Born Andrés Arturo García-Menéndez on April 12th, 1956, actor Andy Garcia was five-years-old when he fled with his family from his native Cuba to Miami, where Garcia's father, a former lawyer, established a successful cosmetics business upon becoming an American citizen. Following his graduation from Florida International University, Garcia moved to L.A. and performed briefly as a standup comic, working as a furniture expediter and waiter when jobs were scarce. While his TV debut was a small role in the 1981 pilot of Hill Street Blues, Garcia did not have to travel far from his adopted hometown for his film bow, Blue Skies Again (1983), which was shot on location in Florida. (Also making her first screen appearance in this forgettable baseball comedy was actress Mimi Rogers).
It was not until he was cast as a drug kingpin in Hal Ashby's 8 Million Ways to Die (1985) that Garcia's career really took off. After turning in strong roles in both The Untouchables (1987) and Stand and Deliver (1988), he achieved an additional degree of stardom when he was cast as Michael Corleone's hot-headed nephew in The Godfather Part III (1990), a role for which he earned Best Supporting Actor Oscar and Golden Globe nominations. The range of Garcia's talents was impressive enough for screenwriter Henry Bean to write the script for the 1990 police-corruption drama Internal Affairs with the actor specifically in mind. But after several years of on-the-edge characters, Garcia softened his screen image as the too-good-to-be-true husband of an alcoholic (Meg Ryan) in When a Man Loves a Woman (1994).
Garcia's career waned a bit during the second half of the '90s, and the actor concentrated some of his energies on starring in various made-for-TV movies and such Spanish-made films as Death in Granada (1997). Although Garcia found his place in American cinema -- indeed, he was one of the few Latino stars to successfully cross over into Hollywood films -- his deep connection and loyalty to his Cuban heritage was illustrated by his involvement in projects that reflect that sentiment. He has produced and directed a tribute to Cuban mambo artist Cachoao entitled Cachoao: Like His Rhythm There Is No Other, and, at one time, he planned to direct and star in a film adaptation of The Lost City, an epic novel of revolution and exile by Cuban writer Guillermo Cabrera Infante.
Garcia worked alongside George Clooney and Brad Pitt for 2001’s Ocean’s 11, in which he portrayed the unscrupulous owner of a casino, and appeared in the film’s sequels Ocean’s 12 (2004) and Ocean’s 13 (2007). He joined the cast of The Pink Panter 2 in 2009, and took a lead role in the historical drama Greater Glory (2012), which follows a group of Mexican patriots devoted to defending future generations from tyranny.