Al Pacino has become one of Hollywood’s biggest stars since his breakthrough performance in the Godfather series.
The Bronx native had always wanted to be an actor and now has a special place in cinema history. In addition to his highly successful acting career, he has three children and has been in several difficult relationships despite never having married.
The 81-year-old celebrity has also recently spoken out about the negative effects of fame on his health.
Few would argue that Al Pacino is one of the most famous actors in history.
Al Pacino was born in New York City on April 25, 1940. Al was the only child of Sicilian-Italian immigrants.
Pacino’s parents divorced when he was a young child. Al was raised on the east coast by his mother and grandparents while his father moved to California.
“My grandfather, James Gerardi, taught me about work,” Pacino told The Guardian.
He worked as a plasterer and enjoyed all types of work. “So it’s what I’ve always wanted to do and what I’ve always wanted to do. I keep working because I enjoy it.”
“My teachers concluded that I required a father figure. I wasn’t an utterly out-of-control adolescent, but I was close. My parents divorced when I was two years old, and my father stopped being a part of my life. I wanted to be different from my children.”
Pacino discovered the value and significance of perseverance, and during his early adolescence, he developed a strong interest in acting. Al was accepted into the High School of Performing Arts, but he wasn’t the best student, and as a result of failing classes and low grades, he decided to drop out at 17.
After working in several low-paying jobs, Pacino returned to school to pursue a theater degree at Herbert Berghof Studio. After a few off-Broadway roles, he was accepted into the Actors Studio in 1966.
As a result of his attendance at the prestigious institution, Pacino has a plethora of options. When he was 28 years old, he played the title role in the Broadway production of Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?, for which he received the Tony Award for best supporting actor in a play.
As the 1970s approached, Pacino made the transition from stage to screen. Although he played the title role in The Panic in Needle Park in 1971, it was not his breakthrough performance. Not until a year later, Pacino had already been cast as Michael Corleone in the now-iconic film The Godfather.
Al Pacino reaped the rewards of fame, including award nominations and critical acclaim for portraying Michael Corleone in the Godfather films.
“In today’s world, it’s difficult to express who I was at the time and what a lightning bolt it was,” Pacino said, adding:
“It was as if a veil had been lifted, and all eyes were on me. Of course, they were on others in the film. However, The Godfather gave me a new persona to which I struggled to adapt.”
The star struggled to cope with his level of celebrity. Despite Lee Strasberg’s advice, Pacino had difficulty “adjusting to his new existence” at the time.
“I went through a few things. I went to therapy five days a week for 25 years,” Pacino said in an interview for The Hollywood Reporter’s “Awards Chatter” podcast.
He went on to say that while preparing for the first Godfather sequel, he was aware that his character, Michael Corleone, would be dealing with depression as well.
Following the success of The Godfather, many people might have assumed that Pacino was one of the happiest men on the planet. Unfortunately, he had been through some very tragic circumstances. Both his mother and grandfather died within a year of each other, bringing Pacino to the “lowest point” of his life.
The deaths not only caused him great grief at the time, but they also haunted him for years.
“It drove me into a spiral” when the two most important people in his life died when he was 22, Pacino recalled.
“I missed the 1970s, but in 1977, I quit drinking and decided to focus on my job.”
In another film at the time called The Humbling, Pacino was drawn to the “tragic fall” of his character, an aging actor who fell in love with a younger woman. In a statement, the actor explained the role:
“As the character gets older, the sentiments he once had for his job become less accessible to him, so he tries to compensate and gets a little off and confused and slips into a type of despair that reflects itself in his work,” the author explained.
Pacino has appeared in several mafia-themed films alongside contemporaries such as Joe Pesci, Marlon Brando, and Robert De Niro. Pacino considers himself fortunate that his situation has not deteriorated further, as many celebrities have suffered catastrophic or disastrous outcomes due to the despair frequently associated with celebrities.
When asked about depression at the Venice Film Festival in 2014, the 81-year-old said, “I probably have been, and I’m glad I don’t know about it, but now that you mention it, maybe I’ll think about it and be depressed.”
People suffer from depression, which is both sad and terrifying. “I’ve had similar episodes in the past, but nothing as severe. I consider myself fortunate and fortunate to have been spared.”
Depression, a mental health disorder, can impact a person’s regular activities and occupations. Al Pacino has battled mental illness for many years and has seen this firsthand.
In the 1980s, the actor decided to work on fewer films. “It was beneficial to me,” he said. “It appealed to me. However, as it turns out, the money runs out.”
Al Pacino is a true American treasure. A fantastic performer who has been doing it for a while but remains humble and down to earth. I’ll never forget seeing him for the first time in The Godfather!