Alfredo James 'Al' Pacino was born on April 25, 1940, in East Harlem, Manhattan, as the son ofSalvatore Alfred Pacino and Rose Pacino (née Gerardi) who divorce when he was two yearsold. His father moved to Covina, California, working as an insurance salesman and owner ofPacino's Lounge restaurant (which closed in 1992), and his mother moved to the South Bronx.The young Al Pacino's acting interest soon blossomed into a full-time career. He dropped out ofschool at the age of 17, then attended a High School of Performing Arts, a division of theFiorello H. La Guardia High School of Music and the Arts in New York City. During his earlydays of acting career pursue, Pacino went through a lengthy period of depression and poverty.To finance his acting studies he worked at any low-paying jobs, including janitor, messengerboy, and postal clerk, but was frequently unemployed and homeless, and sometimes had tosleep on the street, in theaters or at friends' houses. He also sometimes having to borrow busfare to make it to auditions.In 1962, his mother died at age 43. Thefollowing year, his grandfather, James Gerardi(who originated from Corleone, Sicily), alsodied.Pacino then joined the Herbert Berghof Studio(HB Studio), where he met acting teacherCharlie Laughton, who became his mentor andbest friend. In 1966, Pacino studying underlegendary acting coach Lee Strasberg, creatorof the Method Approach that would become thetrademark of many '70s-era actors, and wholater became his co-star in the Godfather part IIas jewish gangster Hyman Roth.In 1968, Pacino starred in Israel Horovitz's The Indian Wants the Bronx at the Astor PlaceTheater. Pacino won an Obie Award for Best Actor for his role, with John "Fredo Corleone"Cazale winning for Best Supporting actor.Pacino made his Broadway theatre debut on February 25, 1969 in Don Petersen's Does a TigerWear a Necktie? at the Belasco Theater. Pacino won the Tony Award for his role on April 20,1969. During the same year he also made a brief screen appearance in an independent film Me,Natalie, released on July 1969.Pacino's role in 1971 film The Panic in Needle Park bring him to the attention of Francis FordCoppola, who cast him as Michael Corleone in The Godfather. Pacino's great performance inThe Godfather earned him an Academy Award nomination for the Supporting Acting award, buthe boycotted the 45th Academy Awards, noting that he had more screen time than MarlonBrando.