Astin, Sean

Sean Astin plays Samwise Gamgee, Frodo's faithful gardener and good friend.
Comments About Character:
He's just got such a warm, honest, pure good-hearted essence. And that's his position in the films and in the book. It’s to be a kind of barometer against which all of the adventure and evil is measured. Sam has an unfaltering moral compass. He always knows who he is. As all the different characters, with all their different complexities, change and evolve and grow or fail, Sam just is... good. He has a level of experience at the end of the trilogy that he didn`t have at the beginning that informs his goodness. It makes his goodness that much more admirable. It`s easy to be naive and innocent and good but it`s another thing to have been embattled and, despite all of the trials and tribulations of an epic adventure, to remain good of heart. --Pavement Magazine (10/10/00)
Biographical Info:

Sean Patrick Astin was born on the twenty fifth of February in 1971 in Santa Monica California to John Astin and Patty Duke. His father was well known for his role as Gomez on the Addams Family and his mother was also well known for her acting. At the age of two Sean gained a brother, Mackenzie who joined David, Allen, and Tom, his father’s children from a previous marriage.

Sean landed his first acting job at the age of 9 in 1981’s after school special ‘Please Don’t Hit Me Mom,’ which he costarred in with his mother. His next big movie came when Steven Spielberg handpicked the thirteen year old to play Michael ‘Mikey’ Walsh in Richard Donner’s ‘The Goonies.’ For his role in this film he was awarded his first Young Artist Award. As a child star he stayed away from drugs, drinking, and egotism allowing him to become successful. While still pursuing his acting career he attended Crossroads High School for the Arts as well as studying with the famous Stella Adler and then later went on to attend the University of California, Los Angeles where he achieved dual degrees in History and American Literature and Culture. At one point Astin considered going into law, but the enjoyment that he received from being an entertainer was too great. In 1987 he co-starred in ‘Like Father, Like Son’ with Kirk Cameron. The next year he directed his first short film entitled ‘On My Honor,’ a story in Vietnam about the surprising relationship between an American GI and a Viet Cong Soldier. He continued to star in big films such as ‘Toy Soldiers’ and ‘Where the Day Takes You.’ He won his second Young Artist Award for his 1989 performance in ‘Staying Together.’ His next big film that added onto his fame was ‘Rudy.’ Even today football coaches will play the film before a game to inspire their players and strangers will chant “Rudy! Rudy!” when they see Sean Astin on the street.

Sean met his wife when she was working at his talent agency and they were married on July 11th, 1992 at Patty Duke’s Idaho Farm. Their daughter, Alexandra Louise Astin was born four years later on November 23, 1996. In 1994 Astin went through DNA testing that revealed that rock promoter Michael Tell was his biological father. Michael Tell was briefly married to Patty Duke before her engagement to John Astin. Even though it was proved that John Astin was not his biological father, Sean still considered him his father, but kept a good relationship with Tell as well. At the 1995 Fort Lauderdale Film Festival Sean won the Best Actor Award for his work on the independent film ‘The Low Life.’ In 1995 Astin co-produced and directed a short film ‘Kangaroo Court,’ a story about a police officer put on trial by an inner city gang, which starred Michael O’Keefe and Gregory Hines. His wife Christine Astin was the other co-producer of the short film that was nominated for Best Short Film at the 67th Annual Academy Awards in 1995. In 1997 Astin directed and starred in an episode of HBO’s Perversions of Science called “Snap Ending.” He was also one of several narrators in the Academy Award winning Holocaust Documentary ‘The Long Way Home.’

Two years later Sean auditioned for the role of Samwise “Sam” Gamgee in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Astin gained 30 pounds to secure the role upon discovering that his only competition was an overweight English thespian. Sean brought his wife and daughter with him to the shoot where his daughter made her acting debut as a young hobbit in Sam’s family. During shooting Sean also made his own short film ‘The Long and Short of it.’

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Interviews:IFILM (December 4, 2003)
IGN (December 18, 2002)
Filmography:Cat Tale (2008) (in production) (voice) .... Rover
Spirit of the Forest (2008) (post-production) (voice) .... Furi
Forever Strong (2008) .... Marcus
The Colour of Magic (2008) (TV) .... Twoflower
"Special Agent Oso" (2008) TV series (voice) .... Oso
The Final Season (2007) .... Kent Stock
What Love Is (2007) .... George
Borderland (2007) .... Randall
The Final Season (2007) .... Kent Stock
Click (2006/I) .... Bill Rando
Astérix et les Vikings (2006) (voice: English version) .... Justforkix
American Men (2006) (TV)
"Into the West" (2005) (mini) TV Series .... Martin Jarrett
Hercules (2005/I) (TV) .... Linus
Smile (2005/I) .... Mr. Matthews
Bigger Than the Sky (2005) .... Ken Zorbell
Slipstream (2005) .... Stuart Conway
Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School (2005) .... Kip Kipling
Thanks to Gravity (2005) .... Coach Amal

More: Sean Astin on IMDb