The second of two boys, Andrew Garfield is born to a British mother and American father in Los Angeles. The family soon returns to England, where Garfield is bitten by the acting bug as a teen and begins studying at London's Central School of Speech and Drama.
Garfield lands a role on the BBC teen show Sugar Rush and soon becomes a BBC fixture, starring in the 2007 TV movie Boy A and 2009 series Red Riding. "I only do pieces I care about, that I think are important and I would want to see," the up-and-coming actor tells the UK's Daily Telegraph.
After nabbing minor roles in Lions for Lambs and The Other Boleyn Girl, Garfield is cast in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Production is halted following the death of costar Heath Ledger. "He made me fight harder than I ever had, and I'm so thankful to him for it," Garfield told EW of working with the late actor, whose role is filled by Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell.
After auditioning against tough competition, Garfield is offered the role of Peter Parker in director Mark Webb's reboot of the webbed crusader franchise, The Amazing Spider-Man. "He's an amazing Spider-Man and a great actor," says Emma Stone, who plays Parker's love interest Gwen Stacy.
Garfield shows his leading-man potential in the British drama Never Let Me Go, which also stars Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley as school kids awaiting a horrible fate. His role as the emotionally tortured Tommy earns Garfield a BAFTA nomination.
Garfield steals the show as Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin in The Social Network, a riveting drama about the rise of Facebook, costarring Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake. The film, which nabs three Academy Awards, also earns Garfield his second BAFTA nomination and rave reviews. "Charismatic and compelling, Garfield was one of Network's biggest surprises," EW lauds.
After three years together, Garfield splits with his girlfriend, Raising Hope actress Shannon Woodward, whom he began dating before his Stateside success. "I think my girlfriend is proud of me and the fact that I've remained grounded," he said months before their breakup.
A single Garfield, 28, is linked to Spider-Man costar Emma Stone, 22, with whom he grabs a bite in Malibu. "She's just an incredible actress, and she's one of the most spirited people I've ever met and just incredible fun to be around generally," he says of the famous redhead. "On top of which, she's beautiful and talented and kind of impossible to dream up."
Garfield takes on his first lead role in the reboot of The Amazing Spider-Man, which tops the box office, earning $65 million in its opening weekend. "It was humbling and strange, and I was really moved by it," he tells PEOPLE of donning the superhero suit. "It felt right. It felt wrong. Kind of all of the above. It was just a strange, surreal moment."
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Everett; Everett; John Schwartzman/Columbia Pictures; Alex Bailey/FOX Searchlight; Columbia Pictures; Jeff Vespa/WireImage; Pacific Coast News; Sony