25 april, 1940
Known for his forceful dramatic presentation, Al Pacino is most closely associated with the roles of Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972) trilogy, as well as Tony Montana of the legendary gangster film Scarface (1983). But it was his performance as Frank Slade, a blind, retired Lt. Colonel, in Scent of a Woman (1992) that won him the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1993. This came after seven previous Oscar nominations, including a supporting actor nomination in the same year for Glengarry Glen Ross (1992).
A native of New York's Bronx, Pacino was born on April 25, 1940. In 1966 he enrolled in the Actors Studio to study under Lee Strasberg. Following a period of award-winning successes on the stage, he made his feature film debut in Me, Natalie (1969). But the role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972) - Pacino's third film - transformed his career. Director Francis Ford Coppola had his heart set on the unknown Pacino although the studio and producers reportedly didn't want him, and such renowned actors as Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Ryan O'Neal and Robert De Niro were said to be contenders for the role. Nevertheless, Pacino's portrayal earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He went on to star in such films as Serpico (1973) and Dog Day Afternoon (1975), and received three consecutive Academy Award nominations for best actor in 1974, 1975 and 1976.
The second role most associated with Pacino, the vicious Tony Montana, was followed by the forgettable Revolution (1985) and period of self-imposed screen exile that ended in Sea of Love (1989). In the '90s, Pacino's career was resurgent, with roles as varied as The Godfather: Part III (1990), Dick Tracy (1990), and Glengarry Glen Ross (1992). Several films that hearkened to Pacino's most iconic roles followed, including Carlito's Way (1993), Heat (1995) and Donnie Brasco (1997), and noteworthy performances in The Insider (1999) and Any Given Sunday (1999).
In the 2000s, Pacino starred in a number of theatrical blockbusters, including _Ocean's Thirteen (2007)_, but his choice in television roles - the vicious Roy Cohn in HBO's miniseries "Angels in America" (2003) and his sensitive portrayal of Jack Kevorkian, in the television movie You Don't Know Jack (2010) (TV) - are reminiscent of the bolder choices of his early career. Each TV project garnered him an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.
Pacino has never abandoned his love for the theater, and Shakespeare in particular, having directed the Shakespeare adaptation Looking for Richard (1996) and played Shylock in The Merchant of Venice (2004). He will portray King Lear in King Lear (2013), in addition to playing Phil Spector in a made-for-TV movie.