You know Al Pacino for his iconic roles in a number of classic movies. The Godfather. Scarface. Scent of a Woman. Serpico. Any Given Sunday. The list goes on and on. But, did you also know that, before the fame, fortune, and accolades, the New York City native was arrested for attempted robbery?
It happened all the way back on January 7, 1961 in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, when Pacino was only 20 years old. He was just a young actor at the time, and along with two actor friends, Vincent J. Calcagni and Bruce Cohen, was apparently on the way to an acting job when he was detained by several police officers.
The cops had gotten suspicious when the vehicle that the three actors were traveling in circled the block multiple times. When the officers approached the car, they found the three men inside wearing black masks and gloves. Upon further inspection, the cops also found a loaded .38 caliber pistol in the backseat.
Calcagni, Cohen, and Pacino were charged with possession of a concealed weapon and eventually taken to jail.
Bail ended up being set at $2,000, but no one could afford it, so Pacino and his pals spent three days behind bars. During questioning, Pacino — who was described by the arresting officer as being “very helpful” — explained that they pistol in the trunk was actually a prop, which he and his friends needed for an acting job. Criminal charges were eventually dropped.
Now, it’s not entirely outside of the realm of possibility that Pacino would be caught in such a shady situation, considering he was something of a street kid and a troublemaker during his early teen years.
Though he eventually left that life behind him, and, following the success of his role as Michael Corleone in The Godfather in 1972, launched an acting career that would span nearly 50 years.