Astin in 2014
Sean Patrick Duke
February 25, 1971
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Education||Los Angeles Valley College|
University of California, Los Angeles (BA)
|Occupation||Actor, voice actor, director, producer|
Christine Harrell (m. 1992)
|Relatives||Mackenzie Astin (half-brother)|
Sean Patrick Astin (né Duke; born February 25, 1971) is an American actor, voice actor, director, and producer. His acting roles include Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001–2003), Mikey Walsh in The Goonies (1985), Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger in Rudy (1993), and Bob Newby in the second season of Stranger Things (2017).
Astin was born in Santa Monica, California, the son of actress Patty Duke (1946–2016) and Michael Tell. At the time, it was erroneously reported that entertainer Desi Arnaz Jr. was his biological father. When Michael Tell, a writer, music promoter and publisher of the newspaper The Las Vegas Israelite, came to sublet her apartment and offered to marry her as a way out of the scandal, Duke agreed. The marriage lasted only 13 days in 1970, and ended long before Astin was born.
On August 5, 1972, Duke married actor John Astin, after having been in a relationship with him for two years. When the wedding guests were invited to speak, 18-month-old Sean looked at John and cried, "Daddy!", to which the Episcopal priest performing the ceremony remarked, "Well, that about does it!" Astin subsequently adopted Sean. In 1973, Duke gave birth to Astin's brother, Mackenzie Astin, who also became an actor. Duke and John Astin divorced in 1985. Duke married Mike Pearce in 1986, and they adopted a son, Kevin, in 1989.
When Astin was 14, Duke told him that Arnaz was his father, and the two developed a relationship. However, in his mid-20s, Astin met a relative of Michael Tell who suggested they were related. Sean set out to find the truth about his biological father, and underwent genetic tests which showed Tell was his biological father. Astin has maintained close relationships with all three, saying, "Desi Arnaz Jr. loves me, and I love him. We are so close ... Science tells me ... that he's not my biological father. Science tells me that Mike Tell is." Astin considers John his father, as John was the one who raised him. Astin is also close to his stepfather, Mike Pearce, saying, "I can call any of them on the phone any time I want to," says Sean. "John, Desi, Mike, or Papa Mike ... my four dads."
Astin is of German and Irish ancestry through his mother, and Austrian-Jewish and Polish-Jewish through his biological father. He attended Catholic school and later became a Protestant.
Astin attended the Crossroads High School for the Arts and undertook master classes at the Stella Adler Conservatory in Los Angeles. He graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in History and English (American literature and culture). An alumnus of Los Angeles Valley College, Astin served on the school's board of directors of the Patrons Association and the Arts Council.
Astin's first acting role was in a 1981 television movie titled Please Don't Hit Me, Mom, in which he played an 8-year-old child with an abusive mother (portrayed by his real-life mother Patty Duke). He made his film debut at age 13 as Mikey in The Goonies (1985).
After The Goonies, Astin appeared in several more films, including the Disney made-for-TV movie, The B.R.A.T. Patrol, opposite Nia Long, Tim Thomerson and Brian Keith; Like Father Like Son (1987); White Water Summer with Kevin Bacon (1987), The War of the Roses (1989); the World War II film Memphis Belle (1990); Toy Soldiers (1991); Encino Man (1992); and the college football biopic Rudy (1993), about the life-changing struggles and rewards of the titular character, Daniel Ruettiger.
In 1994, Astin directed and co-produced (with his wife, Christine Astin) the short film Kangaroo Court, which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Live Action Short Film. Astin continued to appear in films throughout the 1990s, including the Showtime science fiction film Harrison Bergeron (1995), the Gulf War film Courage Under Fire (1996), and the Warren Beatty political satire Bulworth (1998).
The Lord of the Rings
In the early 2000s, Astin played Samwise Gamgee in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, consisting of The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002), and The Return of the King (2003). Many awards were bestowed upon the trilogy, particularly its final installment, which earned eleven (11) Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Astin received seven award nominations for his own performance, and won five, including the Saturn Award, the Sierra Award, the Seattle Film Critics Award, and the Utah Film Critics Award (all for Best Supporting Actor), and the Visual Effects Society Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male or Female in an Effects Film. The Return of the King cast as an ensemble received awards from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, the Screen Actors Guild, the Broadcast Film Critics Association, and received a Gold Derby Award.
Throughout the filming process, Astin became close friends with several cast members, and became particularly good friends with costar Elijah Wood. Astin's daughter, Alexandra, is in the closing scene of The Return of the King. She plays his onscreen daughter, Elanor Gamgee, who runs out to him as he returns from the harbor (where he said goodbye to Frodo, Bilbo and Gandalf).
While working on The Lord of the Rings, Astin persuaded a number of fellow cast and crew members, including director Peter Jackson, to assist him in making his second short film, The Long and Short of It. The film, which takes place on a street in Wellington, New Zealand, premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and can be found on the DVD for The Two Towers, along with a "making of" video.
In 2004, Astin released There and Back Again (ISBN 0-312-33146-0), a memoir (co-written with Joe Layden) of his film career with emphasis on his experiences during production of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The title is derived from the title of J. R. R. Tolkien's novel The Hobbit, as well as the fictional book written by Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings.
Post-Lord of the Rings
Since Lord of the Rings, Astin has continued to work in film and television. His film roles have included the Adam Sandler comedies 50 First Dates and Click. Astin played the role of Malibu High School principal Mike Matthews in the movie Smile.
In television, Astin guest-starred as Lynn McGill throughout the fifth season of the Fox drama 24. He also appeared in the made-for-TV films Hercules and The Colour of Magic and in episodes of Monk, Las Vegas, My Name is Earl (in which he parodied his 1993 film Rudy with co-stars Charles S. Dutton and Chelcie Ross), and Law & Order, among other shows. He directed a 2003 episode of the TV series Angel, titled "Soulless". He played the enigmatic Mr. Smith on the second season of the Showtime series Jeremiah.
Astin's career has also expanded to include voice-over roles. He narrated the American version of the Animal Planet series Meerkat Manor, and voices the title character in the animated Disney Channel series Special Agent Oso. His other voice work includes Balto III: Wings of Change, in which he voiced Kodi, a teenage husky who is the son of the titular character, and the video game Kingdom Hearts, in the latter of which he provided the voice of Hercules, replacing actor Tate Donovan, who was unavailable but would return for Kingdom Hearts II. Astin voiced Raphael in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series on Nickelodeon, which premiered on September 29, 2012, running for five seasons and 124 episodes, and ending on November 12, 2017.
In 2010, he joined the Stella Adler Los Angeles Theatre Collective acting company. He and his wife, Christine, are making a movie based on Lois Lowry's Newbery Medal-winning novel Number the Stars.
In March 2012, Astin played a cosmetic surgeon named Takin Mastuhmik in a fake movie trailer entitled Boobathon which appeared on Funny or Die. In March 2014, Astin played a soldier in Boys of Abu Ghraib, a military thriller inspired by the events that made worldwide news in 2004. In June of that year, he began playing the role of Jim Kent on the FX drama The Strain.
In 2017, Astin played the role of Bob Newby in the season two of the Netflix series Stranger Things. In 2019. he played the role of Dr. Greg Pemberton on several episodes of 'The Big Bang Theory'
Astin married Christine Harrell on July 11, 1992. They have three daughters: Alexandra (born November 27, 1996), Elizabeth (born August 6, 2002), and Isabella (born July 22, 2005), all having the middle name Louise. His wife held the Miss Indiana Teen USA title in 1984. Alexandra had a small cameo role in Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King as Elanor Gardner, Astin's character's daughter, and appears in Bad Kids of Crestview Academy as Ethel Balducci.
Astin has a tattoo on his ankle of the word "nine" written with the Tengwar script, commemorating his Lord of the Rings involvement and his character's membership in the Fellowship of the Ring. Seven of the eight other actors (Elijah Wood, Sean Bean, Billy Boyd, Ian McKellen, Dominic Monaghan, Viggo Mortensen and Orlando Bloom) all have the same tattoo. John Rhys-Davies' stunt double, Brett Beattie, has the tattoo as well.
In the 2008 presidential election, Astin lent his support to then-Senator Hillary Clinton for the first of her two Presidential campaigns and made multiple campaign appearances on her behalf, including joining Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, at some stops.
Astin served as the campaign manager for Democrat Dan Adler, a businessman friend in the entertainment industry, for California's 36th congressional district special election, 2011.
|1985||The Goonies||Mikey Walsh|
|1987||Like Father Like Son||Clarence / Trigger|
|1987||White Water Summer||Alan|
|1989||The War of the Roses||Josh Rose (age 17)|
|1989||Staying Together||Duncan McDermott|
|1990||Memphis Belle||Sergeant Richard "Rascal" Moore|
|1991||Toy Soldiers||William Tepper|
|1992||Where the Day Takes You||Greg|
|1992||Encino Man||Dave Morgan|
|1994||Safe Passage||Izzy Singer|
|1995||The Low Life||Andrew|
|1995||Harrison Bergeron||Harrison Bergeron|
|1996||Courage Under Fire||Patella|
|1997||Wag the Dog||Singer||Uncredited|
|1998||Boy Meets Girl||Mike|
|2000||The Last Producer||Bo Pomerantz|
|2000||The Sky is Falling||Mr. Schwartz|
|2001||The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring||Samwise Gamgee|
|2002||The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers|
|2003||The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King|
|2004||Balto III: Wings of Change||Kodi||Voice|
|2004||Elvis Has Left the Building||Aaron|
|2004||50 First Dates||Doug Whitmore|
|2005||Bigger Than the Sky||Ken Zorbell|
|2005||Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School||Kip Kipling|
|2005||Thanks to Gravity||Coach Amal||Direct-to-DVD|
|2006||What Love Is||George||Direct-to-VOD|
|2006||Asterix and the Vikings||Justforkix||English dub|
|2007||The Final Season||Kent Stock|
|2008||Spirit of the Forest||Furi||Voice|
|2009||Stay Cool||Big Girl||Direct-to-VOD|
|2012||Amazing Love: The Story of Hosea||Stuart||Direct-to-DVD|
|2013||The Freemason||Leon Weed||Direct-to-DVD|
|2014||Justice League: War||Shazam||Voice|
|2014||Boys of Abu Ghraib||Staff Sergeant Tanner||Direct-to-VOD|
|2014||Cabin Fever: Patient Zero||Porter||Direct-to-DVD|
|2014||Moms' Night Out||Sean|
|2014||Video Games: The Movie||Narrator||Documentary|
|2014||The Hero of Color City||Horatio||Voice|
|2015||Justice League: Throne of Atlantis||Shazam||Voice|
|2015||Do You Believe?||Dr. Farell|
|2017||Bad Kids of Crestview Academy||Headmaster Nash|
|2017||Espionage Tonight||Sam Jacobson|
|2017||The Lears||Tom Cornwall|
|1981||Please Don't Hit Me, Mom||Brian Reynolds||Filmed in 1980|
|1982||The Rules of Marriage||Charlie Hagen|
|1985||The O'Briens||The Son|
|1986||The B.R.A.T. Patrol||Leonard Kinsey|
|2003||Angel||N/A||Director (episode: "Soulless")|
|2003–2004||Jeremiah||Mister Smith||Main role (Season 2)|
|2004||Higglytown Heroes||Pix the Elf||Guest voice role (1 episode)|
|2005||Into The West||Martin Jarrett||Miniseries|
|2005–2007||Meerkat Manor||Narrator||Seasons 1–3|
|2006||24||Lynn McGill||Main role (Season 5)|
|2007||Masters of Science Fiction||Charlie Kramer||Episode: "Watchbird"|
|2007||Monk||Paul Buchanan||Episode: "Mr. Monk Is At Your Service"|
|2007||My Name Is Earl||Salesman||Episode: "Get a Real Job"|
|2008||Terry Pratchett's The Colour of Magic||Twoflower||Movie|
|2008||Law & Order||Pastor Hensley||Episode: "Angelgrove"|
|2009–2012||Special Agent Oso||Agent Oso||Voice role (22 episodes)|
|2011||Love's Christmas Journey||Mayor Wayne||Movie|
|2012||NCIS||Tyler Elliot||Episode: "The Tell"|
|2012||Dorothy and the Witches of Oz||Frack||Miniseries|
|2012||Hollywood Treasure||Himself||Episode: "Riddler Rudy and the Ruby Slippers"|
|2012||Franklin and Bash||Viper||Episode: "Viper"|
|2012–2017||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||Raphael||Voice role|
|2014||The Strain||Jim Kent||Main role|
|2015, 2017||Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero||Blaze||Voice role; 4 episodes|
|2016||The Loud House||Loni||Voice role; Episode: "One of the Boys"|
|2016||The Librarians||Kirby Goulding||Episode: "And the Tears of a Clown"|
|2016–2018||Justice League Action||Billy Batson / Shazam||Voice role|
|2017||Stranger Things||Bob Newby||Main role (7 episodes)|
|2018–present||The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants||Narrator|
|2019||The Big Bang Theory||Dr. Pemberton||Episodes: "The Confirmation Polarization," "The Laureate Accumulation," & "The Plagiarism Schism"|
|2019||No Good Nick||Ed||Main role|
|2019||Brooklyn Nine-Nine||Sergeant Knox||Episode: "Ticking Clocks"|
|2002||Kingdom Hearts||Hercules||English version|
|2003||The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King||Samwise Gamgee|
|2004||Men of Valor||Pat 'Mouth' Hodges|
|2006||The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II - The Rise of the Witch-king||Samwise Gamgee|
|2010||The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest|
|2012||Lego The Lord of the Rings||Archive recordings|
|2013||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||Raphael|
|2015||Lego Dimensions||Samwise Gamgee|
|2016||Minecraft: Story Mode||Reginald|
Awards and nominations
- Otterson, Joe (June 7, 2018). "Sean Astin Talks 'Stranger Things': 'Bob Newby Was Tailor-Made for Me'". Retrieved December 30, 2018.
- "Astin, Sean (Patrick)". Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
- "Personal Biography". seanastin.com. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
- "Sean Astin profile". IGN. Archived from the original on 27 February 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- "Sean Astin's childhood with Patty Duke". ABC News. 31 July 2004. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
- "Sean Astin Q&A at GenCon 2003". TheOneRing.net. 1 August 2003. Retrieved 13 December 2006.
- Barrett, Victoria (19 December 2003). "I don't want to play the fat guy or the friend all my life". Guardian Unlimited. London, UK. Retrieved 13 December 2006.
- Armstrong, Lois (17 October 1977). "For taming precocious Patty Duke, John Astin is a miracle worker". People. Vol. 8 no. 16.
- "Patty Duke Biography". Biography channel. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- Dam, Julie K.L; Jordan, Julie (14 January 2002). "Hobbit forming". People Magazine. Time Inc. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
DNA tests ... proved Tell to be his father.
- "Sean Astin Q&A at GenCon 2003". Hobbit Movie News and Rumors. TheOneRing.net. 1 August 2003. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
- "Heritage of Michael Tell". Retrieved 21 February 2014.
- "Heritage of Beatrice Goldstein (Michael Tell's mother)". www.familysearch.com. United States Census. 14–15 April 1930. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
- Kennedy, John W. (August 2013). "Sean Astin talks about his eclectic faith journey, his love of animals and his role in an upcoming Christian comedy from the Erwin Brothers". Beliefnet. Archived from the original on 10 August 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
JWK: I understand that you're a Presbyterian now. SA: Lutheran, technically now, I think ...
- "Sean Astin '97". alumni.ucla.edu. 22 May 2015. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- "IMDb Trivia Page for Please Don't Hit Me, Mom". Retrieved December 26, 2016.
- "IMDb Awards Listing for Sean Astin". Retrieved December 26, 2016.
- "IMDb Awards Listing for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King". Retrieved December 26, 2016.
- Banks, Dave (June 11, 2009). "Q&A With Sean Astin – Star of Disney's New Kids' Show Special Agent Oso". wired.com. Condé Nast Digital. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
- "Stella Adler Los Angeles Theatre Collective Announces Inaugural Season 2010/02/26". Losangeles.broadwayworld.com. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
- Marilyn Beck; Stacy Jenel Smith (July 16, 2011). "Diahann Carroll Diamond Birthday Arrives, PBS Special Soon to Air". Beck/Smith Hollywood. Wordpress. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
- Lava Entertainment. "Number The Stars". Number The Stars. Lava Entertainment. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
- Astin, Sean (March 6, 2012). "Boobathon Trailer with Sean Astin". Funny or Die. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
- "Boys of Abu Ghraib: Full Cast & Crew". imdb.com. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
- "The Strain: Cast & Crew". FX Networks. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- Funaro, Vincent (August 30, 2015). "'Woodlawn' Movie Depicts True Life Story of 40-Person Football Team Coming to Christ During Height of '70s Desegregation". The Christian Post. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
- "Personal Biography", seanastin.com; retrieved December 26, 2016.
- "Past Titleholders: Miss Indiana Teen USA". missindianausa.com. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- Xavier (July 2015). "The Matching Tattoos of 'the Lord of the Rings' Cast". tattoodo.com. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
- "2015 Dopey Challenge Full Results" (PDF). TrackShackResults.com. April 21, 2015. p. 5. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
- Rodriguez, Ashley (January 4, 2017). "How to Recover from the Dopey Challenge". Runner's World.
Disney's 48.6-mile Dopey Challenge [... i]s no easy feat. While plenty of runners have finished 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, and marathons, few have done them back-to-back over the course of four days.
- "IRONMAN World Championship Results". Ironman World Championship. World Triathlon Corporation. October 10, 2015. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
- Calisuri and Corvar and Arathorn (May 17, 2004). "Sean Astin at Portland, OR Rally for John Kerry". TheOneRing.net. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
- "Chelsea Clinton, 'Rudy' start to stump at IU". Indiana Daily Student. March 24, 2008. Archived from the original on June 15, 2008. Retrieved March 28, 2008.
- Pappas, Alex (May 18, 2011). "Sean Astin's candidate gets less than 300 votes". The Daily Caller. The Daily Caller. Retrieved September 16, 2012.
- Weis, Alyssa. "Hobbit Star Stumps for Clinton". WOI-DT (Local ABC 5). Retrieved August 5, 2016.
- Doc Rotten (March 8, 2014). "Film Review: Cabin Fever: Patient Zero (2014)". horrornews.net. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
Sean Astin steps into the role of Mr. Porter
- Collis, Clark (July 23, 2014). "Sean Astin bugs out in 'Cabin Fever: Patient Zero' clip". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- "Erwin Brothers Wrap Filming On Family Comedy 'MOMS' NIGHT OUT'" (Press release). Sony Pictures. PR Newswire. June 24, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2014.
... a wife and her husband, played by Grey's Anatomy's Sarah Drew as Allyson and Sean Astin as Sean
- Law, Jeannie (January 21, 2014). "'Moms' Night Out' Movie Featuring Patricia Heaton, Sean Astin, and Sarah Drew Portrays 'Christians in a Positive Light'". BREATHEcast. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- "Higglytown Heroes Cast". TV Guide. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
- "Breaking News". The Futon Critic. October 8, 2013. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- "Penn Zero: Become A Part-Time Hero with Sam Levine, Jared Bush, and Balls". Comicbook.com. March 27, 2015. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
- "Disney Channel PR twitter feed". Twitter. September 30, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
- "One of the Boys". tv.com. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
- "2014 Winners". Utah Film Awards. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
- Dye, David. Child and Youth Actors: Filmography of Their Entire Careers, 1914–1985. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 1988, p. 7.
- Holmstrom, John. The Moving Picture Boy: An International Encyclopaedia from 1895 to 1995. Norwich, Michael Russell, 1996, pp. 385–386.
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