Alfredo “Al” James Pacino
Pacino's rise to fame came after portraying Michael Corleone in Coppola's blockbuster 1972 Mafia film The Godfather and Frank Serpico in the eponymous 1972 movie. Although numerous established actors, including Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, and a then unknown Robert De Niro, were vying to portray Michael Corleone, Coppola selected the relatively unknown Pacino. His performance earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and, by the end of the 1970s he would have three more nominations, all for Best Actor. Despite further nominations, it wasn't until 1992 that Pacino would win an Oscar, for Best Actor, for his portrayal of the irascible, retired and blind Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade in Martin Brest's Scent of a Woman.