Mar. 30th, 1930
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
John Astin's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Dark haired, usually mustachioed US actor with a cheeky grin who achieved pop culture status through his portrayal of the kooky patriarch "Gomez Addams" in the hit TV series "The Addams Family" (1964), John Astin was born March 30, 1930, in Baltimore, MD. He attended Johns Hopkins University and studied mathematics. However he discovered a passion for the theater and began performing in minor plays and doing voice-over work for commercials. He first got noticed in a small role in West Side Story (1961), then appeared in several other films before being cast as "Gomez Addams". While "The Addams Family" was initially a huge hit, its popularity petered out after two years, and Astin moved on to other work including the offbeat Bunny O'Hare (1971), playing a grizzled but not particularly bright gunfighter in the western spoof Evil Roy Slade (1972) (TV), an appearance in the Disney comedy Freaky Friday (1976) and dual roles in European Vacation (1985).
He has since lent his comedic talents to numerous appearances as "Dr. Gangreen" in several corny "Killer Tomato" movies, and has contributed his voice to recreate "Gomez Addams" in the animated series "The Addams Family" (1992), and then played "Grandpa Addams" in the short-lived TV series "The New Addams Family" (1998). In addition, Astin has contributed voices to several animated shows, and still regularly appears in films.
- During a speech given at Booker High School in Sarasota, Florida, he told the crowd of students that he never has, and never will watch any of the new Addams Family films. He did not give his reasons why.
- He and his son Sean have both appeared in films that won Best Picture, four decades apart. John had a small role in _West Side Story (1961)_ (qv), while Sean had a lead role in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
- Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith. pg. 31-32. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387.
- Best remembered by the public for his starring role as "Gomez Adams" in _"The Addams Family" (1964)_ (qv).
- A visiting theater professor at Johns Hopkins University. His new facility is the "Old Barn," former home of Theater Hopkins, a top-scale community theater outfit. Astin won rave reviews for his portrayal of the Stage Manager in a performance of "Our Town" with Hopkins as well as for a recent portrayal of 'Edgar Allan Poe' (qv).
- Father, Allen Astin, was the 5th Director of the National Bureau of Standards.
- Grandfather of actress 'Alexandra Astin' (qv), Elizabeth Louise Astin, Isabella Louise Astin, Sedona Astin and Jaya Astin.
- Brother of Alexander W. Astin, professor emeritus at UCLA who is considered one of the most influential scholars in the field of higher education research.
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