Al Pacino didn’t win any awards for one of his earliest roles — the super of an Upper West Side building.
The legendary Bronx-born film star was just a young a student at the Actors Studio in 1966 when he applied for the gig at 12 West 68th Street — it paid $14 a week and provided a tiny, ground-floor apartment rent-free.
Thomas Haines, 86, the building’s former owner, said the struggling thespian had an ego even then. He hung a “big picture’” of his face on the front door, with the word “SUPER” underneath.
“This was one smart guy. … Ladies were his thing. He moved quickly. He was always thinking,” Haines recalled.
And while Pacino’s portrayal of infamous Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa in Martin Scorsese’s new epic “The Irishman” is receiving raves, the same can’t be said for his work with a mop and a broom.
The 26-year-old rarely got home before 3 a.m. and would “emerge bleary-eyed from his apartment at 7 a.m. to vacuum the halls,” Haines recalled.
“Many complaints came from tenants. They were nagging complaints. … He either didn’t have the place clean or was making a racket.”
After “two years and many warnings,” Haines lamented, he gave Pacino the pink slip.
Haines noted his wife didn’t want him to hire him in the first place because “he was wearing a pink shirt.”
The Oscar-winner, now 79, recalled the not-so-super job when The Post inquired.
“Yes, that was my little joke — putting my glossy 8×10 headshot on the … door, with band-aids I might add,” he said. “I seemed to get a tickle out of that. That could be a first.
“Is it still there?” Pacino asked.
“The only thing I could say about getting fired is I could never quite understand why they ever hired me in the first place,” he quipped.
“Certainly it was good to have a roof over my head, and the paycheck of $14 dollars a week was a step up for me,” he added.
In a 1979 Playboy interview, he remembered plotting to meet a beautiful tenant by tampering with the building’s circuit-breakers, but despite six months on the job he “didn’t know where the fuse box was.”
Haines, who was a Rockefeller University biochemist by profession, mentions his brush with the super-turned-superstar in a memoir he published in August, “A Curious Life: From Rebel Orphan to Innovative Scientist.” He is happy Pacino found his calling.
“Is he a better actor than he was a super? Yes,” Haines laughed. “The super job was a pain in the ass for him.”
Author: Dean Balsamini