Ever since he found small fame starring in a Jack in the Box commercial, Jorge Garcia has gone on to make a name for himself in some of the biggest productions on television. He is best known for playing Hugo Reyes in the hit TV show, Lost, between 2004 and 2010. However, for many, it is not Jorge Garcia’s onscreen performances that draw the most attention, but rather, his weight.
Since he featured in the TV series, the Omaha-born actor has been in a battle with his weight, one he has not conquered yet. The journey has been one with its successes and setbacks, and it began with his role as Hugo Reyes on the ABC drama TV series, Lost.
Jorge Garcia Began His Weight Loss Journey on Lost
It all began after he got cast on Lost. After the producers of the show discovered him on an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, they created a role for him to be part of the series. There was a caveat, however. He had to lose weight, for two reasons.
First, his character would be stranded on an island for years. The believability of the story necessitated that he shed some pounds. Secondly, like his friends and family, the producers were concerned about Jorge, who at the time of filming the show, weighed 400 pounds.
Thus, Garcia began his journey with the help of dieticians and personal trainers. He cut out the alcohol and via doctor’s advice, started the Nooch diet, also known as nutritional yeast. The diet utilizes deactivated yeast to break down fat to speed up weight loss.
Jorge Garcia also quit fatty foods and switched to plant and fruit-based meals. His exercise routine comprised of arm circles, sit-ups, and pushups. After a while of maintaining this regimen, he was able to lose 30 pounds, and it appeared that the actor was finally in control of his body and health.
A Struggle with Food Addiction Undid His Progress
Unfortunately, all the nutritional and metabolic benefits of Jorge’s regimen depended on discipline on his part over a long-term period. Sadly, he did not have it this time. After only losing 30 pounds in his first attempt at losing weight, the Hawaii Five-0 actor was reportedly frustrated with the process and gave up on it.
He returned to his unhealthy food habit, which consisted of a whole lot of fatty meals. He drank alcohol and went back to eating junk food. Unable to shake his food addiction, he gained all his lost weight again, returning to his initial start. In 2014, following his appearance at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, the National Enquirer revealed he was back to weighing over 400 pounds.
He May Have Had Gastric Bypass Surgery
As of this writing, there is no official confirmation from the actor. But several reports suggest he had gastric bypass surgery for his second attempt to control his weight. There is no exact timeline for when the surgery happened. Still, according to these reports, the procedure helped him shed several pounds.
Since he completed the surgery, Jorge Garcia has lost about 100 pounds, a significant difference since he began his weight loss journey in 2004. He has also been maintaining the gains with a nutritional diet and some light workouts. He has even been burning calories by engaging in woodworking.
A look through his Instagram page reveals he has not lost any significant additional weight since the alleged surgery – and has not gained any either. It is a sweet spot that has kept him healthy enough to continue to do what brought him fame, acting.
Lost and Hawaii Five-0 Remain His Most Renowned Works
In over a decade as a professional actor and more than 50 movies and TV show appearances later, Jorge Garcia’s roles in the Lost and Hawaii Five-0 continue to be his most popular ones. It may not seem like much compared to other actors. Still, it is a noteworthy achievement for a man who spent six years working at Borders Books and Music before finding success.
Jorge’s Lost Role Earned Him Several Award Recognitions
The success came in the form of Lost, where he played the show’s comic relief character, Hugo ‘Hurley’ Reyes. He spent six years on the show, appearing in 118 episodes and cementing his place as one of the show’s favorite characters. As Hugo, he portrayed a man dealing with mental illness after a history of bad luck and a broken family.
His performance earned him four nominations from the ALMA Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, winning two of them. He also received multiple nominations from Teen Choice Awards, Monte-Carlo TV Festival, and Imagen Foundation Awards.
Jorge Garcia was also part of the Lost cast that received Best Ensemble award from the Screen Actors Guild Awards. They also received three nominations and one win from the Gold Derby Awards.
He Starred in 130 Episodes of Hawaii Five-0
While Lost brought him all the award recognition, Hawaii Five-0, which he began starring in as Jerry Ortega in 2013, kept him famous. Three years after the ABC adventure and mystery drama ended, he began starring in the police procedural as a Special Consultant.
He played a conspiracy theorist who regularly assisted the Five-0 Task Force with its cases. He began as a recurring cast member in the fourth season before receiving a promotion to the main cast in the fifth season, which lasted till the show’s end. Jorge appeared in a total of 130 episodes and became a prominent part of one of TV’s most lasting projects.
His Filmography Includes Film Appearances Too
Jorge Garcia’s best work might be on television, but he has some notable presence in film too. He appeared in his first as his onscreen debut in a minor role for Raven’s Ridge in 1997. Over the years, he has appeared in films like Tomorrow by Midnight, Little Athens, The Good Humor Man, Maktub. Most recently, he had a starring role in the Netflix film, Nobody Knows I’m Here.
So far, of his 50+ credits, Jorge has appeared in at least 18 films, including appearances in comedy blockbusters like The Ridiculous 6 and The Wedding Ringer. Back in television, his other appearances include Becker, How I Met Your Mother, Californication, and Maggie.
His only other award recognition aside from Lost came for his role in the 2012 short-lived series, Alcatraz. He played a role like his eventual Hawaii Five-0 role as Dr. Diego Soto, a comic book store owner with a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice and Civil War History. Jorge earned an Imagen Foundation Awards nomination for Best Actor for his performance.
The Lost Actor is Married to an Actress
Around 2013 or 2014, based on available reports, Jorge Garcia began a relationship with Rebecca Birdsall, an American actress. They dated for about two years before moving in together in 2015. After circa seven years of dating, Jorge and Rebecca tied the knot in 2019, in a modest ceremony at Leixlip Manor in Dublin that featured friends and family.
Although not as popular as her husband, Rebecca is an actress, who has been working since 2009. She has mostly made lone episodic appearances in TV shows and short films, with credits in works like Maggie, One Night Standoff, and Hawaii Five-0. Beyond her acting roles, she is also a credited producer, having produced the short film, Born Still.
Other than her professional footprint, there is not much else to know about her and their relationship. Both prefer to keep their relationship private and have done an excellent job of doing so thus far.
There are a Few Women in Jorge’s Dating History
While intricate details might be scarce, there have been a few mentioned names in Jorge Garcia’s dating history, long before he and Rebecca became an item. Between 2004 and 2006, Garcia dated Malia Hansen. After their breakup, he began dating Lost co-star, Bethany Leigh Shady in 2007.
At the peak of their romance, Garcia and Shady appeared together at red carpet events and posted photos of each other on social media. We are not sure when they parted ways, but Leigh was his last known girlfriend before his relationship and subsequent marriage to Rebecca.