Al Pacino Recalls The John Lennon Meeting That Never Was

Al Pacino is one of the most recognizable actors of our generation, but even he can get starstruck. One such time was back in the 1970s when he had a chance encounter with Beatles legend John Lennon.

“I ran into John Lennon but it wasn’t a run in,” Pacino told the Liver Pool Echo. “We were like ships in the night, we passed each other but he looked at me and smiled and I smiled back and we both waved. It was a moment that I’ll never forget.”

Further, Pacino recalls fondly the notion that Lennon even knew who he was at the time, despite starring in The Godfather. “He lived at the Dakota and I didn’t live far from there. It was nice. I was just so pleased, flattered that he recognized me.”

Pacino has been talking about John Lennon, thanks to Danny Collins, his new film inspired by the real-life story of a long-lost letter written by the former Beatle. Pacino portrays Collins who changes his life around after a letter from Lennon surfaces in 2005 written directly for him. The movie opens on Friday, May 29.

It’s been 35 years since John Lennon was fatally shot and killed by Mark David Chapman outside his home in New York City in 1980. Lennon rose to fame as part of the legendary rock and roll group The Beatles before leaving the band and starting his own solo career at the beginning of the 1970s alongside his wife, Yoko Ono. It was around this time while living in New York that he ran into Pacino.

Many critics argue that Yoko was the reason John left the Beatles in the first place, blaming her for the band’s demise. But most recently, former Beatle Paul McCartney went on record as saying that Yoko “certainly didn’t break the group up.” Yoko had a chance to reflect on Paul’s comments in a recent interview with News-Press.

“You know, the people and their feelings about me being the one who broke up The Beatles or something — it was not true. But those feelings were so strong that even Paul, I’m sure, would have felt a little hesitant about coming out and saying, ‘No, Yoko didn’t do it!’ But I think that now, it was about time for him to say it.”

When asked if she still thinks about John Lennon, Yoko replied that she does.

“He’s right there with me,” Oko said of Lennon. “He’s always there with me.”

[Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images]