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"TISH. That's French."

- as Gomez Addams, The Addams Family (1964–1966)

Three generations of his family have worked with director Peter Jackson. John Astin appeared in The Frighteners (1996), while his son Sean Astin appeared in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Sean's real-life daughter, Ali Astin, played the daughter of his character in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).

John Allen Astin is an American actor who has appeared in numerous films and television shows, and is best known for the roles of Gomez Addams on The Addams Family, Evil Roy Slade, and other similarly eccentric comedic characters. Astin was born in Baltimore, Maryland, (March 30th, 1930) to Margaret Linnie (née Mackenzie) and Dr. Allen Varley Astin, who was the director of the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology). He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1952, after transferring from Washington & Jefferson College. He studied mathematics at Washington & Jefferson and then at Johns Hopkins; he was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at Johns Hopkins.

Astin started in theater, making his first Broadway appearance as an understudy in Major Barbara, and also did voice-over work for commercials. His first big break in film came with a small part in West Side Story in 1961 (above).

During this period, his talent for also playing comedy was spotted by actor Tony Randall, leading to guest starring roles on the situation comedies Dennis the Menace, starring Jay North, The Donna Reed Show, and Harrigan and Son, starring Pat O'Brien. In 1961, he appeared in the final episode of the ABC police drama The Asphalt Jungle. In 1962–1963, Astin starred with Marty Ingels in the ABC-TV sitcom I'm Dickens, He's Fenster (right), about two young blue-collar carpenters: the married one Harry Dickens, and the bachelor Arch Fenster (with his "little black book"). The series only lasted for thirty-one episodes and featured Emmaline Henry as Kate Dickens, who is better known as Amanda Bellows on I Dream of Jeannie, and David Ketchum, Agent 13 from Get Smart.

From 1964 to 1966, Astin starred in the role for which he would be always fondly remembered, Gomez Addams in The Addams Family (above). Later he appeared in the revival TV show The New Addams Family as Grandpapa Addams in 1998, with the role of Gomez Addams played by Glenn Taranto.

Astin joined the retooled The Pruitts of Southampton (re-titled The Phyllis Diller Show) for the second half of the 1966-1967 season, playing Diller's brother-in-law, Angus Pruitt. He also played the Riddler in the second season of Batman (Frank Gorshin returned for the third and final season.) He played submarine commander Matthew Sherman in the 1970s TV series Operation Petticoat, based on the Blake Edwards comedy starring Cary Grant and Tony Curtis.

The series Operation Petticoat also featured Jamie Lee Curtis (daughter of actors Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis) and Jim Varney who would go on to immortality as Ernest P. Worrell. The Ernest character first appeared in commercials "alongside" his off-camera friend Vern. Varney parlayed these local and regional TV commercial apperances into a short lived Ernest TV series and 10 feature films. This series was one of Jamie Lee Curtis first acting roles. She would go on to Halloween (1978), Trading Places (1983), Perfect (1985), A Fish Called Wanda (1988) and True Lies (1994).

In 1972 Astin made Evil Roy Slade, a made-for-television spoof-Western comedy film about the "meanest villain in the West". It was directed by Jerry Paris and co-produced and co-written by Garry Marshall. Many baby boomers fondly remember this made for TV gem (I know I do) and consider it a cult classic. Its rapid-paced style of humor can also be seen in many later films, most notably Airplane!.

Astin also made a notable appearance in the popular mystery show Murder, She Wrote, as the villainous Sheriff Harry Pierce. He had a recurring role on the sitcom Night Court as Buddy, eccentric former mental patient and the father of lead character Harry Stone. He also played the regular role of Ed LaSalle in the short-lived Mary Tyler Moore sitcom Mary during the 1985–86 television season. He guest starred on numerous television series too, including a Gunsmoke appearance in 1967 as Festus's cousin Henry, Jack Palance's ABC circus drama, The Greatest Show on Earth, Duckman, and Homeboys in Outer Space.

Astin received an Academy Award nomination for Prelude, a short film that he wrote, produced, and directed. He was nominated for an Ace Award for his work on Tales from the Crypt, and received an Emmy nomination for the cartoon voice of Gomez on ABC-TV's The Addams Family. He also voiced the character Bull Gator on the animated series Taz-Mania. Astin served for four years on the Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of America, and has been active in community affairs in Los Angeles and Santa Monica.

Astin has continued to work in acting, appearing in a string of Killer Tomatoes films as Professor Gangreen and as Professor Wickwire in The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.. He also has toured the one-man play Edgar Allan Poe: Once Upon a Midnight, written by Paul Day Clemens and Ron Magid. Astin also teaches method acting and directing in the Theater Arts and Studies Department at Johns Hopkins University, his alma mater.

John Astin has five sons; three (David, Allen, and Tom) with his first wife, Suzanne Hahn; two with his second wife, actress Patty Duke - one adopted (Sean, Patty's son from an earlier relationship, whom John adopted after their marriage) and one biological (Mackenzie). Sean Patrick Astin (born Sean Patrick Duke February 25th, 1971) is an American actor, director, voice artist, and producer best known for his film roles as Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Mikey Walsh in The Goonies, and the title character of Rudy. His parents, Patty Duke and John Astin divorced in 1985.

John Astin is currently married to Valerie Ann Sandobal and lives in Baltimore.

    Selected Johm Astin TVography

77 Sunset Strip
- Dress Rehearsal (1962)

87th Precinct
- King's Ransom (1962)

Aaahh!!! Real Monsters
- Monster Make-Over/Airplane, a Wing and a Scare (1994)

ABC Afternoon Playbreak
- Miss Kline, We Love You (1974)

The Addams Family
- as Gomez Addams (1964-1966, 64 episodes)

The Addams Family (animated)
- as Gomez Addams (voice, 21 episodes 1992-1993)

Adventures Beyond Belief (1987)

The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.
- as Prof. Albert Wickwire (7 episodes 1993-1994)

- While the City Snoozes (1995)
- The Animal Kingdom (1994)

As Told by Ginger
- The Even Steven Holiday Special (2001)
- Blizzard Conditions (2001)

The Asphalt Jungle
- The Scott Machine (1961)

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
- as Dr. Putrid T Gangreen (voice, 21 episodes 1990-1991)

- A Riddling Controversy (1967)
- Batman's Anniversary (1967)

- All the Rage (2000)

Ben Casey
- Preferably, the Less-Used Arm (1962)

The Bob Crane Show
- A Case of Misdiagnosis (1975)

- Abner Willoughby's Return (1969)

- Stressed to Kill (1994)

Burke's Law
- Who Killed Alexander the Great? (1994)

CBS Playhouse
- The Experiment (1969)

Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels
- voice 40 episodes

Charles in Charge
- The Pickle Plot (1988)

The Charmings
- The Witch Is of Van Oaks (1987)

- The Yacht-Club Gang (1962)

Death Valley Days
- The Gold Mine on Main Street (1968)

Dennis the Menace
- A Quiet Evening (1962)

- The Infernal Triangle (1964)

Diff'rent Strokes
- A Haunting We Will Go (1984)

- Mr. Boogedy (1986)

The Donna Reed Show
- Mouse at Play (1961)

The Doris Day Show
- The Father-Son Weekend (1971)

Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man
- My Feral Lady (1997)
- Kidney, Popsicle, and Nuts (1997)
- Sperms of Endearment (1996)
- Grandma-ma's Flatulent Adventure (1996)
- Cellar Beware (1994)

Eerie, Indiana
- Zombies in P.J.s (1992)
- Reality Takes a Holiday (1992)
- The Loyal Order of Corn (1992)
- Mr. Chaney (1992)
- The Hole in the Head Gang (1992)

The Facts of Life
- The Summer of '84 (1984)

Fantasy Island
- The Beachcomber/The Last Whodunnit (1978)

Father Dowling Mysteries
- The Priest Killer Mystery (1991)

The Flying Nun
- Flight of the Dodo Bird (1967)

The Farmer's Daughter
- Bless Our Happy Home (1964)

General Electric Theater
- Strictly Solo (1960)

The Gertrude Berg Show
- The Bird (1962)

Get Christie Love!
- Our Lady in London (1975)

Ghost Story
- Graveyard Shift (1973)

The Greatest Show on Earth
- An Echo of Faded Velvet (1963)

- Hard Luck Henry (1967)

Harrigan and Son
- Roommates (1961)

- The Investment Club (1962)

He & She
- The Coming-Out Party (1967)

Hearts Are Wild
- Pilot (1992)

- Remember Pearl Harbor (1961, scenes deleted)

Hey, Landlord
- Czech Your Wife, Sir? (1967)

Higglytown Heroes
- Twinkle's Star (2004)

Homeboys in Outer Space
- The Adventures of Ratman and Gerbil or, Holy Homeboys in Outer Space (1997)

The Hughleys
- Storm o' the Century (1999)

I'm Dickens, He's Fenster
- as Harry Dickens (1962-1963, 32 episodes)

- Second Chorus (1978)
- For the Love of Annie (1976)
- Out of the Depths (1975)
- The One-Armed Man (1974)
- Truck Stop (1973)
- The Freak (1972)
- Death of an Elephant (1971)

Johnny Bravo
- Jumbo Johnny/The Perfect Gift/Bravo, James Bravo (1997)

Lanigan's Rabbi
- Say It Ain't So, Chief (1977)

Love, American Style
- Love and the Happy Medium (1972)
- Love and the Newscasters (1972)
- Love and the Intruder (1970)

The Love Boat
- Egypt: Part 1 & 2 (1986)
- Marooned/The Search/Isaac's Holiday: Part 1 & 2 (1978)

Mad About You
- Up All Night (1994)

Marcus Welby, M.D.
- Unindicted Wife (1975)

- as Ed LaSalle (13 episodes 1985-1986)

- The Town That Wasn't There (1960)

McMillan & Wife
- Two Dollars on Trouble to Win (1973)
- Cop of the Year (1972)
- Night of the Wizard (1972)

Michael Shayne
- Four Lethal Ladies (1961)

Murder, She Wrote
- Film Flam (1995)
- Sticks and Stones (1985)
- A Lady in the Lake (1985)
- Joshua Peabody Died Here... Possibly (1985)
- Hooray for Homicide (1984)

The Nanny
- Tattoo (1996)
- Your Feets Are Too Big (1996)

The New Addams Family
- Fester and Granny vs. Grandpapa Addams (1999)
- Grandpapa Addams Comes to Visit (1998)

The New Scooby-Doo Movies
- Wednesday Is Missing (1972 voice)

Night Court
- The Blues of the Birth (1990)
- Melvin and Harold (1990)
- Futureman (1990)
- For Love or Money (1989)
- Life with Buddy (1989)
- From Snoop to Nuts: Part 1 & 2 (1989)
- The Night Court Before Christmas (1988)
- I'm OK, You're Catatonic/Schizophrenic (1988)
- The Next Voice You Hear... (1986)
- Inside Harry Stone (1984)

Night Gallery
- The Girl with the Hungry Eyes (1972)
- Hell's Bells (1971)
- Pamela's Voice (1971)

Occasional Wife
- I Do, We Don't (1966)

The Odd Couple
- Oscar's New Life (1971)

Operation Petticoat
- as Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Sherman (1978, 23 episodes)

- Mansion of the Beast (1985)

- My Friend, the Horse Thief (1961)

The Partridge Family
- Diary of a Mad Millionaire (1973)

Peter Loves Mary
- Wilma's Phantom Lover (1960)

Pinky and the Brain
- Mice Don't Dance/Brain Drained (1997)

Police Story
- Firebird (1976)

Police Woman
- Nothing Left to Lose (1975)

Problem Child
- Junior and the Dictator (1993)

The Pruitts of Southampton
- My Sister-in-Law Phyllis (1967)
- Marry a Million (1967)
- Nobody Here But Us Chickens (1967)
- Learn to Be a Millionaire (1967)
- Little Miss Fixit (1967)

Quack Pack
- The Unusual Suspects (1996)

Rebel Highway
- Runaway Daughters (1994)

- A Genius Among Us (1999)
- The Story of Whomps (1999)
- Kids in the Mist (1998)

- Baxter and Boz (1985)

Route 66
- Journey to Nineveh (1962)
- Go Read the River (1962)

Simon & Simon
- Revolution #9-1/2 (1984)

Shirley Temple's Storybook
- The Terrible Clockman (1961)

St. Elsewhere
- Visiting Daze (1987)

Step by Step
- The Flight Before Christmas (1995)
- The Ice Cream Man Cometh (1994)

The Strip
- I Wear My Sunglasses at Night

Studio One
- The Night America Trembled (1957)

Tales from the Crypt
- Top Billing (1991)

- voice, 17 episodes (1991-1995)

Temperatures Rising
- The Muscle and the Medic (1972)

They Came from Outer Space
- Sex, Lies & UFOs: Part 2 (1991)

The Twilight Zone
- A Hundred Yards Over the Rim (1961)

The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat (TV Series)
- Additional Voices (voice)

The Virginian
- Jump-Up (1971)

- Rich Man, Poor Man (1988)
- Simple Gifts (1987)

Welcome Back, Kotter
- The Museum (1976)

The Wild Thornberrys
- The Great Bangaboo (1999)

The Wild Wild West
- The Night of the Tartar (1967)

Wide World of Mystery
- Hard Day at Blue Nose (1974)

    Selected Johm Astin Filmography


The Kiss (Short)


The Pusher


West Side Story (uncredited)


That Touch of Mink

Billy Rose's Jumbo (uncredited)

Period of Adjustment (uncredited)


Move Over, Darling

The Wheeler Dealers


Sheriff Who (TV Movie)

The Spirit Is Willing




Viva Max


Two on a Bench (TV Movie)

Bunny O'Hare


Evil Roy Slade (TV Movie)

Every Little Crook and Nanny

Get to Know Your Rabbit

Wacky Taxi


The Brothers O'Toole


Skyway to Death (TV Movie)

Only with Married Men (TV Movie)


The Dream Makers (TV Movie)


Freaky Friday

Phillip and Barbara (TV Movie)


Halloween with the New Addams Family (TV Movie)


European Vacation


Body Slam


Teen Wolf Too


Return of the Killer Tomatoes!


The Saint: The Blue Dulac (TV Movie)

Night Life


Gremlins 2: The New Batch


Killer Tomatoes Strike Back!

Past Imperfect (TV Movie)


Killer Tomatoes Eat France!


Stepmonster (Video)


Huck and the King of Hearts

Il silenzio dei prosciutti


Harrison Bergeron (TV Movie)


The Frighteners


Kid Quick (Short)




Out of Habit (Short)


School of Life (TV Movie)


What the Bleep!?: Down the Rabbit Hole (Documentary)


Starship II: Rendezvous with Ramses

My Neat Stuff Hall of Fame Look



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