The son of actress Jane Fonda and political activist Tom Hayden, Troy Garity has shown interest in both of his parents' professions. (He adopted the surname Garity from his paternal grandmother's side.) As a child, he spent his summers at the Laurel Springs Arts Camp in Santa Barbara and appeared uncredited in On Golden Pond with his mom and grandfather. As an adult, he moved to New York City to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and later to Los Angeles to start a film career. After being named one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in 1998, he landed the role of his father in Steal This Movie, the historical biopic starring Vincent D'Onofrio as '60s activist Abbie Hoffman. The next year, Garity appeared in Barry Levinson's crime comedy Bandits as a getaway driver for eccentric bank robbers played by Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton. After a few more small-time features, he played token white guy Isaac Rosenberg in Tim Story's urban comedy Barbershop. His breakthrough role came in 2003 with the Showtime movie A Soldier's Girl, based on a true story. He played Pfc. Barry Winchell, a soldier who was beaten to death in 1999 after he fell in love with transsexual Calpernia Addams (Lee Pace). The job earned Garity nominations from both the Golden Globes and the Independent Spirit Awards. the actor starred in the critically acclaimed drama Milwaukee, Minnesota that same year as mentally disabled ice fisherman Albert Burroughs. In addition to continuing involvement with his nonprofit group the Peace Process Network, Garity appeared in the 2004 sequel Barbershop 2.