Andy Garcia Says It Was Love at First Sight with Wife of 39 Years, Marivi: 'It Was a Thunderbolt'

"She swept me off my feet," Andy Garcia tells PEOPLE of the night he met — and proposed to — his wife Marivi

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 04: Actor Andy Garcia attends the 16th Annual "A Night In Old Havana" fundraising gala at Taglyan Complex on March 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
Photo: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

It's been 47 years, but Andy Garcia can still recall the exact moment he met his wife Marivi.

"It was a thunderbolt," the 66-year-old actor, who's been wed to the producer since 1982, tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. "We were very young, but she swept me off my feet. Some people know each other a while and there's a friendship first, but when we met that night, it was very clear that this was the woman of my life."

Garcia proposed the night they met — "She busts my chops saying that I proposed to all the girls that night but that's not true!" — and the couple dated for seven years before getting married.

"Those things can happen," he says with a laugh. "I didn't want her to get away."

Now, the Cuban-born actor, who shares Dominik, 38, Daniella, 34, Alessandra, 30, and Andres, 20, with Marivi, is relishing in a role as father of the bride — both on screen and off.

2018--2DGTW9C Andy Garcia (centre) and family attending the premiere of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again held at the Eventim Hammersmith Apollo, London. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS/alamy
Doug Peters/EMPICS/alamy

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He's starring in Father of The Bride, a remake of the 1950 original comedy, now streaming on HBO Max, and two of his daughters will tie the knot this summer: Daniella on June 11 and Dominik on July 9.

"It's weird how it happened — three fathers of the bride in 30 days," says Garcia. "But I couldn't pull [from his role as disapproving dad in the film] because in reality, I love my sons-in-law and they're family. I'm just going to take it all in and be festive. I want to enjoy the moment."

He's also enjoying every moment as a new grandfather to 7-month-old Violette (Daniella's daughter). "I already make her laugh," says Garcia. "I'm looking forward to that moment when she can run into my arms. That is truly the most precious thing in life."

Father of the Bride, which also stars Gloria Estefan, Adria Arjona, Diego Boneta and Isabela Merced, is now streaming on HBO Max.

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