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Al Pacino to Receive AFI Life Achievement Award

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ – Al Pacino has been selected by the American Film Institute’s (AFI) Board of Trustees to receive the 35th AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film, it was announced today by Sir Howard Stringer, chair of the AFI Board of Trustees. The award will be presented to Pacino at a gala tribute in Los Angeles on June 7, 2007.

"I am moved and honored to be considered for such a prestigious award," said Pacino.

"Al Pacino is an icon of American film," said Stringer. "He has created some of the great characters in the movies – from Michael Corleone to Tony Montana to Roy Cohn. His career inspires audiences and artists alike, with each new performance a master class for a generation of actors to follow. AFI is proud to present him with its 35th Life Achievement Award."

"Al Pacino is that rare combination of consummate craftsman and genuine star," said Bonnie Hammer, President, USA Network and SCI FI Channel. "We’re thrilled to join AFI in a celebration of his outstanding career."

USA Network will broadcast the 35th AFI Life Achievement Award tribute in June, 2007. Bob Gazzale, who served as executive producer and writer of AFI’s Tributes to George Lucas, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro and Sean Connery, will continue in these roles.

About Al Pacino

AL PACINO is an eight-time Academy Award nominee. After having received Best Actor nominations for … AND JUSTICE FOR ALL, THE GODFATHER PART II, DOG DAY AFTERNOON and SERPICO (which also earned him a Golden Globe Award), Pacino won an Oscar for Best Actor for his performance as Lt. Colonel Frank Slade in SCENT OF A WOMAN (for which he also won a Golden Globe Award).

He received three nominations as Best Supporting Actor for his roles as Michael Corleone in THE GODFATHER, DICK TRACY (he also won a 1990 American Comedy Award for this role), and in David Mamet’s screen adaptation of GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS.

In 2005, Pacino starred as Shylock in an adaptation of Shakespeare’s MERCHANT OF VENICE, directed by Michael Radford. In 2004, he won an Emmy for his portrayal of Roy Cohn in HBO’s television adaptation of Tony Kushner’s play Angels in America for director Mike Nichols. Earlier that year he was seen on-stage as King Herod in Oscar Wilde’s Salome both off-Broadway in Brooklyn and on Broadway and as Arturo Ui in Bertolt Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at Pace University.

His other recent film credits include Miramax Film’s PEOPLE I KNOW for director Dan Algrant and Disney’s THE RECRUIT in which he starred with Colin Farrell. In 2002, Pacino starred with Robin Williams and Hilary Swank in Christopher Nolan’s INSOMNIA and in writer-director Andrew Niccol’s SIMONE. In late 1999, Pacino was seen in THE INSIDER for Touchstone Pictures. In the film, he played 60 MINUTES reporter Lowell Bergman and starred opposite Russell Crowe and Christopher Plummer. Michael Mann directed this film, which received seven Academy Award nominations. Pacino also starred in Oliver Stone’s football saga, ANY GIVEN SUNDAY, where he portrayed a football coach and starred opposite Cameron Diaz, James Woods and Dennis Quaid.

In 2000, Pacino completed his second directorial effort, CHINESE COFFEE, a film in which he also stars and produced. This film is based on a play written by Ira Lewis that Pacino performed at Circle in the Square in 1992. The story revolves around a conversation between a Greenwich Village writer and his friend, as they talk about friendship, love and dreams.

He also directed and starred in LOOKING FOR RICHARD, a meditation on Shakespeare’s Richard III, which he conceived and directed (and for which he received the Outstanding Directorial Achievement for a Documentary award from the Director’s Guild of America). The film also starred Winona Ryder, Alec Baldwin and Aidan Quinn.

Pacino’s other film credits include Mike Newell’s DONNIE BRASCO, a film which co-starred Johnny Depp; THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE, with Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron; Miramax’s TWO BITS, with Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio; HEAT, with Robert De Niro and Val Kilmer, directed by Michael Mann; CITY HALL, which also starred John Cusack, Bridget Fonda and Danny Aiello; and in Brian de Palma’s CARLITO’S WAY.

Additional films include FRANKIE & JOHNNY, THE GODFATHER PART III, SEA OF LOVE, REVOLUTION, SCARFACE, AUTHOR! AUTHOR!, BOBBY DEERFIELD and SCARECROW, for which he received the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973. He made his film debut in 1971 in THE PANIC IN NEEDLE PARK.

Pacino produced, starred in and co-directed the independent film adaptation of the play The Local Stigmatic, presented in March 1990 at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Public Theatre.

After studying with Herbert Berghof and later with Lee Strasberg at the Actor’s Studio, Pacino made his professional acting debut in off-Broadway productions of The Connection and Hello, Out There. He then won an Obie Award for Israel Horovitz’s The Indian Wants The Bronx.

Pacino has won two Tony Awards for his starring roles in The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel and Does A Tiger Wear A Necktie? He is a longtime member of David Wheeler’s Experimental Theatre Company of Boston, where he has performed in Richard III and in Bertolt Brecht’s Arturo Ui. In New York and London, he acted in David Mamet’s American Buffalo. Also in New York, he appeared in Richard III and as Marc Antony in Julius Caesar at the late Joseph Papp’s Public Theatre.

During the spring and summer of 1994, Pacino appeared in repertory at Circle in the Square. He presented the New York debut of Oscar Wilde’s Salome and the premiere presentation of Ira Lewis’ Chinese Coffee. He directed and starred in Eugene O’Neill’s Hughie, which opened in early July 1996 at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, and moved to Circle in the Square in New York in mid-July where it continued its run through the end of August.

Pacino won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Independent Feature Project (IFP) at their 1996 Gotham Awards. In 2000, Pacino was honored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. He also received the Cecil B. De Mille Award by the Hollywood Foreign Press in 2001.

In late 2005, Pacino starred as Walter Abrams in Universal’s TWO FOR THE MONEY, a thriller about the high-stakes world of sports betting. The film also starred Mathew McConaughey and Rene Russo. In 2006, he reprised his role as King Herod Antipas in Oscar Wilde’s Salome at the Wadsworth Theatre in Los Angeles.

About the AFI Life Achievement Award

The highest honor given for a career in film, the AFI Life Achievement Award was established by the AFI Board of Trustees on February 26, 1973. It is presented to a single honoree each year based on the following criteria as mandated through a resolution passed by the AFI Board of Trustees:

"The recipient should be one whose talent has in a fundamental way advanced the film art; whose accomplishment has been acknowledged by scholars, critics, professional peers and the general public; and whose work has stood the test of time."

In 1993, the trustees extended the criteria to encompass "individuals with active careers and work of significance yet to be accomplished."

AFI Life Achievement Award Recipients

Al Pacino joins an esteemed group of individuals who have been chosen for this distinguished honor since its inception in 1973.

1973  John Ford

1974  James Cagney

1975  Orson Welles

1976  William Wyler

1977  Bette Davis

1978  Henry Fonda

1979  Alfred Hitchcock

1980  James Stewart

1981  Fred Astaire

1982  Frank Capra

1983  John Huston

1984  Lillian Gish

1985  Gene Kelly

1986  Billy Wilder

1987  Barbara Stanwyck

1988  Jack Lemmon

1989  Gregory Peck

1990  Sir David Lean

1991  Kirk Douglas

1992  Sidney Poitier

1993  Elizabeth Taylor

1994  Jack Nicholson

1995  Steven Spielberg

1996  Clint Eastwood

1997  Martin Scorsese

1998  Robert Wise

1999  Dustin Hoffman

2000  Harrison Ford

2001  Barbra Streisand

2002  Tom Hanks

2003  Robert De Niro

2004  Meryl Streep

2005  George Lucas

2006  Sean Connery