Born Andrés Arturo García-Menéndez, 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).