boys living in the Bronx circa 1950. Tall-tale-telling, sports, and mostly harmless street mischief kept Pacino's attentions pretty well diverted from academics, so when his teachers began to see his talent for drama, they encouraged him to perform in school plays, and to read passages from the Bible during assemblies.
At fourteen, 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. He spent several years drifting from odd job to odd job, working variously as a mail deliverer in the offices of Commentary magazine, a messenger, an usher in a movie theatre, and as a building superintendent. But his life wasn't all errands and leaky faucets--during this period, Pacino began taking acting classes and appearing in basement-staged plays of little repute. He squirrelled away enough money to enroll at the Herbert Berghof Studio, where he trained under drama coach Charlie Laughton. Apprenticing in acting, directing, and writing in a handful of way-off-Broadway theatres, Pacino eventually gained acceptance to the famed Actors Studio in 1966, where he received further training in Lee Strasberg's school of Method acting.
This period of leaps-and-bounds advancement was marked by his appearance opposite James Earl Jones in a production of John Wolfson's The Peace Creeps and a stint performing at the Charles Playhouse in Boston. He returned to New York to appear in an off-Broadway production of The Indian Wants the Bronx, in which he played Murph, one of two young hoods who accost and brutally terrorize an aging Native American man in the street. The critics couldn't say enough nice things about Pacino's unstagey and potent performance, and the young actor was awarded an Obie as Best Actor for the 1967-68 season. The following year, Pacino stepped onto an honest-to-goodness Broadway stage for the first time, in the role of a psychotic junkie named Bickham, in Does the Tiger Wear a Necktie? Though the production closed after a meager thirty-nine performances, the critics deemed its star "sensationally menacing," "spectacularly good," and "magnificent," and Pacino scored his first Tony Award.
Drowning in umpteen plaudits, the critics' darling decided to make a bid for a film career. 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. After viewing only twelve minutes of gut-wrenching footage, Paramount execs cast aside all thoughts of Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty and offered Pacino the role of Michael Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather. Stealing quietly into the film as the reluctant Mafia scion thrust into the family business, Pacino crafted an ingenious study of Michael's metamorphosis from idealistic war hero to lethal underworld lord. He swaggered away from The Godfather with movie stardom and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor to his credit. He followed up quickly with forceful performances, in Serpico (in the role of a scrupulously honest cop who attempts to uncover corruption in the N.Y.P.D.), The Godfather, Part II (in another Oscar-nominated performance as the rancorous don), and Dog Day Afternoon (in the role of a volcanic bisexual bankrobber). Sure, Pacino made the inevitable missteps along the way: Bobby Deerfield (1977), Cruising (1980), and Revolution (1985) were about as well-received as a death sentence, but he successfully counterbalanced their disappointments with Scarface (1983), Sea of Love (1989), and Frankie and Johnny (1991).
From the beginning of his film career, Pacino had remained something of a commuter between Hollywood and Broadway. His title role in a production of The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel won him a second Tony in 1977, and memorable turns as Antony in Julius Caesar, and as Walter Cole in David Mamet's American Buffalo, alleviated any fan fatigue that might result from being one of the most popular and most frequently Oscar-nominated (a career total of seven to date) film stars in the biz. On-screen, Pacino kept cranking out popular favorites: he donned his dark habit once again to play Michael Corleone in 1990's The Godfather, Part III; he blistered as a slick real estate salesman in 1992's Glengarry Glen Ross; at long last he took home the elusive Best Actor Oscar for 1992's Scent of a Woman, in which he employs Chris O'Donnell as his seeing-eye dog; Carlito's Way gave him the chance to essay another effective ethnic characterization, this time as a Puerto Rican ex-con trying to go straight; and he played cool cop to Robert De Niro's equally cool robber in 1995's Heat.
While it may be true that Pacino's fame was cemented with his true-to-life portrayals
of urban toughies on film, his heart has always remained tethered to the stage. "The
play is the thing. That's my motivation," Pacino commented in an interview about his
double-duty as actor and director in his well-received 1996 documentary Looking for Richard. A love
letter to Shakespeare and a forthright statement on the craft that has captured his
imagination for over a quarter-century, the film sets about familiarizing audiences with
one of Shakespeare's most dense and rich works, through deconstruction of scenes and
interviews with Shakespearean scholars, with prominent actors like Sir John Gielgud, Kevin
Kline, Winona Ryder, and Kenneth Branagh, and with your average men and women encountered
on the street. Just when we all thought he'd cleaned up his act, he returned as his
stock-in-trade urban crime figure in Donnie Brasco, and
portrayed a Mephistophelean lawyer in Devil's Advocate
(both 1997). Late 1999 brought a brace of solid roles: he turned in a brilliant portrayal
of 60 Minutes producer Lowell Bergman in The Insider, which
tells the story of Bergman and Mike Wallace's investigative reporting into the American
tobacco industry; and headlined Oliver Stone's gridiron drama Any Given Sunday.
|Golden Globes - Cecil B. DeMille Award Speech||Thank you for that. That is so warm and wonderful of you to do that. It is such an impressive group out here tonight. Thank you Kevin. Thank you for those things. Im supposed to really say a few words here and Im going to, but Im not going to make it too long. But it is such a special occasion for me that you think I would have figured out the mike. Thats okay, Ill wing it. What comes to me when I think of my life and the whole thing and being here and all, I think of Cecil B DeMille. I think of my mother, used to take me to the moves, cause she worked at night. So shed take me to see Cecil B. DeMille movies. So I was weaned on them. And Id go home and then the next day, we had not (MORE TO BE ADDED LATER. (Thanks to Suzanne Brouillard for transcribing this. )|
|Oscar speech||(A big thanks to Joan Twigg for typing this!)
"You broke my streak. The last....... I... I was at an affair recently......... Thank you so much for this, by the way. I was at a... a ceremonial type thing like this recently and I didn't have a speech; I kept going into my pocket for a speech but I never wrote one but now I got one, it's here and I should have had a little water before I got on because my mouth's dry, but I thank you and I just have to say first, I don't know where he is in the house, I can't pick him out, but I gotta thank him. I'm completely indebted to Marty Brest who directed the picture and who had, he had such great love for this character I played and that love is what he communicated to me everyday, so I thank you Marty for that. I thank Bo Goldman who wrote such a complicated, interesting, funny guy that could and would be any actor's dream part - that part was so great. I thank Chris O'Donnell, Chris O'Donell my co-star in this, he made every day a pleasure for me and I thank the wonderful supportive cast and crew, of course. I also want to thank Tom Pollock and Casey Silver at Universal Pictures and my agent Rick Nicita who urged me to do this part and actually threatened me if I didn't do it 'cause I didn't want to do the part for some reason. Ira Lewis, my friend and colleague, who helped me, Ira Lewis. And the Associated Blind for their generous support to me.
If you'll indulge me for a minute, I'm just not used to this, so I had to write this down. I had this thought and if I ever got up here I would say it. I've been very lucky, and I've been lucky; I found desire for what I do early in my life and I'm lucky because I had people who encouraged that desire from Lee Strasberg to my great friend and mentor Charlie Laughton to the great writers and film makers that I've been fortunate enough to work with.
Now, recently, a young girl came up up me - I was at a function for the South Bronx which is where I'm from, and she said that I had encouraged her. And that's not necessarily by my work but just by the fact that we came from the same place. And I just can't forget that girl and I can't forget the kids out there who may be thinking tonight that if he can do it, I can do it. So this is really a proud and hopeful moment for me because I want to thank the Academy for giving us a gift of encouragement and this is a gift, a great gift to me. Thank you all, really. Thank you."
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