Al Pacino

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Actor, producer, director. Born Alfredo James Pacino, on April 25, 1940, in New York City. Pacino▓s father left the family when Alfredo was an infant, and the young boy was raised by his mother and Sicilian grandparents in Manhattan▓s notoriously tough area of East Harlem. An avid moviegoer, Pacino was known around the neighborhood for his dead-on impersonations of film legends. As a teenager he held various odd jobs, including theater usher and building superintendent. However, Pacino aspired for more creative pursuits and soon enrolled in New York▓s Herbert Berghof Studio, where he flourished in drama and the arts. At the age of 17, Pacino relocated to the Greenwich Village area, which served as New York▓s hub for performing arts in the 1950s and 1960s. Shortly after, he landed his first part in the stage production Hello Out There, which was directed by his mentor and friend Charles Laughton.

In the mid 1960s, he worked as an actor at CafИ La Mama and The Living Theatre, where he enjoyed a steady stream of supporting roles and bit parts. Pacino went on to study under Lee Strasberg at the famed Actors Studio. He adopted the Method-acting approach (described as a technique by which an actor seeks to gain complete identification with the personality he or she is portraying), which would later influence his portrayal of some of cinema▓s most complex characters. During the late ▒60s, Pacino worked with the Charles Playhouse in Boston, where he appeared in a number of productions including America Hurrah and Awake and Sing (both 1967). In 1968, Pacino returned to New York and made his off-Broadway debut in the one-act play The Indian Wants the Bronx, for which he earned a Best Actor Obie Award. He soon graduated to Broadway, where he appeared in Does...