Pacino earns AFI Life Achievement Award

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Al Pacino has been selected by the American Film Institute's board of trustees to receive the 35th AFI Life Achievement Award, the group's highest honor for a career in film, it was announced Friday by Howard Stringer, the board's chair.

"Al Pacino is an icon of American film," Stringer said. "He has created some of the great characters in the movies--from Michael Corleone to Tony Montana to Roy Cohn. His career inspires audiences and artists alike, with each new performance a master class for a generation of actors to follow."

The award will be presented to Pacino at a gala tribute in Los Angeles on June 7, 2007. USA Network will broadcast the tribute in June with Bob Gazzle serving as executive producer and writer of the program.

Established in 1973, the annual AFI Award is given to a film artist "whose talent has in a fundamental way advanced the film art; whose accomplishment has been acknowledged by scholars, critics, professional peers and the general public; and whose work has stood the test of time." That criteria was extended in 1993 to include "individuals with active careers and work of significance yet to be accomplished."

No stranger to lifetime kudos, Pacino was honored with the 20th American Cinematheque Award last year. In 2000, he was honored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center with a gala tribute, and in 1996, he won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Independent Feature Project at its 1996 Gotham Awards.

An eight-time Academy Award nominee, Pacino won the Oscar for best actor for his performance as the blind Lt. Colonel Frank Slade in 1992's scent of a woman. He also received best actor noms for "...And Justice for All," "The Godfather Part II," "Dog Day Afternoon" and "Serpico."

In addition, he has received three best supporting actor Academy nominations for "The Godfather," "Dick Tracy" and "Glenngarry Glen Ross."

As a director Pacino has helmed "Looking for Richard" and "Chinese Coffee."

His most recent film credits include 2004's "The Merchant of Venice," in which he played Shylock, and the 2005 gambling tale "Two for the Money." He'll next be seen in two upcoming Warner Bros. Pictures releases, "88 Minutes" and "Oceans Thirteen."
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