Andy Garcia Was Born With A Conjoined Twin Attached

June 10, 2013 by  

Andy Garcia Was Born With A Conjoined Twin Attached, Andy Garcia was born with a conjoined twin the size of a softball attached to his shoulder. It was surgically removed, and Garcia has no memory of it. His family fled the Castro regime and came to Miami when Garcia was five. They had a difficult time at first, going from successful Cubans to newcomers who barely spoke the language. His father had been a lawyer in his native land, but worked in a warehouse in America.

As a boy, Garcia would go to his father’s warehouse after basketball practice and sweep floors until they went home at about 8 PM every evening. He has fond memories of sitting outside a bar, listening to Cuban musicians when he was too young to go inside. During his senior year in high school, Garcia became very ill with mononucleosis and then with hepatitis. After that, his interests turned from sports to acting.

Garcia met his wife, Marivi, during college and they dated for seven years before marrying in 1982. By that time he had moved to Los Angeles and was working at menial jobs while trying to break into acting. His first TV role was as a gang member on the first episode of Hill Street Blues. In 1985, he was able to stop waiting tables after his breakout role in The Mean Season, playing a detective who is a friend to Kurt Russell’s character. In Eight Million Ways to Die, he played a drug dealer opposite Jeff Bridges, and Brian De Palma was so impressed he sought out Garcia for The Untouchables with Kevin Costner and Sean Connery.

Francis Ford Coppola considered Val Kilmer for the role of Vincent Mancini in The Godfather: Part III, but a studio executive suggested that Garcia would be better. Garcia, though, suspected that a studio recommendation would not carry much weight with Coppola, and contacted Coppola himself. He was invited to Coppola’s winery to read for the part, but the electricity went out as Garcia arrived, and he read his lines by candlelight. He was nominated for an Oscar for the role, and considers Coppola a friend and a mentor.

In Dead Again, Garcia’s character smoked a cigarette through a tracheotomy stoma. In When A Man Loves A Woman, he played the patient husband to Meg Ryan’s lush. Garcia says he knows he chose the right career, because even years after those movies were made, strangers approach him to say his performance motivated them to quit smoking or drinking.

Garcia is well-known in Hollywood circles for his disinterest and disdain for the Hollywood “scene”. His passion remains his family — he says he has never been away from them for more than five days at a time. He is intensely private, brushing off personal questions in interviews and refusing many cover shoots for magazines. Politically, he is against abortion, but does not think it should be a political issue. “I also believe that you can’t impose your beliefs on other people. That’s not the way our Constitution reads.”

He has been a passionate supporter of Cuban musicians, and collaborated on a CD with the musician Israel “Cachao” Lopez. Garcia’s 2003 documentary, Cachao… Como Su Ritmo No Hay Dos, focuses on Lopez. Garcia worked for ten years to get his dream film made, The Lost City, written, directed, produced by and starring Garcia. It is set in Havana, during the Cuban revolution of Garcia’s childhood.

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