Andy Garcia

Roles in Hill Street Blues, The Untouchables and The Godfather III won Oscar nominations and million dollar pay-cheques for the Cuban exile who started at the bottom.

Garcia's Cuban family fled to Florida when Fidel Castro came into power, and landed on American shores with nothing.

Forced to work bad jobs for a time, the Garcia family then built a million-dollar fragrance company from scratch.

Andy's attentions turned to acting when his school basketball career was cut short, due to severe illnesses including Hepatitis.

His first break came as a gang member on the very first episode of the popular TV series, Hill Street Blues.

His film acting debut came in 1983, in Blue Skies Again, but he really caught the critics attention three years later, as a drug dealer in 8 Million Ways To Die.

Brian De Palma's The Untouchables brought Garcia his major break. In 1990 he earned a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination for his role as the illegitimate son of Sonny Corleone in The Godfather, Part III.

Seeing his removal from Cuba as involuntary, Garcia is proud of his heritage which influences his life and work. One such case is his portrayal of renowned Cuban trumpet player Arturo Sandoval in For Love Or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story (2000).

His desire to play different characters saw him join an ensemble cast, including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle and Julia Roberts, in Steven Soderbergh's 2001 film Ocean's Eleven. A box office hit, the release was followed by a starring role in The Man from Elysian Fields (2002), Confidence (2003) and The Lazarus Child in 2004. The same year saw him return to the screen for Ocean's Twelve, which also performed well commercially.

An Imagen Foundation Award for Best Director came Garcia's way after his work on The Lost City, a 2005 drama in which he also starred. He went on to have roles in 2006 crime film Smokin' Aces, as well as 2007 releases The Air I Breathe and Ocean's Thirteen, the last of the comedy-crime series.

Joining Jamie Lee Curtis and Drew Barrymore, Garcia provided the vocals for a character known as Delgado, a German Shepherd in Walt Disney Pictures' family comedy Beverly Hills Chihuahua. The movie was a commercial success and was followed by 2009 releases The Pink Panther 2, New York, I Love You and City Island, which earned him a Satellite Award nomination for best actor.

Garcia's versatility as an actor was highlighted by his casting as Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili in 5 Days Of August (2011). The movie is about the 2008 South Ossetia war brought about by the conflict between Russia and Georgia.

Garcia has had a unique career of staying true to his own ideals and thoughts on acting. While some would have used some of the momentum he has acquired at different points in his career to get rich off lightweight projects, Garcia has stayed true to stories and films that aspire to something more.

An extremely private man, he has been married to his wife Maria Victoria since 1982. The couple have three daughters.