One of Hollywood’s most private and guarded leading men, Andy Garcia has created a few iconic characters while at the same time staying true to his acting roots and personal projects.
Garcia was born on April 12, 1956, in Havana, Cuba, to Amelie Menéndez, a teacher of English, and René García Núñez, an attorney and avocado farmer. Garcia’s family was relatively affluent. However, when he was two years old, Fidel Castro came to power, and the family fled to Miami Beach. Forced to work menial jobs for a while, the family started a fragrance company that was eventually worth more than a million dollars. He attended Natilus Junior High School and later at Miami Beach Senior High School. Andy was a popular student in school, a good basketball player and good-looking. He dreamed of playing professional baseball. In his senior year, though, he contracted mononucleosis and hepatitis, and unable to play sports, he turned his attention to acting.
He studied acting with Jay W. Jensen. Jensen was a South Florida legend, counting among his numerous students, Brett Ratner, Roy Firestone, Mickey Rourke, and Luther Campbell. Following his positive high school experiences in acting, he continued his drama studies at Florida International University.
Soon, he was headed out to Hollywood. His first break came as a gang member on the very first episode of the popular TV series Hill Street Blues (1981). His role as a cocaine kingpin in 8 Million Ways to Die (1986) put him on the radar of Brian De Palma, who was casting for his gangster classic The Untouchables (1987). At first, he envisioned Garcia asAl Capone‘s sadistic henchman Frank Nitti, but fearing typecasting as a gangster, Garcia campaigned for the role of “George Stone”, the Italian cop who gets accepted into Eliot Ness‘ famous band of lawmen. Garcia’s next notable role came in Black Rain (1989) by acclaimed director Ridley Scott, as the partner of police detective Michael Douglas. He then co-starred with Richard Gere in Internal Affairs (1990), directed by Mike Figgis. In 1989, Francis Ford Coppola was casting for the highly anticipated third installment of his “Godfather” films. The Godfather: Part III (1990) included one of the most sought-after roles in decades, the hot-headed son of “Sonny Corleone” and mob protégé of “Michael Corloene”, “Vincent Mancini”. A plum role for any young rising star, the role was campaigned for by a host of actors. Val Kilmer, Alec Baldwin, Vincent Spano, Charlie Sheen, and even Robert De Niro (who wanted the role changed to accommodate his age) were all beaten out by the up-and-coming Garcia. His performance was Oscar-nominated as Best Supporting Actor, and secured him international stardom and a place in cinematic history. Now a leading man, he starred in such films as Jennifer 8 (1992) and Hero (1992). He won raves for his role as the husband of Meg Ryan in When a Man Loves a Woman (1994) and gave another charismatic gangster turn in Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead (1995). He then returned in Night Falls on Manhattan (1996), directed by Sidney Lumet, as well as portraying legendary mobster Lucky Luciano inHoodlum (1997). In perhaps his most mainstream role, he portrayed a cop in the action film Desperate Measures (1998). Garcia then starred in a few lower-profile projects that didn’t do much for his career, but things turned around in 2001, with the first of many projects being his role as a cold casino owner in Ocean’s Eleven (2001), directed bySteven Soderbergh. 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). He is an extremely private man, and strong believer in old-fashioned chivalry. Married to his wife, Maria Victoria, since 1982, the couple has three daughters. One of the most talented leading men around, 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. But with a presence and style that never seem old, a respect from directors and film buffs, alike, Andy Garcia will be remembered for a long time in film history.
The above IMDB entry can also be accessed online here.
Born Leung Kwok Ng in Hong Kong October 13, 1952, John Lone was spartanly raised by a single mother until the age of 7 when he was sent off to be schooled with the Peking Opera. He never again saw his mother. The Peking Opera could be a brutal and grueling life for a child but he was a diligent and tireless student and he later received sponsorship to continue his education in the United States as a teenager.
He attended Santa Ana Community College, where he met Nina Savino, an Asian American studying drama and art, and they married in 1972. Lone continued his education at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena and New York. They divorced in 1979.
John once said that Ng, Lung and Lone were variants of “dragon” in different dialects of Chinese and that he intended to harness the power of the dragon for his life, which was why he adopted the stage name he would become known by.
A theatrical workaholic, John became part of the East/West Players along with other notable Asian actors such as Mako, Sab Shimono and Soon Tek Oh. He performed in “Pacific Overtures” as the Lion Dancer and his discipline and talent blossomed. He danced, sang, wrote and directed. John signed with the then famous Bessie Loo Agency (most of the Asian talent of the day was represented by them). The early years of his career, consisted of small television roles, local theater and lots of study.
His first real break came with the Di Laurentis remake of “King Kong” as the ships cook. It was followed by perhaps the most brilliant performance of his career – “Iceman” which was poignant and powerfully played without dialogue by Lone. The film opened the doors of his career to Michael Cimino (Year of the Dragon) and Bernardo Bertolucci (The Last Emperor) who made him a household name in the United States. Lone directed an acclaimed documentary on the Chinese Railroad workers in America which aired on PBS. He was voted one of the 50 most Beautiful People of the Year by People Magazine in 1990.
The past decade he has spent his time between NY, China and Canada where he continues to act, direct, produce and he has even found time to nurture a singing career.
An intensely private man, it is no wonder so many differing stories about his personal life abound unanswered. Perhaps the mystery of his persona is a large part of his attraction.
The above IMDB Overview can also be accessed online here.
Phil Burke attended the American Academy Of Dramatic Arts in New York, on a Board of Trustees Scholarship. He graduated with an Associates Degree in Fine Arts in 2003. Burke continued his acting training at various performing workshops and studios throughout New York. On stage, Phil Burke holds a noticeable list of leading-roles to his credit while holding mixed work in leading and supporting roles on the screen. Burke’s screen debut was in 2005 and since that year, he has performed in various films and on numerous television series. Notable television series of the latter 2000s include The Good Wife (2009) and Hell on Wheels (2011) on which he held a recurring role. Burke’s film work includes the direct-to-video, horror film Zombie Town (2007), then, direct-to-video Sci-Fi adventure thriller 100 Million BC (2008) and then a romantic comedy film short Mike and Lucy (2008).
The above IMDB entry can also be accessed online here.
Obituary from “The Guardian”:
The career of the actor Barrie Ingham, who has died aged 82, was so varied that you might have thought he had several incarnations: as an associate artist with the Royal Shakespeare Company, in British and Broadway musicals, and as the voice of the sleuth rodent Basil in Disney’s animated mystery movie The Great Mouse Detective (1986), tracking his archenemy, voiced by Vincent Price.
No one looked more like a leading man: Ingham was tall, handsome, ramrod straight – he served as an officer in the Royal Artillery during his national service – with a fine singing voice. Naturally gifted, he was equally adept in farcical sitcom or stylish high comedy.
He was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire, the only son of Harold Ingham and his wife, Irene (nee Bolton), who owned a furniture store in the town, and was educated at Heath grammar school, which, during the second world war, hosted the local amateurs, the Halifax Thespians. Barrie joined them as a teenager and remembered seeing, across the road from his bedroom, the bust of Shakespeare outside the new Halifax Playhouse, converted from a Wesleyan chapel, which opened in 1949.
After national service, he worked in the family business before making his professional debut in 1956 at the Pier Pavilion, Llan- dudno, in Arnold Ridley’s Beggar My Neighbour. He met the actor Tarne Phillips at the St Helens TheatreRoyal on Merseyside, where they played romantic leads in Johnny Belinda, Rebecca and Jane Eyre; they married in 1957.
Ingham went on to play a season at the Library theatre in Manchester. He joined the Old Vic at the end of 1957 and played Fortinbras to John Neville’s Hamlet; this was followed by increasingly important roles. So he was an ideal Claudio whenJohn Gielgud was invited to open the 1959 Broadway season with a revival of his celebrated Much Ado About Nothing – in which Gielgud played Benedick opposite Margaret Leighton as Beatrice.
Back in Britain in 1960, Ingham toured with Maggie Smith, Michael Bates and Michael Blakemore in Strip the Willow by Beverley Cross (“an odd play,” said Blakemore, “derived from drawing-room comedy and Peter Ustinov”) and appeared in John Arden’s The Happy Haven at the Royal Court, a comedy set in an old people’s home where the actors wore masks. Neither play was a success, but they illustrated the theatre of the day, on a tipping point between old and new.
In that decade of convulsive change, Ingham steered a course through the middle (though he did play, rather daringly, both Stavrogin in Dostoevsky’s The Possessed and Dionysus in The Bacchae of Euripides at the Mermaid theatre), appearing with Harry Secombe in the musical Pickwick (1964) at the Saville and, at the same theatre two years later, as Clancy Pettinger in On the Level, a charming but soon to be obsolete type of musical, by Ronald Millar (the playwright who later became a speechwriter for Margaret Thatcher) and Ron Grain
He was prominent in two fine TV series of the late 1960s, The Caesars and The Power Game – ancient and modern versions of the same thing , perhaps – and made a mark in films such as Gordon Flemyng’s Dr Who and the Daleks (1965) and Hammer’s A Challenge for Robin Hood (1967), in which he played the title role. Then he refocused and joined the RSC for four years (1967-71) in Stratford-upon-Avon and London. He played Leontes opposite Judi Dench in Trevor Nunn’s nursery all-white The Winter’s Tale, Brutus in Julius Caesar and Lord Foppington in The Relapse. With Dench and Donald Sinden, he appeared in two of the greatest productions of that era, John Barton’s Twelfth Night (as Aguecheek) and Dion Boucicault’s London Assurance.
His musical theatre skills served the 1973 London premiere of Gypsy, in which he played Herbie the manager opposite first Angela Lansbury and then Dolores Gray, both sensational, at the Piccadilly. He was Smith’s husband in a short run of a not very funny comedy about sexually transmitted disease, Snap (the title Clap was deemed unsuitable), by Charles Laurence, at the Vaudeville in 1974.
When he rejoined the RSC later in the same year, as the Duke “of dark corners” in Measure for Measure, he was made an associate artist of the company, but he only returned to the fold once thereafter, stealing the notices as Beverley Carlton, a brilliant send-up of Noël Coward, in an otherwise misfired 1989 revival at the Barbican of the Broadway classic The Man Who Came to Dinner.
Three years before, at the National Theatre, he had appeared in David Hare’s The Bay at Nice (opposite Irene Worth) and as the wise narrator of Arthur Miller’s episodic Depression play The American Clock. But he was increasingly peripatetic, touring a solo show to Australia, making sitcoms in Los Angeles and appearing on Broadway as King Pellinore in a revival of Camelot, as Sir George Dillingham in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love, and then for four years (1997-2001) as Sir Danvers Crew in a musical Jekyll and Hyde by Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse.
We lost sight of him – he undertook big American tours of Me and My Girl, Aspects of Love and Camelot – but he returned to the West End in Trevor Nunn’s glorious 2003 resuscitation of Cole Porter and PG Wodehouse’s Anything Goes, and as a fruity old boyfriend of Maureen Lipman’s dotty diva Florence Foster Jenkins in Peter Quilter’s Glorious! directed by Alan Strachan at the Birmingham Rep and the Duchess (2005).
Ingham latterly settled in Palm Springs, Florida, where he performed and lectured on Shakespeare.
He is survived by Tarne, and their four daughters, Catrin, Liane, Francesca and Mali, and eight grandchildren.
Elizabeth O’Sullivan is an Irish actress based in the U.S. Her movies include “Mineville”, “Birdman” and “Gallery of Fear”.
Born in 1963 in Rotherham, West Riding of Yorkshire, Andrews went to Sitwell Junior School on Grange Road and Oakwood Comprehensive School on Moorgate Road. He went to school with Top Gear presenter James May. His parents were publicans and he lived at the Masons Arms pub on Wellgate and the Green Dragon in Kimberworth. He belonged to the local Phoenix Amateur Operatic Society and appeared in several productions with Phoenix Players. He began work at Kirkby Central, a Vauxhall car dealership, in Wellgate, then began singing at holiday resorts such as Skegness, Lincolnshire, and on cruise ships over twenty years. His entry into acting came when successfully auditioning for the 2001 film, The Navigators, which was set in Sheffield.
Andrews played Barry Shiel in the TV series Buried, which won the BAFTA Award for Best Drama Series in 2004. In 2005, Andrews played the character of Steven Maynard in the ITV drama Wire in the Blood. In 2007, he appeared in the BBC dramas True Dare Kiss and The Street. In 2006, he appeared in yet another BBC drama, Life On Mars, as the character DS Ray Carling. In 2008, he returned to play the character in the spin-off series Ashes to Ashes. Andrews also had a small role in the Channel 4 series No Angelsplaying Neil. He also starred in episode 11, series 5 of Waterloo Road. Andrews played one of the lead roles in ITV’s supernatural drama series Marchlands.
In 2011, he appeared in the BBC Two TV film United, which tells the story of the Manchester United “Busby Babes“ team and the 1958 Munich air disaster. In September 2011 he appeared in the BBC drama The Body Farm as Peter Collins. In November 2012 he appeared in the six part BBC drama Last Tango in Halifax as Robbie. He plays the lead role in the five part BBC One series The Case, about a man accused of murdering his terminally ill girlfriend. He has also recorded voice-overs for Currys television advertisements.Andrews will take over the role of Pete Lewis from Stephen Graham in the BBC show Being Eileen, airing from February 2013.
In 2015 Andrews appeared as Tom Asher in ITV’s Midsomer Murders episode 17.3 “The Ballad of Midsomer County”
Actor James Frain was a quintessential chameleon. Regardless of the role he portrayed – whether it was a sinister Spaniard in “Elizabeth” (1998), a classical pianist in “Hilary and Jackie” (1998), or a soft-spoken librarian in “Where the Heart Is” (2000) – Frain always extracted hidden layers of his characters’ emotions and brought them to the forefront. Frain also delivered strong performances on the action drama “24” (Fox, 2001-2010) as well as on the critically acclaimed Showtime miniseries “The Tudors” (2007-2010), as a commoner who rises to power as King Henry VIII’s ally. But it was Frain’s impressive turn as a psychotic vampire obsessed with a human on the award-winning HBO series “True Blood” (2008- ) that put him on the map and successfully showcased his range as a performer.
The above TCM overview can also be accessed online here.
Padraic Delaney is best known for his performance as ‘Teddy O’Donovan’ brother of Cillian Murphy in “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” directed by Ken Loach in 2006. He was born in Wexford in 1977. He also featured on TV in “The Tudors”, “Eden” and “Raw”. New movies include “The Man Who Knew Infinity” and “The Witness”.