Biography of Al Pacino

Al Pacino is known primarily as an actor, but has also ventured into film directing, with docudramas investigating the meaning and significance of plays, such as Looking for Richard and Wilde Salome. As an actor, he has won an Academy Award, Tony Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Emmy Awards. Aside from his docudramas, he also directed a film called Chinese Coffee in 2000, an adaptation of an Ira Lewis play that was screened at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Pacino was born in New York City and raised in the Bronx, by a single mother and his grandparents. He took an early interest in acting and the arts, eventually gaining admission to the Actors Studio, where he began studying the Method with Lee Strasberg. He soon began working in theater, before making his film debut in Me, Natalie.

After having established himself as one of the preeminent stage and film actors, Pacino decided to make his own film about acting. Looking for Richard, released in 1996, takes a closer look at the Shakespeare play Richard III, a play in which he had performed numerous times. Looking for Richard was screened at the Sundance Film Festival and Cannes.

Each of Pacino's directing efforts are examinations of his role as an actor. In Looking for Richard, he not only researches the classic play, but he embodies the character of Richard III. In Chinese Coffee, Pacino plays a character he played on Broadway years before. And in Wilde Salome, he takes on the role of Herod in Oscar Wilde's Salome, opposite Jessica Chastain.

Study Guides on Works by Al Pacino

Looking for Richard is a 1996 film directed by Oscar-winning Hollywood actor Al Pacino. It is an exploration of Pacino's love for Shakespeare, particularly Shakespeare's Richard III, and it playfully intersperses documentary-style interviews with...