THE BRONX - A Bronx-based author has turned a series of interviews she conducted with high-profile Bronx natives into a new book.

"Their childhoods, our childhoods, are linked together in this American land of opportunity that comes through in all the stories," says the author, Arlene Alda.

Among the subjects are big names like Al Pacino and Regis Philbin. 

The book includes 64 interviews with celebrities who grew up in the Bronx.

Alda says one thing the subjects all had in common was that they all credited a teacher at some point along the way for helping them find success.

For example, Pacino's fourth-grade teacher climbed five flights of stairs to tell his family she saw something special in him, Alda says. 

The actor still doesn't know what that teacher said, but he told Alda that he knew she cared about him and that kind of nurturing was critical to his success.