Life on the Wire

Andrew Yule, Author Dutton Books $22.95 (322p) ISBN 978-1-55611-274-4
Abandoned by his father shortly after birth in 1940 and ``dropped off'' with his maternal grandparents for several years, actor Al Pacino attributes both his drive and restlessness to his early childhood experiences. After leaving his Bronx, N.Y., home, he spent more than a decade on his own, holding a variety of odd jobs, struggling to make it as an actor. His break came with The Godfather in 1972; he cemented his reputation with leading roles in the two Godfather sequels, Scarface , Serpico and Dog Day Afternoon . Yule ( Fast Fade: David Puttnam, Columbia Pictures and the Battle for Hollywood ) relies primarily on interviews with Pacino's associates and material from other journalists to fill out this breezy biography. Covered are such matters as Pacino's ``rivalry'' with Dustin Hoffman and his liaisons with actresses Diane Keaton and Jill Clayburgh. Yule also quotes Pacino at length, lending evidence to the accepted wisdom that little is more tiresome than a Method actor talking about acting. For example, Pacino observes, ``Doing a play like Richard III is being involved with words, with where we're from.'' Photos not seen by PW . (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
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