||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013)|
Astin in a publicity photo 1977
|Born||John Allen Astin
March 30, 1930
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
|Education||Washington & Jefferson College|
|Alma mater||Johns Hopkins University|
|Home town||Baltimore, Maryland|
|Religion||Nichiren Buddhism (Soka Gakkai International)|
|Spouse(s)||Suzanne Hahn (m. 1956–72)
Patty Duke (m. 1972–85)
Valerie Ann Sandobal (m. 1989)
John Allen Astin (born March 30, 1930) is an American actor who has appeared in numerous films and television shows, and is best known for the roles of Gomez Addams on The Addams Family, Evil Roy Slade, and other similarly eccentric comedic characters.
Astin was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Margaret Linnie (née Mackenzie) and Dr. Allen Varley Astin, who was the director of the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology). He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1952, after transferring from Washington & Jefferson College. He studied mathematics at Washington & Jefferson and then at Johns Hopkins; he was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at Johns Hopkins.
Astin started in theater, making his first Broadway appearance as an understudy in Major Barbara, and also did voice-over work for commercials. His first big break in film came with a small part in West Side Story in 1961.
During this period, his talent for also playing comedy was spotted by actor Tony Randall, leading to guest starring roles on the situation comedies Dennis the Menace, starring Jay North, The Donna Reed Show, and Harrigan and Son, starring Pat O'Brien, the first carried on CBS and the latter two carried on ABC. In 1961, he appeared in the final episode of the ABC police drama The Asphalt Jungle. In 1962–1963, Astin starred with Marty Ingels in the unusual ABC sitcom I'm Dickens, He's Fenster, which lasted for thirty-one episodes. From 1964 to 1966, he starred in The Addams Family as Gomez Addams, the head of the macabre family. He appeared in the TV show The New Addams Family as Grandpapa Addams in 1998, with the role of Gomez Addams played by Glenn Taranto.
Astin joined the retooled The Pruitts of Southampton (re-titled The Phyllis Diller Show) for the second half of the 1966-1967 season, playing Diller's brother-in-law, Angus Pruitt. He also played the Riddler in the second season of Batman (Frank Gorshin returned for the third and final season.) He played submarine commander Matthew Sherman in the 1970s TV series Operation Petticoat. He also made a notable appearance in the popular mystery show Murder, She Wrote, as the villainous Sheriff Harry Pierce. He had a recurring role on the sitcom Night Court as Buddy, eccentric former mental patient and the father of lead character Harry Stone. He also played the regular role of Ed LaSalle in the short-lived Mary Tyler Moore sitcom Mary during the 1985–86 television season. He guest starred on numerous television series too, including a Gunsmoke appearance in 1967 as Festus's cousin Henry, Jack Palance's ABC circus drama, The Greatest Show on Earth, Duckman, and Homeboys in Outer Space.
Astin received an Academy Award nomination for Prelude, a short film that he wrote, produced, and directed. He was nominated for an Ace Award for his work on Tales from the Crypt, and received an Emmy nomination for the cartoon voice of Gomez on ABC-TV's The Addams Family. He also voiced the character Bull Gator on the animated series Taz-Mania. Astin served for four years on the Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of America, and has been active in community affairs in Los Angeles and Santa Monica.
He has continued to work in acting, appearing in a string of Killer Tomatoes films as Professor Gangreen and as Professor Wickwire in The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.. He also has toured the one-man play Edgar Allan Poe: Once Upon a Midnight, written by Paul Day Clemens and Ron Magid. In a December 2007 Baltimore Examiner interview, Astin said of his acting experience:
|“||We all struggle, and I had plenty of that, but I've had a great time. I've done hundreds of TV shows and 30 to 40 movies, and I love acting. I'm very happy having done the Poe. That's been really terrific.||”|
Astin currently teaches method acting and directing in the Theater Arts and Studies Department at Johns Hopkins University, his alma mater. Commenting on his dual career, he said in 2007, "I don't know one major university that has a known actor teaching every day." He hopes to re-establish a drama major at the university, noting that he is one of only a handful to earn a drama degree from Hopkins. Astin can be seen singing and playing cowbell in a music video from JHU released in December 2009.
John Astin has five sons; three (David, Allen, and Tom) with his first wife, Suzanne Hahn; two with his second wife, actress Patty Duke - one adopted (Sean, Patty's son from an earlier relationship, whom John adopted after their marriage) and one biological (Mackenzie). Astin is currently married to Valerie Ann Sandobal and lives in Baltimore. He practices Nichiren Buddhism as a member of the worldwide Buddhist association Soka Gakkai International.
He has six granddaughters: Alexandra, Elizabeth, Isabella, Sedona, Jaya, and Dov.
- n.b. for credit listings reference
|1961||West Side Story||Glad Hand, Social Worker Leading Dance|||
|1962||That Touch of Mink||Mr. Everett Beasley|
|1963||Move Over Darling||Clyde Prokey||
|1963||The Wheeler Dealers||SEC official||Released as Separate Beds in the UK|||
|1967||The Spirit is Willing||Dr. Frieden|
|1968||Candy||Daddy / Uncle Jack|||
|1969||Viva Max!||Sergeant Valdez||Comedy film|
|1972||Un secuestro de locura||Star||
|Evil Roy Slade||Evil Roy Slade|
|Get to Know Your Rabbit||Mr. Turnbull|
|Every Little Crook and Nanny||Vito Garbugli|
|1973||The Brothers O'Toole||Michael O'Toole / Desperate Ambrose Littleberry|
|1976||Freaky Friday||Bill Andrews||American fantasy comedy film directed by Gary Nelson.|
|1985||National Lampoon's European Vacation||Kent Winkdale (host of "A Pig in a Poke")|
|1987||Teen Wolf Too||Dean Dunn||
|Body Slam||Scotty the car dealer||American comedy film directed by Hal Needham.|
|1988||Return of the Killer Tomatoes||Professor Gangreen||
|1990||Gremlins 2: The New Batch||Janitor|||
|Killer Tomatoes Strike Back||Professor Gangreen||It is the second in the Killer Tomatoes film series.|
|1991||Killer Tomatoes Eat France||Professor Gangreen||It is the third in the Killer Tomatoes film series.|
|The Silence of the Hams||The Ranger|||
|1994||Huck and the King of Hearts||Zach|
|1996||The Frighteners||The Judge||New Zealand-American horror comedy fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson and co-written with his wife, Fran Walsh.|||
|2006||What the Bleep!?: Down the Rabbit Hole||Dr. Quantum||Voice|
|2015||Starship II: Rendezvous with Ramses||Professor Peabody|
|1961||The Twilight Zone||Charlie||Episode: "A Hundred Yards Over the Rim"|
|1962– 63||I'm Dickens, He's Fenster||Harry Dickens||Main cast|
|1964–66||The Addams Family||Gomez Addams||Main cast|
|1967||The Pruitts of Southampton||Rudy Pruitt|||
|Batman||The Riddler||Episode: "Batman's Anniversary/A Riddling Controversy"|
|The Wild Wild West||Count Nikolai Sazanov||Episode: "The Night of the Tartar"|
|The Flying Nun||Father Lundigan||Episode: "Flight of the Dodo Bird"|
|1971||The Odd Couple||Beau Buffingham||Episode: "Oscar's New Life"|
|Night Gallery||Jonathon||Episode: "Pamela's Voice"|
|Randy Miller||Episode: "Hell's Bells"|
|1972||Night Gallery||Mr. Munch||Episode: "The Girl with the Hungry Eyes"|
|1972–73||McMillan & Wife||Sykes||Episodes:
|1973||The Partridge Family||Sydney Rose||Episode: "The Mad Millionaire"|
|Circle of Fear||Fred Colby||Episode: "The Graveyard Shift"|
|1974||Only with Married Men||Dr. Harvey Osterman||Made-for-TV Movie|
|1975– 1979||Welcome Back Kotter||Museum curator||Recurring role|
|1977||Halloween with the New Addams Family||Gomez Addams||Made-for-TV Movie|
|1977–78||Operation Petticoat||Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Sherman||Main cast|||
|1984||Night Court||Kenny||Episode :"Inside Harry Stone" (S 2:Ep 9)|
|1985–86||Mary||Ed LaSalle||Main cast|
|1985||Murder She Wrote||Ross Hayley||Episode: "Hooray for Homicide"|
|Otherworld||Akin||Episode: "Mansion of the Beast"|
|1986||Mr. Boogedy||Neil Witherspoon||Made-for TV movie|||
|1986–90||Night Court||Former Mental Patient Buddy Ryan||Recurring role|
|1987||The Charmings||Jack/The Devil||Episode: "The Witch is of Van Oaks" (S 2:Ep 3)|
|1989||"Charles in Charge"||Uncle Joe||Episode: "Pickle King of New York"|
|1993||The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.||Professor Albert Wickwire||Episode: "Pilot" (S 1:Ep 1)|
|1991||Eerie Indiana||Radford||Recurring role|
|Taz-Mania||Bull Gator||Recurring role|
|1992–93||The Addams Family||Gomez Addams|
|1994||Mad About You||Himself||Episode: "Up All Night"|
|Step by Step||George Humphries||Episode: "The Ice Cream Man Cometh"|
|1994–97||Duckman||Terry Duke Tetzloff||Recurring role|
|1995||The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat||Additional Voices||Recurring role|
|Murder She Wrote||Fritz Randall||Episode: "Film Flam" (S 11:Ep 6)|
|Step by Step||George Humphries||Episode: "The Flight Before Christmas"(S 5:Ep 11)|
|1996||The Nanny||The Plastic Surgeon||Episodes:
|1997||Homeboys in Outer Space||Rhymer||Episode: "The Adventures of Ratman and Gerbil or, Holy Homeboys in Outer Space" (S 1:Ep 21}|
|Johnny Bravo||Scientist 1/Blind Man||Episode: "Jumbo Johnny / The Perfect Gift / Bravo, James Bravo" (S 1:Ep 10)|
|Pinky and the Brain||Grover Whalen||Episode:"Mice Don't Dance" (S 3:Ep 11)|
|1998||The New Addams Family||Grampapa Addams||Episode: "Grandpapa Addams Comes to Visit" (S 1:Ep 16)|
|Recess||Supt. Skinner||Episode: "Kids in the Mist" (S 1:Ep 12)|
|1999||Recess||The Judge||Episode: "The Story of Whomps" (S 2:Ep 11)|
|The Hughleys||Guest star||Episode: "Storm o' the Century" (S 1:Ep 17)|
|The New Addams Family||Grampapa Addams||Episode: "Fester and Granny vs. Grandpapa Addams" (S 1:Ep 40)|
|The Wild Thornberrys||Bangaboo||Episode: "The Great Bangaboo" (S 1:Ep 17)|
|2000||The Strip||Orson Bates||Episode: "I Wear My Sunglasses At Night" (S 1:Ep 9)|
|Becker||Richard Wilson||Episode: "All The Rage" (S 2:Ep 15)|
|2001||As Told By Ginger||Dave Bishop||Episodes:
|2004||Higglytown Heroes||Santa Claus||Episode: "Twinkle's Wish" (S 1:Ep 12)|
|2005||School of Life||Stormin' Norman Warner||Made-for-TV Movie|
|2006||My First Time||Himself||Episode : "Something About Mary" (S 1:Ep 1)|
|2007||Higglytown Heroes||Santa Claus||Episode: "'Tis the Season to Be Ducky / Bingo Bongos" (S 3:Ep 18)|
- Davis, John. "Soka Gakkai Buddhist Retreat Center". SunSentinel (in publisher=). Retrieved December 9, 2013.
- "John Astin Biography". filmreference. 2008. Retrieved January 17, 2009.
- Lowry, Cynthia (October 30, 1962). "Actor John Astin Suddenly Finds He's A Siamese Twin". Ocala Star-Banner. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
- "Batman". imdb.com. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
- Jessica Novak (December 28, 2007). "Johns Hopkins' leading man". The Baltimore Examiner.
- "John Astin : Credit Listings". TV.com. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
- "West Side Story (AA)". British Board of Film Classification. January 12, 1962. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
- Garner, James & Winokur, Jon The Garner Files: A Memoir Simon & Schuster; (November 1, 2011) Accessed May 23, 2015
- Variety film review; September 25, 1963, page 6 Accesed May 23, 2015.
- Ebert, Roger (December 26, 1968). "Review: Candy (1968)". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved March 23, 2010.
- "Candy (1968) Reviews". RottenTomatoes.com. Retrieved March 23, 2010.
- Adler, Renata (December 18, 1968). "'Candy,' Compromises Galore:Film Faithful in Spirit to Satirical Novel". New York Times. Retrieved March 23, 2010.
- "Bunny O'Hare". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- The Contract and the Cutting Room Floor The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973) [Washington, D.C] 21 Aug 1971: E2
- DVD commentary (2002). Gremlins 2: The New Batch. archiveurl=: Warner Home Video.
- "Il Silenzio dei prosciutti (The Silence of the Hams) (1994)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
- "The Silence of the Hams". Time Out Film Guide website. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
- Bignell, Darren. "Silence of the Hams". Empire Online. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
- Pryor, Ian (2003). Peter Jackson: From Prince of Splatter to Lord of the Rings. New York City: Thomas Dunne Books. pp. 204–205. ISBN 0-312-32294-1.
- Diller, Phyllis; Buskin, Richard (2005). Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse: My Life in Comedy. New York: The Penguin Group. pp. 190–193. ISBN 1-58542-396-3.
- Brooks and Marsh 1995, p. 780. Accessed May 20, 2015
- "Operation Petticoat TV Show". the70sproject.com. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- "Operation Petticoat (1977–1979)". imdb.com. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- "Mr. Boogedy". The New York Times. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- John Astin at the Internet Movie Database
- John Astin at the Internet Broadway Database
- John Astin at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- John Astin at TV Guide
- John Astin at TV.com
- John Astin at MSN
- John Astin in Once Upon a Midnight
- article about John Astin's teaching work from the Johns Hopkins Gazette, "Course Catalog: Contemporary Theatre and Film: An Insider's View"; April 24, 2006 (Vol. 35 No. 31) [Includes contemporary picture of Astin]
|First actor||Gomez Addams Actor
18 September 1964 – 30 October 1977
|The Riddler Actor
8 – 9 February 1967