Andrew Garfield is a British-American actor born on 20 August 1983 in Los Angeles, California (USA) and raised in Epsom, Surrey, England (UK). Garfield began his acting career when he took A-levels in acting at City of London’s Freemen’s School, even though he never took GCSE’s in acting. His first play was ‘Bugsy Malone’ at Epsom’s Youth Theatre Workshop when he was 14. He played the title role.
His father is from America, though his grandparents came from England, and his mother is from the UK. He is of Jewish descent, but he had a secular upbringing.
After graduating high school, Garfield enrolled in Central School of Speech and Drama at the University of London. He then went on to star in several professional theatre plays in London, eventually graduating to the West End with ‘Burn/Chatroom/Citizenship’ in 2006. He won the Cirtic’s Circle Most Promising Newcomer Award for the aforementioned play and several others performed the same year.
During that time, he also ventured into film with short film ‘Mumbo Jumbo’ and several guest starring roles on TV in 2005. Most notably ‘Sugar Rush’, where he had a recurring role as the protagonists neighbour.
His first big break came in 2007 with ‘Boy A’, a made-for-TV movie about a released murderer trying to start a new life for which he won the 2008 British Academy Television Award for Best Actor. He then went on to star in Robert Redford’s ‘Lions for Lambs’ and several British movie projects.
He gained further fame with 2010’s ‘The Social Network’, which is widely considered to be one of the best movies of the decade. After that he landed the role of Peter Parker / Spider-Man in Marc Webb’s short lived ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ series. He beat out several other young actors like Jamie Bell and Josh Hutcherson to get the role.
After Spider-Man, he starred in several critically acclaimed movies like Martin Scorsese’s ‘Silence’ and Andy Serkis’ ‘Breathe’, and garnered his first Oscar nomination for his role as conscientious objector Desmond Doss in Mel Gibson’s ‘Hacksaw Ridge’.
His first foray onto Broadway came in 2012 with ‘Death of a Salesman’ starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. He got his first Tony nomination for his role as Biff Loman.
His biggest succes in theatre so far has been with ‘Angels in America’, where he played the protagonist Prior Walter. It opened first on the West End in 2017, garnering Garfield an Olivier Award nomination, before moving to Broadway in 2018. The British production of the play was broadcast in cinemas around the world as part of the National Theatre Live project. After the play transitioned to Broadway, Garfield was nominated for and won the Tony award for Best Actor in a play.
After making his first musical titled ‘tick, tick… BOOM!’ where he played the real-life playwright Jonathan Larson, he was once again nominated for an Academy Award. In 2022 he made a return to TV with a true crime drama mini-series ‘Under the Banner of Heaven’ where he played a ficitional detective investiating the real life murder of a mormon wife and child in 1984.