Al Pacino, to Publish Highly-Anticipated Memoir, SONNY BOY with Penguin Press


Penguin Press announced earlier this week that it will publish Al Pacino’s new memoir, SONNY BOY, on October 8, 2024. SONNY BOY is an astonishingly revelatory account of a creative life in full. To the wider world, Al Pacino exploded onto the scene like a supernova. He landed his first leading role, in The Panic in Needle Park, in 1971, and by 1975, he had starred in four movies—The Godfather and The Godfather Part IISerpico, and Dog Day Afternoon—that were not just successes but landmarks in the history of film. Those performances became legendary and changed his life forever. Not since Marlon Brando and James Dean in the late 1950s had an actor landed in the culture with such force. 

But Pacino was in his midthirties by then, and had already lived several lives. A fixture of avant-garde theater in New York, he had led a bohemian existence, working odd jobs to support his craft. He was raised by a fiercely loving but mentally unwell mother and her parents after his father left them when he was young, but in a real sense he was raised by the streets of the South Bronx, and by the troop of buccaneering young friends he ran with, whose spirits never left him. After a teacher recognized his acting promise and pushed him toward New York’s fabled High School of Performing Arts, the die was cast. In good times and bad, in poverty and in wealth and in poverty again, through pain and joy, acting was his lifeline, its community his tribe.  

Sonny Boy is the memoir of a man who has nothing left to fear and nothing left to hide. All the great roles, the essential collaborations, and the important relationships are given their full due, as is the vexed marriage between creativity and commerce at the highest levels. The book’s golden thread, however, is the spirit of love and purpose. Love can fail you, and you can be defeated in your ambitions—the same lights that shine bright can also dim. But Al Pacino was lucky enough to fall deeply in love with a craft before he had the foggiest idea of any of its earthly rewards, and he never fell out of love. That has made all the difference. 

Al Pacino says, “I wrote Sonny Boy to express what I’ve seen and been through in my life. It has been an incredibly personal and revealing experience to reflect on this journey and what acting has allowed me to do and the worlds it has opened up. My whole life has been a moonshot, and I’ve been a pretty lucky guy so far.” 

SONNY BOY will be published in the US in hardcover, audio, and ebook on October 8, 2024. 

About Al Pacino

Photo credit: Brigitte Lacombe.

Actor and director Al Pacino is a unique and enduring figure in the world of American stage and film.  He grew up in New York City’s South Bronx, attended the School of Performing Art, and studied acting at the Herbert Berghof Studio with Charles Laughton and the Actors Studio with mentor Lee Strasberg. He has been nominated for the Academy Award nine times, for movies including The GodfatherDog Day AfternoonSerpicoThe Godfather Part II, and The Irishman, and won the Oscar for Best Actor in 1992 for Scent of a Woman.  He has been nominated for the Golden Globe Award nineteen times, and won four, and has been nominated for three Tonys and won two. Pacino has been awarded the Kennedy Center Honor, the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award, the National Merit of Arts from President Obama, and the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement in Motion Pictures. 


Posted: March 13, 2024