Vacation Star Beverly D'Angelo Reflects On Her Now Ex-Husband's Reaction When He Found Out She Was Leaving Him For Al Pacino

Beverly D'Angelo has long been known for her starring turns in the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies. In them, she played the role of Ellen Griswold -- the matriarch of a pretty typical nuclear family that constantly finds itself on vacation misadventures. However, the actress’ real life couldn’t have been more different. D’Angelo was married to Italian duke Don Lorenzo Salviati for nearly 15 years before breaking things off for Al Pacino. Now, the veteran actress is reflecting on how that breakup went down and how her husband reacted when he got the news.

When Beverly D’Angelo fell in love with the Scarface actor in the ‘90s, she was married to Salviati but reportedly had an open marriage. While speaking to People, the Vacation actress explained that she’d had other relationships outside her marriage before linking up with Pacino, who she thought liked the arrangement due to their being no responsibility. However, when Pacino heard about her "understanding" within her marriage, his response differed from what the actress assumed. Here’s how D’Angelo broke the news to her then husband, in her words: 

I said, 'I'm in love.' He goes, 'Oh, Beverly, who is it this time?' And I said, 'Well, it's an actor.' He went, 'An actor? No, no, not an actor.' And I said, 'I really love him and we're talking about having kids and he thinks it's crazy that I'm married and now I'm thinking it is too…’ He went, 'Oh, that's ridiculous. Who thinks this is crazy, this perfect relationship? Who is this actor?' I said, 'Well, it's Al Pacino.' He goes, 'Al Pacino, he's fantastic. I love him. We divorce!'

It sounds like Beverly D’Angelo’s ex-husband had a fair amount of respect for Al Pacino. Ultimately, she and duke Don Lorenzo Salviati would amicably divorce in 1995. Though as the actress explained, that development came with a bit of familial irony:

We just signed these papers. That's when my mother-in-law started to love me, I think. It took her 15 years to understand that I wasn't in [the marriage] for a title of wealth or for privilege.

Beverly D’Angelo and Al Pacino would go on to have twins together, Anton and Olivia, in 2001 through in vitro fertilization when she was 49. The two stars would eventually split up in 2003. During the interview, D’Angelo also shared that the “greatest gift” Pacino gave her was making her a mother. All these years later, she still considers the Italian duke her soulmate despite the pair remaining apart for over 20 years. In her words, it's a “great love match.” 

More recently, 71-year-old actress is part of the 2022 Christmas movie schedule, as she's a part of the Violent Night cast. That casting makes for a great holiday movie reference since she starred in one of the most popular Christmas movies of all time in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  

Beverly D’Angelo has never strayed too far from the acting realm over the years and even reunited with her longtime co-star Chevy Chase in 2015. In Chevy, they played two retired and selfish Baby Boomers who have to deal with their grandchildren suddenly moving in with them. That same year, the two would also reprise their roles as the Griswolds in Vacation. It's great to see D'Angelo staying busy and getting candid about the partners she's had over the years. You really can't help but love that there's still respect between her and Don Lorenzo Salviati as well as Al Pacino.

Violent Night is currently playing in theaters, and you can stream National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation this holiday season using an HBO Max subscription.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.