Alfred James 'Al' Pacino established himself as an actor in the 1970s, probably cinema's most vibrant decade. With 49 films under his belt and a career spanning more than half a century, his portrayal of iconic characters such as Sonny Wortzik (Dog Day Afternoon), Tony Montana (Scarface), and Michael Corleone (Godfather) has definitely withstood the test of time.
While some critics disapprove of his somewhat over-the-top acting style, no one can deny that he is one of the finest actors to grace the stage and the screen. Let's look at some of the achievements and net worth of one of Hollywood's most outspoken proponents of method acting.
Born on April 25, 1940, in Manhattan, New York, his parents would divorce when he was two. He would move to the Bronx along with his mother to live with his grandparents. He would begin drinking and smoking at age 9 and was a marijuana user by the time he was 13. He would soon attend Herman Ridder Junior High School. An unremarkable student, the young Pacino would drop out of most of his classes except for English. The bored Pacino would re-enact the plots and voices of characters he had seen in the movies to entertain himself and his friends. He would subsequently attend the High School for Performing Arts after passing the school audition, but an argument with his mother led to him leaving home. To finance his acting studies, he would take on odd jobs such as janitor, messenger, clerk, and bus boy.
He found refuge in school plays where his interest would blossom into a full-time career. These were lean years for the budding actor who would sometimes have to borrow bus fare to make it to auditions. He would eventually make it to the prestigious Actors Studio where he would study method acting with Lee Strasberg. It would prove to be a turning point in his life.
While Pacino enjoys an illustrious career as a stage actor, it's his portrayal of sociopathic heroes that truly made his name. After a brief appearance in the independent film, Me, Natalie in 1969, he would debut as a lead actor in the movie 'The Panic in Needle Park.' An adaption of the 1966 novel by James Mills, Pacino would play Bobby, a heroin addict and hustler who falls in love with a homeless girl and eventually turns her into heroin. His keen performance caught the attention of director Francis Ford Coppola, who would soon cast him as Michael Corleone in 'The Godfather.'
The film became a monster hit, catapulting Pacino's career overnight and earning him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Now able to choose his acting roles, he would pick tough and challenging parts, beginning with 'Scarecrow' and 'Serpico' both from 1973 and 1975's 'Dog Day Afternoon,' a tragic real-life robbery film.
Pacino would continue to play difficult characters, but none more over-the-top than Tony Montana in Scarface. His truly disturbing performance would earn him Best Actor for Motion Picture Drama in the 1984 Golden Globe Awards. Here's a list of the rest of the actor's awards:
Obie - Best Actor, The Indian Wants the Bronx (1968)
Tony - Best Featured Actor in a Play, Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? (1969)
Drama Desk - Outstanding Solo Performance, Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? (1969)
Theater World - Best Debut, Does a Tiger Wear a Necklace? (1969)
The National Fim Critics - Best Actor, The Godfather (1972)
National Board of Review - Best Actor, The Godfather (1972)
David di Donatello Award - Best Foreign Actor, The Godfather (1973)
National Board of Review - Best Actor, Serpico (1973)
Golden Globe - Best Actor, Serpico (1974)
David di Donatello - Best Foreign Actor, Serpico (1974)
Los Angeles Film Critics Association - Best Actor, Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
BAFTA - Best Actor in a Leading Role, Godfather: Part II (1976)
BAFTA - Best Actor in a Leading Role, Dog Day Afternoon, (1976)
Drama Desk - Outstanding Actor, The Basic Training of Pablo Hummel (1977)
Tony - Best Actor in a Play, The Basic Training of Pablo Hummel (1977)
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival - Best Actor, ...And Justice for All (1980)
American Comedy - Best Supporting Actor in a Film, Dick Tracy (1991)
Valladolid International Film Festival - Best Actor, Glengarry Glen Rose (1992)
Golden Globe - Best Actor, Scent of a Woman (1993)
AMPAS - Best Actor, Scent of a Woman (1993)
Golden Lion - Lifetime Achievement Award (1994)
Gotham - Lifetime Achievement Award (1996)
Directors Guild - Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentaries, Looking for Richard (1997)
Screen Actors Guild - Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or miniseries, Angels in America (2004)
AFI - Lifetime Achievement Award (2007
Golden Globe - Best Performance, You Don't Know Jack (2011)
Screen Actors Guild - Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series, You Don't Know Jack, 2011
Kennedy Center Honors - Lifetime Contribution to American Culture (2016)
Family and Net Worth
While the actor remains unmarried, he has had several long-lasting relationships and has three children. He currently lives in Beverly Hills, California, and New York City and prefers to rent than own property. The Hollywood icon has a net worth of $120 million.