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 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)|
Astin was born in Santa Monica, California, the son of actress Patty Duke (1946–2016). 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, attending a Presbyterian church in Bel Air, Los Angeles.
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).
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.
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.
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 voice|
|2007||The Final Season||Kent Stock|
|2008||Spirit of the Forest||Furi||Voice role|
|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 role|
|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 role|
|2015||Justice League: Throne of Atlantis||Shazam||Voice role|
|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–present||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|
|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|
|1985||Young Artist Awards||Best Starring Performance by a Young Actor – Motion Picture||The Goonies||Won|
|1989||Best Young Actor Starring in a Motion Picture||Staying Together||Won|
|1991||Outstanding Young Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture||Toy Soldiers||Nominated|
|1994||Academy Awards||Best Live Action Short Film||Kangaroo Court||Nominated|
|2001||Screen Actors Guild||Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring||Nominated|
|2002||MTV Movie Awards||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|
|Visual Effects Society||Best Performance by an Actor in an Effects Film (shared with Elijah Wood and Andy Serkis)||Won|
|Screen Actors Guild||Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|2003||Chicago Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actor||The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King||Won|
|National Board of Review||Best Cast||Won|
|Online Film & Television Association||Best Ensemble||Won|
|Saturn Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|Screen Actors Guild||Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||Won|
|Visual Effects Society||Outstanding Male or Female Actor||Won|
|Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association||Best Ensemble||Nominated|
|2014||Utah Film Awards||Best Actor||The Freemason||Won|
DNA tests ... proved Tell to be his father.
JWK: I understand that you're a Presbyterian now. SA: Lutheran, technically now, I think ...
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.
Sean Astin steps into the role of Mr. Porter
... a wife and her husband, played by Grey's Anatomy's Sarah Drew as Allyson and Sean Astin as Sean
Forever Strong is a sports film directed by Ryan Little and written by David Pliler and released on September 26, 2008. The film stars Sean Faris, Gary Cole, Neal McDonough, Sean Astin, Penn Badgley and Arielle Kebbel. The film is about a troubled rugby union player who must play against the team his father coaches at the national championships. Forever Strong is based on a compilation of individual true stories.Gloria Bell
Gloria Bell is a 2018 drama film written and directed by Sebastián Lelio; it is a reimagining of Lelio's 2013 film Gloria. The film stars Julianne Moore, John Turturro, Michael Cera, Caren Pistorius, Brad Garrett, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Rita Wilson, Sean Astin, and Holland Taylor. It had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2018, and was released in the United States on March 8, 2019, by A24.Moms' Night Out
Moms' Night Out is a 2014 American faith-based comedy film directed by the Erwin Brothers, and written by Jon Erwin and Andrea Gyertson Nasfell. The film stars Sarah Drew, Sean Astin, Patricia Heaton and Trace Adkins. The film was released on May 9, 2014, in 1,044 theaters.No Good Nick
No Good Nick is an American comedy web television series, created by David H. Steinberg and Keetgi Kogan. The series stars Siena Agudong, Lauren Lindsey Donzis, Kalama Epstein, Melissa Joan Hart and Sean Astin, and first part premiered on April 15, 2019 on Netflix. The second part is scheduled for release in fall 2019.Ribbit (film)
Ribbit is a 2014 Malaysian 3D computer-animated comedy film produced by KRU Studios and Crest Animation Studios. It is directed by Chuck Powers from a screenplay by Chuck Powers and Hamir Afizi and features the voices of Sean Astin, Russell Peters, Tim Curry, and Cherami Leigh.Rudy (film)
Rudy is a 1993 American biographical sports film directed by David Anspaugh. It is an account of the life of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, who harbored dreams of playing football at the University of Notre Dame despite significant obstacles. It was the first film that the Notre Dame administration allowed to be shot on campus since Knute Rockne, All American in 1940.
In 2005, Rudy was named one of the best 25 sports movies of the previous 25 years in two polls by ESPN (#24 by a panel of sports experts, and #4 by ESPN.com users). It was ranked the 54th-most inspiring film of all time in the "AFI 100 Years" series.The film was released on October 15, 1993, by TriStar Pictures. It stars Sean Astin as the title character, along with Ned Beatty, Jason Miller and Charles S. Dutton. The script was written by Angelo Pizzo, who created Hoosiers (1986), which was also directed by Anspaugh. The film was shot in Illinois and Indiana.Safe Passage (film)
Safe Passage is a 1994 American drama film starring Susan Sarandon, and featuring Nick Stahl, Sam Shepard, Sean Astin and Jason London. Directed by Robert Allan Ackerman from a screenplay by Deena Goldstone, it is based on the novel Safe Passage by Ellyn Bache.Slipstream (2005 film)
Slipstream is a 2005 science fiction film, written by Louis Morneau and Phillip Badger and directed by David van Eyssen. The film stars Sean Astin, Vinnie Jones, and Ivana Miličević. It was first shown at the London Sci-Fi and Fantasy Film Festival on February 3, 2005. The film concerns the efforts of a socially inept scientist (Sean Astin) and a female FBI agent (Ivana Miličević) to recover a time travel device (called "Slipstream") that was stolen by a group of bank robbers commanded by Vinnie Jones. The film was imagined as part science fiction, part action and part buddy comedy.Soulless (Angel)
"Soulless" is episode 11 of season 4 in the television show Angel. Written by Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain and directed by actor Sean Astin, it was originally broadcast on February 5, 2003 on the WB network. In "Soulless", Angel’s soul has been locked away in an office safe so that his alter ego Angelus can be interrogated about the Beast. After taunting Wesley, Gunn, and Fred about their faults and revealing damaging secrets he, as Angel, knew, Cordelia strikes a deal with Angelus so that he will share information about the Beast.Stay Cool
Stay Cool is an American comedy film directed by Michael Polish (credited as Ted Smith), and written by Mark Polish. The film stars Winona Ryder, Mark Polish, Hilary Duff, Sean Astin, Josh Holloway, Jon Cryer, and Chevy Chase. The film premiered at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival and released theatrically in 2011.Staying Together (film)
Staying Together is a 1989 American comedy-drama film directed by Lee Grant and produced by Joseph Feury (Grant's husband) and Milton Justice. The film stars Sean Astin, Stockard Channing, Melinda Dillon, Levon Helm (of The Band), Dermot Mulroney, Tim Quill, and Daphne Zuniga. Grant's daughter, Dinah Manoff makes a brief appearance. Channing and Manoff previously appeared together in Grease, released 11 years earlier. This is the last film directed by Lee Grant.The Final Season
The Final Season is a 2007 baseball film starring Sean Astin, Rachael Leigh Cook, Tom Arnold, Powers Boothe, Brett Claywell, Michael Angarano, and Marshall Bell and directed by David Mickey Evans. The film wrapped production in 2006 in Shellsburg, Iowa, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and was released in the United States and Canada on October 12, 2007, by Yari Film Group.
The film premiered three times at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. The film also premiered in Cedar Rapids on October 7, 2007.The Long and Short of It
The Long and Short of It is a 2003 short film directed, co-written and produced by Sean Astin. The five-minute film was shot in Wellington, New Zealand in a single day when the cast and crew of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers had reunited to shoot pick-ups. It debuted on the DVD release of The Two Towers on August 26, 2003, and was an official entry at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.The Surface
The Surface is a 2014 American drama thriller film directed by Gil Cates Jr. and starring Sean Astin, Mimi Rogers, Chris Mulkey, and Jeff Gendelman. Gendelman also served as the films writer and producer.Toy Soldiers (1991 film)
Toy Soldiers is a 1991 American action drama thriller film directed by Daniel Petrie Jr., with a screenplay by Petrie and David Koepp. It stars Sean Astin, Wil Wheaton, Louis Gossett Jr., Andrew Divoff, Mason Adams and Denholm Elliott.
The plot revolves around an all-male boarding school overtaken by terrorists. While the authorities remain helpless, a group of rebellious and mischievous students decide to put their resourcefulness to good use.Unleashed (2016 film)
Unleashed is a 2016 American romantic comedy written and directed by Finn Taylor and starring Kate Micucci, Justin Chatwin, Steve Howey, Sean Astin and Hana Mae Lee.What Love Is
What Love Is is a 2007 romantic comedy film, written and directed by Mars Callahan and starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Matthew Lillard, Sean Astin, Anne Heche, and Gina Gershon.White Water Summer
White Water Summer is a 1987 American drama film directed by Jeff Bleckner and starring Kevin Bacon, Sean Astin, Jonathan Ward, and Matt Adler.Woodlawn (film)
Woodlawn is a 2015 American Christian sports drama film directed by The Erwin Brothers, Andrew and Jon Erwin. The film, which is based on the true story of Tandy Gerelds and Tony Nathan, stars Sean Astin, Nic Bishop, Caleb Castille, Sherri Shepherd, Jon Voight and C. Thomas Howell. It was produced by Kevin Downes and Daryl Lefever with Crescent City Pictures and Red Sky Studios and was released on October 16, 2015 by Pure Flix Entertainment. "Woodlawn" is the true story of how faith in God saved a city torn apart by racism.
Awards for Sean Astin