A method actor and former student of the HB Studio and the Actors Studio in New York City, where he was taught by Charlie Laughton and Lee Strasberg, Pacino made his feature film debut with a minor role in Me, Natalie (1969) and gained favorable notices for his lead role as a heroin addict in The Panic in Needle Park (1971). He achieved international acclaim and recognition for his breakthrough role as Michael Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather (1972). He received his first Oscar nomination and would reprise the role in the equally successful sequels The Godfather Part II (1974) and The Godfather Part III (1990). Pacino's performance as Michael Corleone is now regarded as one of the greatest screen performances in film history.
Pacino received his first Best Actor Oscar nomination for Serpico (1973); he was also nominated for The Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon (1975) and ...And Justice for All (1979) and won the award in 1993 for his performance as a blind Lieutenant Colonel in Scent of a Woman (1992). For his performances in The Godfather, Dick Tracy (1990) and Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), Pacino was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Other notable roles include Tony Montana in Scarface (1983), Carlito Brigante in Carlito's Way (1993), Lieutenant Vincent Hanna in Heat (1995), Benjamin Ruggiero in Donnie Brasco (1997), Lowell Bergman in The Insider (1999) and Detective Will Dormer in Insomnia (2002). In television, Pacino has acted in several productions for HBO including the miniseries Angels in America (2003) and the Jack Kevorkian biopic You Don't Know Jack (2010), both of which won him the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.
In addition to his work in film, Pacino has had an extensive career on stage and is a two-time Tony Award winner, in 1969 and 1977, for his performances in Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? and The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel respectively. A lifelong fan of Shakespeare, Pacino directed and starred in Looking for Richard (1996), a documentary film about the play Richard III, a role which Pacino had earlier portrayed on-stage in 1977. He has also acted as Shylock in a 2004 feature film adaptation and a 2010 production of The Merchant of Venice. Having made his filmmaking debut with Looking for Richard, Pacino has also directed and starred in the independent film Chinese Coffee (2000) and the films Wilde Salomé (2011) and Salomé (2013), about the play Salomé by Oscar Wilde. Since 1994, Pacino has been the joint president of the Actors Studio with Ellen Burstyn and Harvey Keitel.