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John Astin

John AstinBorn: 30-Mar-1930
Birthplace: Baltimore, MD

Gender: Male
Religion: Buddhist
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Gomez on The Addams Family

John Astin is the hammy mustachioed comedic actor best known as Gomez Addams, patriarch of the morbid sitcom family inspired by the cartoons of Charles Addams. Astin's father was the Director of the National Bureau of Standards (which is now known by the even more bureaucratic name, National Institute of Standards and Technology). Young Astin too had a knack for numbers; he was majoring in mathematics when he appeared in a school play, and promptly switched his major to drama.

His early career included a New York production of The Threepenny Opera and Charles Laughton's production of Shaw's Major Barbara. He made his motion picture debut with a tiny role in the forgotten B-drama The Pusher in 1960. He had featured roles in West Side Story (as a chaperone at the dance) and That Touch of Mink with Cary Grant and Doris Day. On his first sitcom, I'm Dickens, He's Fenster, Astin played the married carpenter dealing with wacky co-worker Marty Ingels' bachelor antics. Then came The Addams Family, which, though it has lasted forever in reruns, ran only two seasons in prime time.

In subsequent sitcoms, Astin commanded a fleet of nurses in Operation Petticoat, played the mental patient who was revealed as Judge Harry's father on Night Court, and hammed it up as a mad scientist on The Adventures of Brisco County Jr with Bruce Campbell. In his last sitcom, he played Gomez Addams' father -- Grandpapa Addams -- in a short-lived late-1990s exhumation of The Addams Family. A perennial TV "guest star," Astin has popped up on dozens of other sitcoms and light dramas over the decades, from Maverick to Mad About You, Dennis the Menace to Diff'rent Strokes, Hazel to The Hughleys.

On the big screen, he played Jodie Foster's father in the original Freaky Friday, hosted Pig in a Poke in National Lampoon's European Vacation with Chevy Chase, and he starred as Prof. Mortimer Gangreen in the last three Killer Tomato epics, Return of the Killer Tomatoes!, Killer Tomatoes Strike Back!, and Killer Tomatoes Eat France! Astin was nominated for an Oscar in 1969, for a short film he wrote, directed, and starred in, Prelude.

Something of a bohemian, he has frequently toured the country in stage productions between sitcoms and other projects. Fellow performers say Astin would usually live in his van on the road, instead of checking into hotels. Astin is still a working actor, and in recent years he has toured in stage productions of Once Upon Midnight as Edgar Allan Poe, and briefly taught drama at his alma mater, Johns Hopkins.

Father: Allen V. Astin (Director of the National Bureau of Standards, from 1951-69)
Wife: Suzanne Hahn (stage actress, m. 1956, div. 1972, three sons)
Son: Allen (therapist, with Hahn)
Son: David Astin (inventor, with Hahn)
Son: Thomas (with Hahn)
Wife: Patty Duke (actress, m. 5-Aug-1972, div. 1985, two sons)
Son: Sean Astin (actor, b. 25-Feb-1971, with Duke)
Son: Mackenzie Astin (actor, b. 12-May-1973, with Duke)
Wife: Valerie Ann Sandobal (m. 19-Mar-1989)

    University: Washington and Jefferson College (transferred)
    University: BA Drama, Johns Hopkins University (1952)
    University: University of Minnesota (dropped out)

    Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity
    Risk Factors: Vegetarian

    TELEVISION
    The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. Professor Albert Wickwire (1993-94)
    Eerie, Indiana Radford (1992)
    Night Court Buddy Ryan (1986-90)
    Mary Ed LaSalle (1985-86)
    Operation Petticoat Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Sherman (1977-78)
    The Addams Family Gomez Addams (1964-66)
    I'm Dickens, He's Fenster Harry Dickens (1962-63)

    FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
    What the Bleep!? Down the Rabbit Hole (3-Feb-2006) [VOICE]
    School of Life (19-Feb-2005) · Stormin' Norman Warner
    The Frighteners (19-Jul-1996)
    Runaway Daughters (12-Aug-1994) · Minute Man 1
    The Silence of the Hams (13-Jul-1994)
    Huck and the King of Hearts (2-Feb-1994) · Zach
    Stepmonster (1993)
    Killer Tomatoes Eat France (1991)
    Gremlins 2: The New Batch (15-Jun-1990) · Janitor
    Killer Tomatoes Strike Back! (1990)
    Night Life (May-1989)
    Return of the Killer Tomatoes! (Apr-1988)
    Teen Wolf Too (20-Nov-1987) · Dean Dunn
    Body Slam (1987)
    Mr. Boogedy (20-Apr-1986) · Neil Witherspoon
    National Lampoon's European Vacation (26-Jul-1985) · "Pig in a Poke" Host -- Kent
    Freaky Friday (17-Dec-1976) · Mr. Andrews
    The Brothers O'Toole (16-May-1973)
    Every Little Crook and Nanny (14-Jun-1972)
    Get to Know Your Rabbit (Jun-1972)
    Evil Roy Slade (18-Feb-1972)
    Bunny O'Hare (18-Oct-1971) · Ad
    Viva Max! (22-Jan-1970)
    Candy (17-Dec-1968)
    The Spirit Is Willing (Jul-1967)
    Move Over, Darling (19-Dec-1963) · Clyde Prokey
    The Wheeler Dealers (14-Nov-1963) · Hector Vanson
    That Touch of Mink (14-Jun-1962) · Everett Beasley


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