February 13, 2012 12:00 PM

>Lost’s demise put the actor into a funk, but he found himself again on FOX’s new hit series Alcatraz

Not even the most diehard of Lost fans took the show’s 2010 conclusion as hard as Jorge Garcia, who played lovable plane-crash survivor Hurley. “It was a rough period. Aside from just a sadness and depression that goes with a job that you love ending, it was leaving this whole life we created in Hawaii,” says Garcia, 38, who had spent six years in Oahu shooting the landmark series. Then, “the day we were supposed to move back to California,” his beloved Chihuahua Nunu was hit by a car. As a result, says Garcia, “reacclimating to the world was a bit rough.”

Thanks to his new hit show Alcatraz, Garcia’s depressing days are long gone. “It’s really great to be able to figure out a new guy so soon after Lost,” says Garcia, who plays an Alcatraz aficionado on the FOX mystery series about former inmates of the legendary San Francisco prison. His live-in girlfriend, writer Beth Shady, helped him land the part. When Shady ran into Lost co-creator J.J. Abrams at the 2010 Emmys, “she told him she was writing a book on Alcatraz. He was, like, ‘Get out! We’re doing a show on Alcatraz!’ And she was, like, ‘Get Jorge on that show,'” Garcia recalls, laughing. “She credits herself for getting me the job, but I remind her that she wouldn’t even be talking to J.J. if it wasn’t for me.”

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