From Alcatraz to Lost, Jorge Garcia has established himself as one of the most beloved TV stars in Hollywood. The actor/comic further solidified this status by portraying the unforgettable role of Jerry, a conspiracy theorist-turned-crime consultant, on Hawaii Five-O. Garcia appeared on the CBS show for several years and became a fan favourite in the process. He subsequently departed the series in 2019, breaking several hearts in the process. So, why did Garcia leave such a popular show and what he has been up to since then?
Jorge Garcia at a Glance
Jorge Garcia was born on the 28th of April 1973 in Omaha, Nebraska. He was raised in California and attended San Clemente High School. As a high schooler, Garcia excelled in wrestling. He also took part in some school plays but never aspired to become an actor. He, however, changed his mind during his college days. While studying communication at UCLA, Garcia attended a lecture delivered by multiple Oscar winner, Dustin Hoffman. He was fascinated by Hoffman’s description of the acting bug and decided to pursue it further.
Upon the completion of his degree in 1995, Garcia honed his skills at an acting school located in Beverly Hills. He subsequently started auditioning for roles and landed minor gigs in TV, films, and commercials. These gigs did not pay much and he supplemented his income by working at a book and record store.
Breakthrough on Lost
After several years of minor gigs, Garcia made a breakthrough when he landed a recurring role on the popular sitcom, Becker, in 2003. He portrayed the money-loving Hector Lopez and featured in about 13 episodes of the show. Following his successful outing on Becker, Garcia scored guest roles in some other TV series before landing his breakthrough role on Lost. Lost is an ABC mystery/thriller which debuted in 2004. The series followed survivors of a plane crash who find themselves stranded on a mysterious island. The group is forced to work together for their survival when they realize that they are not alone on the island.
Lost featured an international ensemble cast comprising of the likes of Mathew Fox and Josh Holloway. Garcia, on his own part, portrayed the fun-loving Hurley Reyes and appeared in 108 episodes of the series. His performance made him a household name in the United States. It also fetched him several awards including two ALMA Awards for best supporting actor in a TV drama series.
His Time on Hawaii Five-O and Subsequent Departure
Following his breakthrough on Lost, Jorge Garcia went on to feature in other TV series as well as a few movies. None of them were however as momentous as Hawaii Five-O. The California native joined the cast of the series in season 4 (2013) and portrayed the role of Jerry Ortega, an Elvis-loving, conspiracy theorist who is often homeless. Jerry later uses his unique insights to assist the task force and they subsequently recruit him as a crime consultant.
Garcia’s character was initially intended to be a guest role but he proved to be quite popular with fans and was upgraded to a series regular. He, therefore, appeared in several episodes between seasons 4 and 9 before taking a bow in season 10 premiere. So, why did he really leave the show? The truth is that Garcia’s departure from Hawaii Five-O did not result from any disagreements or bad blood but simply flowed from the scripts.
In the season 9 finale, Jerry was shot while trying to save a colleague. He recovers in season 10 premiere but the whole experience makes him rethink the direction of his life. Jerry, therefore, informs his colleagues that he would like to take some time off in order to do self-reflection. He also plans to author a book dwelling on the conspiracy theory that the Federal Reserve had something to do with the sinking of the Titanic. This turn of events naturally marked Garcia’s exit from the show.
Following his departure from Hawaii Five-O, Jorge Garcia revealed that playing Jerry was a “blast” and that he was grateful for his time on the show. The actor/comic also disclosed that he looked forward to returning someday in the future. These sentiments were also re-echoed by the showrunner, Peter Lenkov. He described Garcia’s character as a breath of fresh air and stated that they would miss him. He further disclosed that they will always be a place on the show for him.
What has Jorge Garcia been up to since leaving Hawaii Five-O?
Since his departure from Hawaii Five-O, Jorge Garcia has forged on with his acting career. He landed a starring role in a Spanish-language film titled Killing Will Willys. In this Chilean production, the Lost star played the lead role of Memo, a man who abandons his dream of being a popstar and secludes himself in a cabin for 15 years. His life later takes a dramatic turn after a video of him singing goes viral. Additionally, we may also see Garcia in a future Lost reboot. Fans have been clamoring for a remake of the popular show for several years and confirmed reports indicate that the ABC executives are mulling the idea. Garcia has since supported the move and has indicated that he is very much willing to re-join the show.