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Sean Astin (born February 25, 1971 in Santa Monica, California) is an American film actor, director, and producer. He portrayed the hobbit Samwise Gamgee in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001 - 2003).

Sean Astin had acted since childhood, and was best known for his role as Michael "Mikey" Walsh in the American adventure-comedy The Goonies. Astin most recently played Frack in The Witches of Oz, directed by Leigh Scott.

He also provided the voice for Raphael in Nickolodeon's show Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The Lord of the Rings

In the early 2000s, Astin experienced a career breakthrough with his role as the Hobbit Samwise Gamgee in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film 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 (winner of eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture), Astin received many award nominations for his own performance in The Return of the King, taking 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 cast of the film received awards from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures and the Screen Actors Guild.

He and other cast members became very close and very good friends through the filming process, especially he and Elijah Wood, actor of Frodo Baggins.

Astin's daughter, Alexandra, is in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, playing Samwise's on-screen daughter, Elanor Gardner, who runs out to him as he returns from the Grey Havens.

Astin with Dominic Monaghan and Elijah Wood (left) and Billy Boyd (right) in 2004

While working on The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Astin persuaded a number of fellow cast and crew members, including director Peter Jackson, to assist him in making his second short film, The Long and Short of It. The film takes place on a street in Wellington, New Zealand. The Long and Short of It 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.

In 2004, Astin released "There and Back Again" (ISBN 0-312-33146-0), a memoir (co-written with Joe Layden) of his film career with emphasis on his experiences with The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The title is derived from the subtitle of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit.

Astin has occasionally appeared on's webcast TORn Tuesdays. A few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Astin appeared in Josh Gad's "One Zoom to Rule Them All" reunion with other cast of The Lord of the Rings films.

Personal life

Sean is the son of actress Patty Duke and was born Sean Patrick Duke, but took the name of his adoptive father, John Astin. Sean is the older half brother of actor Mackenzie Astin, the two recently starred opposite each other in the movie The Final Season (2007)- In which Sean's character's lover was played by Rachael Leigh Cook, an actress who had also played the lover of his Lord of the Rings co-star, Elijah Wood, eight years earlier in the movie The Bumblebee Flies Anyway.

Sean has been married to Christine Harrell since 1992. They have three daughters: Alexandra (b. 1996), Elizabeth (b. 2002) and Isabella (b. 2005)- they all share the middle name of Louise.


  • While filming The Fellowship of the Ring, in the scene where Frodo leaves the Fellowship in a boat to go alone to Mordor, Sean stepped on a shard of glass that pierced his foot in the water, when wading towards Frodo from shore. Twenty-four hours and twenty stitches later, Sean was back on set.
  • He appeared in the 2012 film Dorothy and the Witches of Oz, which also featured Billy Boyd.
  • Sean’s father, John, played a ghostly cowboy known as The Judge in the 1996 horror comedy The Frighteners; which Peter Jackson directed five years before making The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Documentary appearances

External links

Sean AstinSean BeanCate BlanchettOrlando BloomBilly Boyd
Marton CsokasBrad DourifBernard HillIan HolmChristopher Lee
Lawrence MakoareSir Ian McKellenDominic MonaghanViggo MortensenJohn Noble
Paul NorellMiranda OttoCraig ParkerAndy SerkisJohn Rhys-Davies
Liv TylerKarl UrbanHugo WeavingDavid WenhamElijah Wood