Any film buff remembers Al Pacino as Tony Montana in the 1983 classic Scarface, but many people may not know how closely the actor identified with the iconic role. No, he wasn’t a violent drug lord, but like Montana, Pacino climbed his way from very humble beginnings to a mountain of money. The legendary star profited off a highly respected body of work and continues to take on interesting roles. This fall, he’ll play Aldo Gucci alongside Lady Gaga in Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci.
So, just how lucrative has the actor’s career been? Find out Al Pacino’s net worth and learn about the biggest roles that contributed to his fortune.
Al Pacino Comes From Humble Beginnings
Pacino, 81, was born in Harlem and raised in the Bronx, New York. His father, Salvatore Pacino, split when he was just two years old. The loss affected him in ways he didn’t realize until adulthood.
“The conclusion of my teachers was that I needed a dad,” he told the Guardian in 2015. “I wasn’t an out-of-control teenager, but I was close.”
Pacino was primarily raised by his mother, Rose, and his grandparents, Kate and James Gerardi. Despite his family’s financial struggles, he saw a silver lining in his upbringing.
“We were very poor, but I was very lucky, because when things got hot, I got out of there,” the actor said in a 2018 Interview article. “I went to the streets and had adventures.”
Pacino’s adventurous spirit led him to the streets of Manhattan. He left home as a teenager after enrolling at The High School of Performing Arts. His mother disapproved of the decision, but he persisted, working odd jobs and sleeping in theaters while getting his career off the ground.
According to Men’s Health, one of Pacino’s earliest stage roles paid only $125 per week.
“It’s never been about money for me,” he explained to the Guardian. “There were times when I was young when I could have used money: after college I was often unemployed and at one time I slept in a storefront for a few days. But I’ve never been materialistic.”
The ‘Godfather’ Films Upped His Earning Potential
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Al Pacino’s breakthrough part as Michael Corleone in The Godfather paid $35,000. It was the equivalent of striking gold. He probably never could have imagined that he’d earn $500,000 (plus 10 recent of the film’s gross) for appearing in The Godfather II.
But Pacino may have gotten too big for his britches when the time had come to film The Godfather III. He reportedly demanded $7 million (plus profits off the back end), but director Francis Ford Coppola rejected the request. When Coppola threatened to rewrite the script to exclude Corleone, Pacino settled on a $5 million payday.
He made up for the $2 million loss in future projects. He was a hot commodity in the 1990s, commanding $1.5 million for the film Glengarry Glen Ross and $6 million for Carlito’s Way.
And his earning power has only increased as he’s gotten older. Since 2010, Pacino has starred in three HBO films with a payday of $10 million each: You Don’t Know Jack, Phil Spector, and Paterno.
When he starred with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in 2019’s The Irishman, it’s estimated that the actors made $20 million each.
Pacino’s name recognition also earns him big bucks on stage. In 2012, he received a record salary of $125,000 per week (plus five percent of profits) for starring in the Broadway production of Glengarry Glen Ross.
What Is Al Pacino’s Net Worth In 2021?
Al Pacino currently has an estimated net worth of $120 million.
Pacino’s money doesn’t only come from acting. He also demonstrates his commitment to the craft through related work. Since 2018, he has served as co-president of the prestigious Actors Studio—an organization for actors, directors, and playwrights. He insists that he values work more than the resulting paycheck.
“My grandfather, James Gerardi, taught me about work,” Pacino told the Guardian. “He was a plasterer and work–any kind of work–was the joy of his life. So I grew up wanting to– it’s what I’ve always chased. The joy of work is what keeps me going.”
Pacino adds that even though money isn’t a priority, his lifestyle requires him to spend it. The actor spends a good chunk of change renting multiple properties, including a New York City pad and a Beverly Hills mansion.
But gold diggers beware: he’s not quick to shell out for your luxury goods. In 2020, his ex-girlfriend Meital Dohan told Israeli magazine LaIsha that she was rarely on the receiving end of his generosity.
“He only bought me flowers,” she said. “How can you say politely that he doesn’t like to spend money?”