It was a good year, 1971, with all kinds of things happening. Things like an 85-meter-high tornado rising over the Ryukyu Islands in Japan, and, just shortly after The Beatles broke up, another bomb (this time literally) exploded in the Post Office in London. Disney World opened in Florida, Canada gave birth to Greenpeace and embraced every snowboarder’s dream (aka la tempête du siècle) and Apollo 14 even landed on the Moon. Hear hear, fellow humans!
Moreover, a number of legen- wait for it- dary individuals were brought into this world, like Avenger Agent Barton (Jeremy Renner), Ricky Martin, Mark Wahlberg, and Sacha Baron Cohen. Oh, and another big one, here’s a hint – Allons-Y! The Doctor (aka David Tennant) bless him, was born to save us poor peasant folk from malicious alien machines.
And the agenda of 25 February 1971 was the birth of our sweet, potato-loving and strawberry-haired little hobbit who just wanted to stay in the Shire beside his beloved Master, make stew, and trim the bushes in his garden. But fate had bigger plans for him.
Sean Astin (Sean Patrick Duke) was born in santa Monica, CA, to actors Patty Duke and John Astin (Michael Tell being his biological father). After attending Crossroads High School for The Arts, Astin later graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in History and English.
Sean is a vegetarian and a Protestant Christian. He landed his first acting role in 1981 in a film titled Please Don’t Hit Me, Mom. He made his film debut at age 13 as Mikey in The Goonies (1985). After that Sean starred in a number of popular films, like White Water Summer, Like Father Like Son, Toy Soldiers, Staying Together and Rudy, to name a few.
Astin married Christine Louise Harrell on July 11, 1992, later on giving birth to three beautiful daughters Alexandra, Elizabeth and Isabella. Little Alexandra even portrayed Elanor, the daughter of Samwise Gamgee And Rosie.
In 1994, Astin directed and co-produced (with his wife, Christine Astin) the short film Kangaroo Court, which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Live Action Short Film.
“Sean Astin emerges as the epic’s emotional center in a beautiful performance.” Lou Lumenick from The New York Post.
The breakthrough in Sean’s acting career came in the early 2000s when he was hired by Peter Jackson for the role of Samwise Gamgee in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. Turns out a love for ‘taters, pipe weed, food and things that grow can not only bring you the experience of a lifetime and a load of best friends, but, if you perform as brilliantly as Sean, it can bring a host of awards, too. He received a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor, a Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award, and more awards from the Utah Film Critics Association, the Phoenix Film Critics Society, and Seattle Film Critics. That’s a lot of critics there that favored our Sam.
“The performances of actors such as Sean Astin, playing the hobbit Samwise Gamgee, are so touching that even a cinema of hardened hacks was snuffling before the 200 minutes were up,” said Claire Harvey from The Weekend Australian.
“One of the most satisfying aspects of The Return of the King is that some of the actors we’ve seen the most of do especially well here. McKellen makes the most of Gandalf’s moments, Mortensen increasingly becomes the epitome of heroic grace, and Astin brings the kind of dignity and quiet strength to Sam increasingly called for by the role.” Kenneth Turan from Los Angeles Times.
Aside from being an amazing actor, Sean is also a director, a voice artist, and a producer. He even became somewhat involved in politics. He is currently living in California with is family and continuing in his acting career, trying to get more involved with his beloved fandom.
Happy birthday, Sean! We here at Middle-earth News wish you a great year!