Beverly D'Angelo's Ex-Husband Gladly Divorced Her So She Could Be with Al Pacino: 'He's Fantastic'

The Violent Night actress tells PEOPLE she fell in love with Al Pacino when she was still wed to her husband, Italian duke Lorenzo Saviati, who encouraged her to be with the Oscar-winning actor

Beverly D'Angelo is getting real about some of her past romances.

In the new issue of PEOPLE, the National Lampoon's Vacation actress, 71, recalls how she fell in love with Al Pacino, 82, in the 1990s when she was still wed to her husband, Italian duke Lorenzo Salviati.

She and Salviati eloped shortly after meeting at a party in L.A. in the early 1980s and had an understanding, she explains: They'd each go off and have their own fun, "but if there were any crises or anything, we'd come back together," says D'Angelo, who's now starring in the comedic thriller Violent Night.

"I always thought the guys that I was with thought it was great that I was married because they knew 'no responsibility here!' But when I met Al Pacino and told him about my little deal, he said, 'Well, that's crazy,'" she continues.

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Beverly D'Angelo rollout Al Pacino
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D'Angelo called Salviati to explain. "I said, 'I'm in love.' He goes, [D'Angelo affects an Italian accent] '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.'"

Salviati, according to D'Angelo, continued to protest. "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!'"

Beverly D'Angelo Lorenzo

The two had an amicable, uncontested divorce. "We just signed these papers," says D'Angelo. "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."

D'Angelo and Pacino welcomed twins Anton and Olivia in 2001 when she was 49. Shortly after that, she and Pacino split up, but she looks back fondly on their time together. "The greatest gift that Al ever gave me was to make me a mother," says D'Angelo.

To this day, she says, she still considers Salviati her soul mate, even though they're not together. "It was a great love match," she says.

Violent Night is now playing in theaters.

For more on Beverly D'Angelo, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE Magazine.

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