Rose Gerard Pacino was the mother of the legendary actor and filmmaker Al Pacino. She was born in 1918 in the Bronx, New York, to Sicilian immigrant parents. She married Salvatore Pacino, also of Sicilian origin, when she was 17 years old. They had a son, Alfredo James Pacino, in 1940, but divorced two years later. Rose raised Al as a single mother, with the help of her parents, in a poor neighborhood. She worked as a clerk and a movie theater usher, and instilled in Al a love for movies and acting. She supported his dream of becoming an actor, even though she struggled to make ends meet.
Rose Gerard Pacino died in 1962, at the age of 43, of a heart attack. She had a history of heart problems, and was supposed to wear a heart defibrillator, but did not have it on at the time of her death. Her device was found in her car, parked outside her home. She passed away in her sleep, without seeing her son achieve fame and success in Hollywood. Al Pacino was 21 years old at the time, and was devastated by the loss of his mother. He later said that her death was the lowest point in his life, and that he missed her every day. He also regretted that they had a strained relationship in the last years of her life, as she wanted him to quit acting and get a stable job.
Some sources also claimed that she died of a drug overdose, but this was not confirmed. She was cremated, and her ashes were scattered in an unknown location.