Al Pacino Biography

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One of the greatest actors in all of film history, Al Pacino established himself during one of film's greatest decades, the 1970s, and has become an enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies. Born on April 25, 1940, in the Bronx, New York, Pacino's parents (Salvatore and Rose) divorced when he was young. His mother moved them into his grandparents' house. Pacino found himself often repeating the plots and voices of characters he had seen in the movies, one of his favorite activities. Bored and unmotivated in school, the young Al Pacino found a haven in school plays, and his interest soon blossomed into a full-time career. Starting on the stage, he went through a lengthy period of depression and poverty, sometimes having to borrow bus fare to make it to auditions. He made it into the prestigious Actors Studio in 1966, studying under legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg, creator of the Method Approach that would become the trademark of many '70s-era actors. After appearing in a string of plays in supporting roles, he finally hit it big with "The Indian Wants the Bronx", winning an Obie award for the 1966-67 season. That was followed by a Tony Award for "Does the Tiger Wear a Necktie?". His first feature films made little departure from the gritty realistic stage performances that earned him respect: he played a junkie in The Panic in Needle Park (1971) after his film debut in Me, Natalie (1969). What came next would change his life forever. The role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972) was one of the most sought-after of the time: Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Ryan O'Neal, Robert De Niro and a host of others either wanted it or were mentioned for it, but director Francis Ford Coppola had his heart set on the unknown Italian Pacino for the role, although pretty much everyone else--from the studio to the producers to some of the cast members--didn't want him. Though Coppola won out through slick persuasion, Pacino was in...
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