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Originally published Monday, December 24, 2012 at 5:09 AM

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Serpico: Pacino played me better than I did

New York City police whistle-blower Frank Serpico says Al Pacino played him better than he did himself.

The Associated Press

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NEW YORK —

New York City police whistle-blower Frank Serpico says Al Pacino played him better than he did himself.

Pacino played the detective who exposed widespread police corruption in the 1973 movie "Serpico." The Daily News ( http://nydn.us/RMNYcB) interviewed the real-life Serpico in Ghent, in New York's Hudson Valley, for a story published Sunday.

The 76-year-old retiree spoke weeks after the death of fellow whistle-blowing ex-detective David Durk.

Serpico smiled as an interviewer noted he is ranked No. 41, just behind Lassie, on the American Film Institute's list of movie heroes. He says that's "good company."

The newspaper says Serpico keeps busy trying to finish a book and taking solitary walks.

Serpico and Durk's efforts resulted in front-page newspaper stories and a city panel that recommended reforms to prevent police corruption.

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