It was Pacino's intense work as a junkie in The Panic in Needle Park (1971) that convinced director Francis Coppola to hire the then-unknown to play Mafia heir Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972). The young actor became an overnight sensation, reprising the part in two sequels.
Thus began a string of critical and popular hits for Pacino, among them Serpico (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), And Justice for All (1979) and Dick Tracy (1990). He racked up a whopping eight Oscar nominations before winning the statuette for 1992's Scent of a Woman. Pacino later scored Golden Globe and Emmy wins for his turn as the controversial Jack Kevorkian in the HBO biopic You Don't Know Jack (2010).