Sean Astin has demonstrated his innate ability to share his heart with the world through such iconic roles as Mikey Walsh in The Goonies, the title character of Rudy, and Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, roles that epitomize hope, determination and loyalty.
With both his parents being well-known, respected actors, it’s no surprise that Sean’s career, which spans over three decades with over 120 acting credits, began at a young age. He debuted in the 1981 television movie Please Don’t Hit Me, Mom, in which he played a child with an abusive mother, portrayed by his real-life mother Patty Duke. For his first feature film, he portrayed Mikey in Steven Spielberg’s classic The Goonies (1985), still enthusiastically beloved by audiences today. The young performer appeared in several more films both for TV and the big screen, garnering Young Artist Awards for performances in The Goonies, Staying Togetherand as the lead character Billy Tepper in Toy Soldiers. He successfully navigated the transition from child actor to young adult in such critically acclaimed films as Memphis Belleand The Low Life.
Sean scored a career defining, triumphant success in the inspirational and universally applauded college football biopic Rudy, about the life-changing struggles and rewards of Daniel óìRudyó Ruettiger. To this day, Sean still identifies with the role of the unlikely athlete determined to succeed at achieving seemingly impossible goals.
Sean experienced another career breakthrough with his role as the epitome of loyal sidekicks, Samwise Gamgee, in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings 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), Sean received nominations for his own performance. He took home the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor, and awards from the Las Vegas Film Critics Society, the Seattle Film Critics, the Utah Film Critics Association, and the Phoenix Film Critics Society. 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. In 2004, Sean authored the NY Times best seller There and Back Again: An Actor’s Tale, chronicling his acting career with emphasis on his experiences filming The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
In television, Sean has appeared in numerous movies and series, including multi-episodic runs in J. Michael Straczynski’s Jeremiahin which he played the enigmatic Mister Smith, the popular thriller 24, and Guillermo Del Toro’s The Strainon FX. He portrayed an exaggerated version of himself in the popular Kickstarter-funded web series Con Man, and executive produced and is featured in Unlocked: The World of Games Revealed, an 8-part documentary series about video gaming. Sean appeared along with Felicia Day in a season 3 episode of The Librarians on TNT, and will be joining the award winning cast for the second season of the engrossing and critically acclaimed Netflix series Stranger Things.
Sean’s recent films include The Surface, Woodlawn and Range 15, a crowd-sourced dark comedy made by and for vets. He narrated and executive produced the documentary Remember the Sultana, about the worst maritime disaster in US history. The political satire Swing State was released in time for the 2016 election, with Espionage Tonight coming soon.
His voice is also familiar to many. He narrated the Animal Planet series Meerkat Manor, and voiced the title characters in the animated Disney Channel series Special Agent Oso and the animated feature film Ribbit. He is currently the voice of Raphael in Nickelodeon’s popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which has been renewed for a fifth season. He voices the paranoid Siamese cat Chester in Bunnicula, a Warner Brothers produced series on the Cartoon Network based on children’s books by James Howe. He can be heard in a plethora of other animated shows, video games, audio dramas and narrations.
Sean is equally comfortable behind the camera, directing episodic TV and serving as producer on several films. He directed and co-produced with his wife Christine the short film Kangaroo Court, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 1995. While working on The Lord of the Rings, Sean made The Long and Short of It. The film 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.
Sean married Christine Harrell on July 11, 1992. They have three daughters: Alexandra, Elizabeth, and Isabella, all with the middle name Louise.
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