Oscar to raspberry

Al Pacino (80) is one of the greatest character mimes the dream factory has ever produced. At 1.70 is not the height of the actor born exactly 80 years ago (April 25, 1940) in New York. The fact that “The Godfather” by Francis Ford Coppola (81) should be the initial spark of his unprecedented career is not surprising to superstitious cineastes – because like his professional success, Pacino’s life can be traced back to the name Corleone.

Born in Sicily, more precisely in the city of Corleone – we are talking about Alfredo James “Al” Pacino’s father. Salvatore Pacino later went to the United States for a job as an insurance salesman, where he met his future wife Rose. But today’s world star didn’t get much from his old man. After his parents divorced, Pacino was only two at the time, he moved with his mother from Manhattan to the South Bronx, where his Sicilian grandparents also lived.

Success was initially a foreign word to Pacino. Problematic youth, finally thrown out of school at 17, poor salary as a card reader and usher in theaters. Difficult to say where Pacino would have gone if it hadn’t been for a huge passion – for acting. Today’s birthday child attended a total of three drama schools and subsequently made a name for himself as a theater actor.

Relatively late, at the age of 29, Pacino made his film debut in 1969 in the comedy drama “Ich, Natalie”. However, due to the purgatory purging that sometimes lasted for decades with other stars, he did not have to torment himself before the breakthrough was waiting for him. Just over two years after the screen premiere in 1972, Pacino as Michael Corleone, director Francis Ford Coppola, the insane genius Marlon Brando (1924-2004) and the three-hour gangster epic “The Godfather” erected a cinematic monument . One that was expanded impressively by the two sequels in 1974 and 1990.

Pacino’s most memorable roles are all those in which he tramples the law. In addition to “The Godfather” Brian De Palmas (79) “Scarface” must of course be mentioned, in which opponents are treated with chainsaws and as Tony Montana he seems to use more swear words than the gangster rap genre collected. Not to forget the legendary sentence “My little friend is waiting for you!” (“Say hello to my little friend!”) And even in “Dog Days” (1975) Pacino is not so righteous, in 1997 he even took on the role of the bodily – “On behalf of the devil”.

“Better to govern in hell than to serve in heaven”? Not quite, often enough, Pacino found himself on the right side of the law. As an idealistic lawyer in “… and justice for all” (1979), for example, or as sometimes more (“Serpico”, 1973), sometimes less righteous cop (“Insomnia”, 2002) – even his own “godfather” dad Robert De Niro (76) put the criminal craft in “Heat” (1995). Pacino’s tendency to represent the canvas law – or just to kick it – continues to this day. As a corrupt Jimmy Hoffa, he excelled in Martin Scorsese’s (77) “The Irishman” (again alongside De Niro) in 2019, and since 2022 he has been chasing diabolical Nazi henchmen in his series debut “Hunters”.

Pacino was widely recognized for its range. The mime has received eight Oscar nominations to date, two of them for “The Godfather I & II”. With his only win of the gold boy to date, however, he slipped neither in police uniform nor in the gangster role, but in that of the bitter, blind war veteran in “The Scent of Women” (1992).

According to reports, Pacino almost should have played another woman whisperer – but he allegedly refused and so Richard Gere (70) ran into a “Pretty Woman” in his place. Speaking of which: Pacino also met beautiful women away from the cameras. The best evidence is his three children, a daughter with Jan Tarrant and twins with the actress and singer Beverly D’Angelo (68). Pacino was over 60 with double family growth in 2001. One thing has never been found – a ring on the Hollywood star’s finger.

Only he knows whether he sees this as a flaw in retrospective. On the other hand, there should be less doubt about the greatest embarrassment in the otherwise remarkable CV of the star. It was 2011 when Pacino made the biggest mistake in his life and took on a role in the Adam Sandler comedy “Jack and Jill”. The reward for his participation in the catastrophic work? Two golden raspberries, his so far and hopefully forever.

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