Al Pacino celebrates his 80th birthday on April 25, 1940. The Oscar-winning actor has starred in dozens of classics throughout his nearly 50 year career, from his star-making breakthrough in “The Godfather” (1972) to his late-career triumph in “The Irishman” (2019). And he shows no signs of slowing down in his old age, recently taking on a starring role in Amazon Prime’s new series “Hunters.” In honor of his birthday, celebrate by taking a tour through our photo gallery of Pacino’s 25 greatest films, ranked worst to best.
Though an acting legend, it took Pacino 20 years and eight nominations to finally cash in his Oscar I.O.U. for “Scent of a Woman” (Best Actor, 1992). Prior to that he competed for “The Godfather” (Best Supporting Actor, 1972), “Serpico” (Best Actor, 1973), “The Godfather, Part II” (Best Actor, 1974), “Dog Day Afternoon” (Best Actor, 1975), “… And Justice for All” (Best Actor, 1979), “Dick Tracy” (Best Supporting Actor, 1990) and “Glengarry Glen Ross” (Best Supporting Actor, 1992), but he didn’t win any of those bids.
Surprisingly, his 1992 noms for “Scent of a Woman” and “Glengarry Glen Ross” were followed by a long Academy drought, despite additional critically acclaimed performances in “Heat” (1995), “Donnie Brasco” (1997), “The Insider” (1999) and “Insomnia” (2002). During that time, he became a TV favorite with Emmy-winning turns in “Angels in America” (2003) and “You Don’t Know Jack” (2010), earning an additional bid for “Phil Spector” (2013).
That all changed with Martin Scorsese‘s intimate mob epic “The Irishman,” in which he plays bombastic Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa. The role brought him his first Oscar nomination in 27 years, plus additional Supporting Actor bids at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice, BAFTA and SAG. As well, Pacino competed against himself that year in SAG Ensemble for both “The Irishman” and Quentin Tarantino‘s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Not bad for a guy who hadn’t been welcomed back into the academy’s loving arms for nearly three decades.
Take a look through our gallery of Pacino’s greatest films, including a few for which he should’ve received Oscar nominations.