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Happy Birthday, Sean Astin!

Today is Sean Astin’s birthday! It’s likely that you know him as Samwise the Brave from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, though you may have also fallen in love with his characters “Mikey” and “Rudy.” Chances are, you’ve seen him in other things, too, as he’s been in over 70 films and televisions shows in his now 41 years.

In a recent interview with TheOneRing.net, Sean said, “In the last six months, I played a prison guard at Abu Ghraib, I played a mayor of an Old West town, I played a henpecked husband in a contemporary western. I played a preacher who takes a group of kids camping; it’s a Christian movie. In Franklin & Bash, I was a university parking attendant who thinks he’s a superhero. […] I’m blessed to have this steady stream of work.”

Apart from acting, Sean has established himself as a director, producer, and writer. If you’ve watched the bonus features on The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers DVD, you will have seen his short film The Long and Short of It. This five minute short, written by Sean and fellow hobbit actor Dominic Monaghan, was an official entry at the Sundance Film Festival in 2003. The film, along with two other short films, On My Honor and Kangaroo Court, were produced by Lava Entertainment, an entertainment company that was founded by Sean and his wife, Christine. Sean also wrote his personal memoir, There and Back Again: An Actor’s Tale, about his years of acting experience, particularly his involvement with The Lord of the Rings.

Sean is also a passionate runner, and has recently started a campaign called #run3rd. He will be running the Los Angeles Marathon on March 18, 2012, and he is accepting dedications on his website, run3rd.com, and through the use of the twitter hashtag, #run3rd. Sean has promised to print out all of the notes he receives and carry them with him during the marathon.

To keep up with the man himself, make sure to follow @SeanAstin on Twitter. You can catch him soon on the small screen in an upcoming episode of the television show NCIS, where he will star opposite Jamie Lee Curtis.

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