Few can deny that Al Pacino is one of the most legendary actors around. Alongside contemporaries such as Joe Pesci, Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro, Pacino has starred in many mafia-type films. The two that are arguably the most well-known are The Godfather and Scarface.
Even as a kid, the Bronx native wanted to become an actor. As of today, Al Pacino has a special place in film history. Besides his very successful acting carer, he has three children and has experienced several tough relationships, though he has never been married.
So how did Al Pacino make it to Hollywood? And who are his children? Here’s all you need to know about the legendary actor!
On April 25, 1940, Al Pacino was born in New York City. His parents were Italian immigrants from Sicily; Al was their only child.
Al Pacino – early life
When he was still just a toddler, Pacino’s parents separated. His father moved to California, while Al stayed on the east coast to be raised by his mother and grandparents.
“My grandfather, James Gerardi, taught me about work,” Pacino told The Guardian.
“He was a plasterer, and work – any kind of work – was the joy of his life. So I grew up wanting to – it’s what I’ve always chased. The joy of work is what keeps me going.
“The conclusion of my teachers was that I needed a dad. I wasn’t an out-of-control teenager, but I was close. My parents divorced when I was two, and my father wasn’t in my life from then. I wanted to be different with my children.”
Pacino learned the value and importance of hard work, and in his early teenage years, a new interest would present itself when he became very interested in acting,
His grandmother often took him to the movies as a young kid, and Pacino loved it. His mother also encouraged his interest in film, theater, and acting. When he was 13, he starred in a school production of Home Sweet Homicide. At that point, people had already noticed that he was a great raw talent; someone even told his mother that he was the next Marlon Brando.
However, when Pacino was 16, his mother had to stop working because she got sick.
Negativity about his acting
That meant Al had to step up to help the family bring in money – this sparked the beginning of a bad relationship with his mother.
“My mother had to stop working because of her health, and I had to support her. It was then that she took a realistic look at my prospects and became very negative about my acting,” he told the Los Angeles Times in 1973.
What followed was Al going through one job after the other without getting paid accordingly.
“I couldn’t hold a job for long, I kept telling my mother I’d soon be doing something big, that I’d met a person who was going to make me a real draftsman. I said that because I thought ‘draftsman’ sounded very important to me. But she never believed me,” he added.
Pacino was accepted into the High School of Performing Arts. However, he wasn’t the most excellent of students and, due to poor grades and failing classes, he decided to drop out at the age of 17.
After working a series of smaller jobs, Pacino went to school once again to study theater at Herbert Berghof Studio. He got some roles in off-Broadway productions, while in 1966, he was accepted into the Actors Studio.
Studying at the prestigious school led to many opportunities for Pacino. At 28 years of age, he starred in the 1969 Broadway show Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?, for which he won a Tony Award for best supporting actor in a play.
Al Pacino – Michael in ‘The Godfather’
As the 1970s approached, Pacino switched from the stage to the screen. He starred as the lead character in The Panic in Needle Park in 1971, but that wouldn’t be remembered as his big breakthrough. No, that would come a year later, after Pacino was cast as Michael Corleone in the now-legendary film, The Godfather.
At the time, he was still a little-known New York actor. However, The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola loved him.
“It just seemed so outrageous. Here I am, talking to somebody who I think is flipped out. I said, what train am I on? OK. Humor the guy. And he wanted me to do Michael. I thought, OK, I’ll go along with this. I said, yes, Francis, good. You know how they talk to you when you’re slipping? They say, ‘Yes! Of course! Yes!’ But he wasn’t. It was the truth. And then I was given the part,” Pacino said in an interview with The New York Times.
The Godfather became a legendary flick, and is still to this day considered one of the – if not the – role Al Pacino is most known for.
It’s one of the most iconic films to ever come out of Hollywood – and Al Pacino became hugely famous because of it. However, the man himself admitted that his entry into the Hollywood celebrity life wasn’t what he expected or wanted.
“It’s hard to explain in today’s world — to explain who I was at that time and the bolt of lightning that it was,” Pacino explained.
“I felt like, all of a sudden, some veil was lifted, and all eyes were on me. Of course, they were on others in the film. But The Godfather gave me a new identity that was hard for me to cope with.”
Gave up drinking in 1977
Pacino scored his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Unfortunately, he didn’t attend the fancy gala.
Instead, Pacino explained that he skipped the ceremony because he was “somewhat, more or less, rebellious” at the time.
“I did go back for others. But I didn’t go to them early on. It was the tradition,” Pacino told the New York Times, adding that Marlon Brando took it one step farther when he actually “gave back the Oscar.”
Many might think that Pacino was surely one of the happiest men in the world following the success of The Godfather. Sadly, though, he had endured some very tragic times. His mother and grandfather both died within a year of each other, leading to what was, as Pacino described it, the “lowest point” of his life.
Not only did the deaths bring him a lot of grief at the time, but they stuck with him for years.
“I was 22, and the two most influential people in my life had gone, so that sent me into a tailspin,” Pacino recalled.
“I lost the 70s in a way, but then I gave up drinking in 1977 and decided to focus on the work.”
Despite the unfortunate event, Pacino continued working and appeared in many classics. He appeared in The Godfather sequel – for which he was nominated for an Academy Award once again – Serpico, and the critically acclaimed Justice for All.
In 1983, he took his next step towards Hollywood immortality by starring as Tony Montana in the legendary film Scarface.
Al Pacino – family, partner, children, net worth
Though the film didn’t score the biggest and most prestigious awards, Pacino’s portrayal of Tony Montana was, for lack of a better word, special. To this day, it’s one of the most quoted films of all time.
Pacino continued to appear in many films, including the 1990 films Dick Tracy and The Godfather 3. In 1992, the seven-time Academy Award-nominated actor won his first Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in Scent of a Woman.
Moreover, Pacino starred in classics such as Donnie Brasco, and more recently appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Pacino has also worked with legendary actor Robert De Niro many times. The pair reunited for the critically acclaimed 2019 film The Irishmen, directed by Martin Scorsese.
All told, Al Pacino is said to have a net worth of around $120 million.
Besides his fantastic acting career, Pacino has also created his own family. He has three children, including a set of twins. However, things have been quite complicated surrounding his private life.
Al Pacino is, in fact, quite a rarity in Hollywood, as he’s never been married. Over the years, the legendary actor has been romantically linked to several actresses.
In the 1980s, Al dated acting coach Jan Tarrant, with whom he welcomed his first child, Julie Marie, in 1989. The couple raised her in New York City, and she followed her father into the entertainment industry, working as a director and producer.
Hefty legal battle
Al Pacino and Tarrant eventually separated. In 1997, he met Beverley D’Angelo. The two got involved romantically, and it took mere months before they knew that they wanted to have children together.
Both were in their 40s at the time. At the age of 49, D’Angelo delivered their fraternal twins.
“After we’d known each other for three months, [Al] looked me in the eyes and said, ‘I want you to be the mother of my children.’ That’s all I had to hear,” Beverley D’Angelo told Closer.
In 2001, Anton James and Olivia Rose were born. Unfortunately, Pacino and D’Angelo’s romance didn’t last long after.
“I got pregnant at 48, delivered six weeks after I was 49, and by 51, I was looking at a landscape as a single parent,” she added.
Pacino and D’Angelo separation actually ended up devolving into a sour custody battle.
Pacino’s lawyer famously accused D’Angelo of treating the toddlers “like hostages.” The NY Post reported at the time that Pacino filed for joint custody of the twins and cut off D’Angelo’s $50,000-a-month in unofficial palimony after she told him that she was moving the twins back to her native Los Angeles from New York.
While the former pair experienced their ups and downs during the custody battle, they eventually put their differences aside to co-parent as successfully as possible.
Kids changed my perspective
Today, Pacino spends time both in New York City and in Los Angeles to stay close to his children. Though they have managed to remain outside of the public eye for most of their lives, visiting a restaurant with their father is quite the opposite.
“I’ve learned to live without anonymity. I haven’t been in a grocery store or subway for years. It’s hard for my children to go out publicly with me,” Al Pacino told The Guardian.
“Fame is different now than it was 20 years ago – I don’t know what the hell it is now! If I have a rare time of being somewhere and not being recognized, it’s a luxury.
“Kids changed my perspective. Before I had my three, I’d walk around in my own head, not noticing anything. Acting used to be everything; now, because of them, it’s just a small part.”
At the same time, Pacino has decided to keep his life very private. He doesn’t speak about his family that much, though he did once say that he’s trying to learn from the mistakes he made as a father.
“I’ll tell you why — out of mistakes, and I’ve made plenty, I’ve learned,” Al explained to Closer in 2015. “Mistakes aren’t quite mistakes unless you slip off a roof. Then you can’t come back.”
Al Pacino is a true legend in Hollywood who now devotes his time to his children.
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