The 68-year-old, who comes from a family of Italian immigrants to America, was nominated for an Oscar
eight times for films like "The Godfather," "Serpico"
and "Dog Day Afternoon."
He won the golden statuette once, as best actor for
his portrayal of a blind man in "Scent of a Woman" (1992).
Currently Pacino is on the big screen with "Righteous Kill,"
where he and De Niro play two veteran cops on the trail of a serial killer in a film that was panned by the critics.
"It's hard to put on a suit, and getting harder -- with shirt and tie," he joked at a press conference,
saying he was thrilled about the award.
"You feel as though someone is giving you a party and you don't quite know what you did to deserve
it," he added.
He also spoke about "Salomaybe?," his third film as a director and an adaptation of Oscar Wilde's once banned play, and one of his most controversial works, "Salome."
"I pondered it and played with it for a few years ... I am still working on it, it's coming along,"
he said, adding he hoped to present it in Rome next year.
Pacino said he was "not crazy about making films" and saw himself as a performer, preferring theater
stages to film sets.