The Kennedy Center

Al Pacino


Actor and director Al Pacino is a unique and enduring figure in the world of American stage and film.  Born in East Harlem, he grew up in New York City's South Bronx and studied performing arts until the age of 17 when he moved on to study acting.
He began to draw notice on the stage, honing his craft while working in numerous theatrical productions, including off-Broadway performances that led to multiple off-Broadway Obie Awards and his first Tony Award(r) by 1969. Pacino continued appearing onstage in the 1970s, picking up another Tony Award(r) while landing his first leading part in a feature film in 1971. It was the following year that Francis Ford Coppola selected him to take on the breakthrough role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather. He was nominated for an Academy Award(r) for his work on The Godfather and within the next six years he received another four Academy Award(r) nominations for the films Serpico, The Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon, and …And Justice For All.
A long and rich film career has followed with more than 45 titles including Scarface, Sea of Love, The Insider, Donnie Brasco, Heat (where he shared the screen for the first time with fellow film icon Robert DeNiro), and Any Given Sunday. He garnered two additional Academy Award(r) nominations and in 1992 won the Academy Award(r) for Best Actor in Scent of a Woman. He played Shylock in Michael Radford's film adaptation of The Merchant of Venice, meanwhile receiving another Tony Award(r) nomination for Best Leading Actor for playing the same role on stage. His credits also include directing and starring in multiple works, while also dominating on the small screen in a variety of unforgettable HBO and other television roles. He garnered Golden Globe(r) and Emmy(r) nominations for his performances, as well as the Golden Globe(r) Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement in Motion Pictures, the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award, and in 2011 the National Medal of Arts from President Obama.
Al Pacino