With an enduring career marked by triumphant brilliance, Oscar winning actor Alfredo James Pacino (1940- ) was born on this day in New York City and raised by his grandparents.
Intense and passionate with eyes that window his actor's soul, Pacino discovered acting almost immediately, emulating movie stars as a child and appearing in school plays. His nickname growing up became "The Actor."
Calling himself an "emotional athlete," he once explained how "success, making it, didn't matter." What mattered to him was the involvement... the craft of acting.
Enroll at the Herbert Berghof Studio, Pacino he trained with acting coach Charlie Laughton and at the prestigious Actors Studio. His first film was 1969's Me, Natalie.
"Never show your emotion. It reveals your weakness. Never hate your enemy. It affects your judgment," he said as Michael Corleone in The Godfather. Pacino earned $35,000 for his remarkable portrayal; a bit less than the millions he garnishes today.
After eight nominations, he finally won a Best Actor Oscar in 1983 for his portrayal of the blind, embittered retired army colonel Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman. A moment of cinema magic was Slade's "impromptu" tango with actress Gabrielle Anwar's character. Hope in the dance, a metaphor for life.
"No mistakes in tango," Slade pontificated, jubilantly celebrating the triumph of the human spirit.
No mistakes, either, in the enduring triumph of Al Pacino's acting career.
There is triumph in endurance.