Andy Garcia

Active - 1979 - Present  |   Born - Apr 12, 1956 in Havana, Cuba  |   Died - Nov 19, 2002 in California  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Crime, Thriller

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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.

A devoted family man, Garcia lives outside of the spotlight with his wife Maria Victoria (also a Cuban immigrant) and their three daughters.

Movie Highlights

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Factsheet

  • Immigrated to the United States at the age of 5 when his family fled Cuba during Fidel Castro's rise to power.
  • Actor Mickey Rourke was his junior-high baseball coach; only four years older, Rourke and his high-school classmates trained the younger kids. 
  • Played basketball in high school until a bout with mononucleosis sidelined him; he then turned to acting as an outlet for his creative energy.
  • Met his wife during college, and they dated for seven years before marrying in 1982. 
  • In addition to playing the part of Federico Garcia Lorca in 1997's The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca, he composed several songs for the film.