Astin at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International
|Born||Sean Patrick Duke
February 25, 1971
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, director, producer, voice artist|
|Spouse(s)||Christine Louise Harrell (m. 1992)|
|Parent(s)||Michael Tell (biological father)
John Astin (adoptive father)
|Relatives||Mackenzie Astin (half-brother)|
Sean Patrick Astin (born Sean Patrick Duke; February 25, 1971) is an American actor, director, voice artist, and producer best known for his film roles as Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Mikey Walsh in The Goonies (1985), and the title character of Rudy (1993). In television, he appeared as Lynn McGill in season five of 24 and voices Raphael in the 2012 Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series and Oso in the Disney Junior show Special Agent Oso. Astin also served as the campaign manager for his friend, Democrat Dan Adler, a businessman in the entertainment industry, for California's 36th congressional district special election, 2011.
Astin was born in Santa Monica, California, the son of actress Patty Duke. At the time, it was 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, Patty 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 Astin 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 half-brother Mackenzie Astin, who also became an actor. Patty Duke and John Astin divorced in 1985. Duke married Mike Pearce in 1986, and they adopted a son, Kevin, in 1989.
When he was 14, Duke told Astin that Arnaz was his father, and the two developed a relationship. But 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 that showed that Tell was Sean's biological father. Astin maintains close relationships with all three men, 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 step-father, 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 through his biological father. He attended Catholic school and later converted to Protestant Christianity, attending a Presbyterian church in Bel Air, California, US.
Astin attended the Crossroads High School for the Arts and 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 serves 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 a 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 experienced a career breakthrough with his role as Samwise Gamgee in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, released in 2001, 2002, and 2003. Along with the many awards bestowed upon the trilogy, particularly its final installment The Return of the King (winner of eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture), Astin received many award nominations for his own performance in Return of the King, taking home the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor. As an ensemble, the Return of the King cast received awards from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures and the Screen Actors Guild.
He and other cast members became close friends through the filming process. He became particularly good friends with Elijah Wood.
Astin's daughter, Alexandra, can be seen the closing scene of Lord of the Rings: 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 takes place on a street in Wellington, New Zealand. The Long and Short of It premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and appears on the DVD for The Lord of the Rings: 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 with the The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The title is derived from the subtitle 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 career
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 is currently the voice of Raphael in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series on Nickelodeon, which premiered on September 29, 2012.
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.
Astin married Christine Louise 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 with the middle name Louise. His wife held the Miss Indiana Teen USA title in 1984.
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 Fellowship 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 has the tattoo as well.
During the 2004 United States presidential election, Astin backed Senator John Kerry and participated in Kerry's campaign rally in Portland, Oregon, as the opening speaker. In the 2008 presidential election, Astin lent his support to Senator Hillary Clinton and made multiple campaign appearances on her behalf, including joining Clinton's daughter, Chelsea Clinton, at some stops.
Astin is a vegetarian.
|1985||Goonies, TheThe Goonies||Mikey Walsh|
|1987||Like Father Like Son||Clarence|
|1987||White Water Summer||Alan|
|1989||War of the Roses, TheThe War of the Roses||Josh (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||Low Life, TheThe Low Life||Andrew|
|1995||Harrison Bergeron||Harrison Bergeron|
|1996||Courage Under Fire||Patella|
|1998||Boy Meets Girl||Mike|
|2000||Last Producer, TheThe Last Producer||Bo Pomerantz|
|2000||Sky is Falling, TheThe Sky is Falling||Schwartz|
|2001||Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, TheThe Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring||Samwise Gamgee|
|2002||Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, TheThe Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers|
|2003||Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, TheThe 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 voice|
|2007||Final Season, TheThe Final Season||Kent Stock|
|2008||Spirit of the Forest||Furi||Voice|
|2009||Stay Cool||Big Girl||Direct-to-VOD|
|2012||Boobathon||Takin Mastuhmik||Funny or Die fake trailer|
|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|
|2016||Bad Kids of Crestview Academy||Headmaster Nash||In post-production|
|2016||Range 15||Grigsby||In post-production|
|1981||Please Don't Hit Me, Mom||Brian Reynolds|
|1982||The Rules of Marriage||Charlie Hagen|
|1985||The O'Briens||The Son|
|1986||B.R.A.T. Patrol, TheThe B.R.A.T. Patrol||Leonard Kinsey|
|2003||Angel||As director (Episode: "Soulless")|
|2003–04||Jeremiah||Mister Smith||Main role (Season 2)|
|2005||Into The West||Martin Jarrett||TV miniseries|
|2005–07||Meerkat Manor||Narrator||Season 1–3|
|2006||24||Lynn McGill||Main role (Season 5)|
|2007||Masters of Science Fiction||Charlie Kramer||Episode: "Watchbird" (unaired in U.S.)|
|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||Television film|
|2008||Law & Order||Pastor Hensley||Episode: "Angelgrove"|
|2009–2012||Special Agent Oso||Agent Oso||Main role; Voice|
|2011||Love's Christmas Journey||Mayor Wayne||TV film|
|2012–present||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||Raphael||Main role; Voice|
|2012||NCIS||Tyler Elliot||Episode: "The Tell"|
|2012||Adopting Terror||Tim||Television film|
|2012||Dorothy and the Witches of Oz||Frack||TV miniseries|
|2012||Hollywood Treasure||Himself||Episode: "Riddler Rudy and the Ruby Slippers"|
|2012||Franklin and Bash||Viper||Episode: "Viper"|
|2012||Alphas||Mitchell||Episodes: "If Memory Serves", "Need to Know"|
|2013||Santa Switch||Eddie||TV movie|
|2014||The Strain||Jim Kent||Main role|
|2015||Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero||Blaze||Episodes: "Where Dragons Dare", "Save the Worlds"; Voice|
|2002||Kingdom Hearts||Hercules||English version|
|2003||The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King||Samwise Gamgee|
|2010||The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest||Samwise Gamgee|
|2012||Lego The Lord of the Rings||Samwise Gamgee||Archive recordings|
|2013||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||Raphael|
|2015||Lego Dimensions||Samwise Gamgee|
Awards and nominations
|1985||Young Artist Award for Best Starring Performance by a Young Actor – Motion Picture||The Goonies||Won|
|1989||Young Artist Award for Best Young Actor Starring in a Motion Picture||Staying Together||Won|
|1991||Young Artist Award for Outstanding Young Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture||Toy Soldiers||Nominated|
|1994||Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film||Kangaroo Court||Nominated|
|2001||Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast||The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring||Won|
|Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|2002||MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Team (shared with Elijah Wood and Gollum/Andy Serkis)||The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers||Won|
|Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast||Won|
|Visual Effects Society Award for Best Performance by an Actor in an Effects Film (shared with Elijah Wood and Andy Serkis)||Won|
|Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|2003||Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor||The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King||Won|
|National Board of Review Award for Best Cast||Won|
|Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||Won|
|Empire Award for Best Actor||Nominated|
|Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble Acting||Nominated|
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