The Al Pacino Road: From College Drop-Out To Legendary Actor

Once the Godfather became a blockbuster, there was no turning back for the Hollywood star Al Pacino. One of the most remarkable Hollywood stars, he has had a long and successful career in the film industry. He began his career on the theater stage, and later his talent was showcased on the big screen. The legend, today, is the owner of a multi-million dollar fortune, but to get to the pinnacle of success, he had a lot of obstacles to cross. When he decided to drop out of education, he was pretty much on his own. He braved the storm and emerged victorious, setting an example for millions.

Here is how Al Pacino became one of the most legendary actors in the movie industry.

The Humble Beginnings Of Al Pacino

Born Alfredo James Pacino in East Harlem Manhattan on April 25th, 1940, Al Pacino did not have a smooth, nurturing childhood from the very start. Adversities entered his life the moment his parents got divorced when he was two years old. As a result, he had to move with his mother to the Bronx, where his maternal grandparents resided.

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For his schooling, Pacino got enrolled at the Herman Ridder Junior High school. From the very beginning, he was not very fond of going to school as his teachers kept mentioning that it resulted from the absence of a father figure in his life. He was not the brightest student and scored poorly in all the subjects except for English. Pacino decided to audition for the High School of Performing Arts and got accepted immediately. His mother was upset about the fact that he did not score good grades on his exams and that he had picked up an interest in theatre and acting.

The Trial Before Success

Things got financially more difficult for the young Pacino when he decided to move out after an ugly argument with his mother. Little did Al Pacino or his mother knew at that point that getting invested in acting would change his life forever.

In the beginning, he earned a living for himself by taking odd jobs like that of a busboy, janitor, or messenger. Despite everything he did to make a living, he found himself without food in his belly or a roof over his head. He even tried to participate in any acting gig he could land, like in the basement plays conducted by New York City’s underground theatre circuit.

This period in his life can be called one of his ‘darkest’ phases. He got rejected several times when he auditioned for acting companies until he got selected by HB Studio, where Charlie Laughton became Pacino’s mentor and best buddy. He spent about four years with HB studio, and it can be said that he learned his basics there. Soon he got accepted into the Actors Studio, which was one of his first achievements in life as the studio was famous for making the careers of some of the best professional actors in the world. His second achievement was learning the art of method acting from the famous Lee Strasberg.

Following this, Al Pacino had a short but successful career as a theater artist. He worked for a season in 1967 in the play Awake And Sing! in a Boston Playhouse, for which he received payment of about $125 every week. The following year, he also starred in the play The Indian Wants The Bronx by Israel Horovitz, which ran for 177 performances. This historical theatre performance landed him his iconic role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather movies as he caught the eye of the entertainment manager Martin Bergman.

His Path Of Becoming A Hollywood Legend

The first movie that Al Pacino ever acted in was Me, Natalie, and the year was 1969. Following this, he also acted in The Panic in Needle Park. His performances caught the attention of filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, and the next best thing that happened to Pacino was landing his role in The Godfather movie franchise. This was just the beginning of his legend.

Some other classics that Pacino performed following the success of The Godfather were Serpico, And Justice For All, and Dog Day Afternoon. That was not all, Pacino also showed his magic in the second and third parts of the Godfather movies, which became a success arc in itself. He also made huge money from these movies – it started with $35000 in 1972 with the first movie, and by the third movie, he was making about $5 million.

Some of his other roles in movies like Dick Tracey, Scent Of A Woman, The Devil’s Advocate, Any Given Sunday, Insomnia, Phil Spector, Paterno, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, and The Irishman are also fondly remembered. Pacino received an Oscar nomination for ‘Best Supporting Actor’ for his role in Dick Tracey. As per his deal with HBO, the legendary star is entitled to receive a $10 million paycheck for any role in the production house’s movie. However, this increased even further, and he took home $20 million for his performance in the recent Netflix movie The Irishman.

The 81-year old actor has amassed not only massive fame and recognition but also a considerable fortune. He has a jaw-dropping net fortune of $120 million. More than two decades of a legendary acting career has earned the actor a lavish life. He lives in his homes in New York City and Beverly Hills.

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Source: Britannica, Celebrity Net Worth, Brain Pick

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