Who is John Astin?
John is an American actor who’s appeared in numerous films, television shows, and stage productions, but is perhaps still best known as Gomez Addams in the television series “The Addams Family” (1964-1966), in addition to many other notable roles he’s played in his career.
How is He Doing Now? Health Status
As of 2023, John Astin is 93 years old. According to reports, he’s in good health, living in Baltimore, Maryland, with his wife Valerie Ann Andobal. He a member of the worldwide Buddhist association Soka Gakkai International, and so practices Nichiren Buddhism.
John Astin Wiki: Age, Childhood, and Education
John Astin was born on 30 March 1930, in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. His parents were Margaret Linnie Mackenzie, a teacher and actress, and Dr. Allen Varley Astin, who was the director of the National Bureau of Standards. John had one brother, Alexander Astin, who was a noted higher education researcher and professor; he passed away in 2022.
John received his early education at Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania, but then transferred to Johns Hopkins University in 1952, from which he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics. Moreover, he then earned a drama degree at Johns Hopkins University.
Before making his on-screen debut, John was building his portfolio in theater. He’s appeared in numerous plays, but some of the most successful ones include:
- “The Threepenny Opera” (1954)
- “Major Barbara” (1956)
- “Tall Story” (1959)
He made his on-screen debut in the 1960 film “The Pusher” as Detective Harry Grant; the movie tells the story of a drug dealer who is caught and brought to trial, but the case against him is weak, and he’s ultimately released.
In 1961, John Astin landed a small but memorable role in the iconic musical film “West Side Story”, which was a critical and commercial success, and remains one of the most beloved musical films of all time.
In 1961 he secured his first major role as Harry Dickens, one of the titular characters in the TV sitcom “I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster”. The show followed the antics of two construction workers, Harry Dickens and Arch Fenster, who were constantly getting into trouble on the job and at home.
John Astin, TV’s Gomez Addams, makes a cameo appearance in “West Side Story” (1961). Join us on the podcast for the discussion.
.#johnastin #gomezaddams #addamsfamily #emcee #westsidestory #sexyshakespearesummerseries #nataliewood #richardbeymer #russtamblyn #georgechakiris pic.twitter.com/EGwnVPGOXW
— OHR Podcast (@OHRPodcast) August 1, 2018
“The Adams Family” Success
From 1964 to 1966, John Astin played the role of Gomez Addams in the popular television series “The Addams Family”. The show was based on the characters created by cartoonist Charles Addams, and followed the lives of the Addams family, a wealthy and eccentric clan with a taste for the macabre.
He had great chemistry with his co-star Carolyn Jones, who played his wife, Morticia Addams, who together created one of the most iconic on-screen couples in television history. The show also featured a talented ensemble cast, including Ted Cassidy as Lurch, Jackie Coogan as Uncle Fester, and Lisa Loring and Ken Weatherwax as the Addams children Wednesday and Pugsley.
“The Addams Family” was a massive success during its two-season run, and it quickly became a pop culture phenomenon. Thanks partly to the show’s success, John’s portrayal of Gomez Addams became one of his most memorable roles.
Career After “Adams Family”
He continued his career in a stunning fashion – in 1969, he appeared as Sergeant Valdez in the comedy film “Viva Max!”, starring alongside Peter Ustinov and Jonathan Winters, about a Mexican general who captures the Alamo and starts a conflict with the United States.
In the 1972 TV movie “Evil Roy Slade”, Astin played the title character, a notorious outlaw who is determined to become the most feared and powerful criminal in the West. The film was a comedic take on the Western genre, and also starred Dick Shawn and Mickey Rooney.
The same year he appeared in the comedy film “Get to Know Your Rabbit” as Mr. Turnbull, a businessman who hires a magician to help him become more creative and spontaneous. The film was directed by Brian De Palma, and also starred Tommy Smothers and Orson Welles.
The following year, John starred in the comedy-western film “The Brothers O’Toole”, directed by Richard Erdman and co-starring Pat Carroll and Lee Meriwether. Then from 1975 to 1979, he was seen in the recurring role of Buddy ‘The Weasel’ Braverman, a museum curator in the hit sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter”. The show followed the daily life of high school teacher Mr. Kotter played by Gabe Kaplan, and his class of underachieving students, the “Sweathogs”.
Next, from 1977 to 1978, he was Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Sherman in the TV series “Operation Petticoat”, based on the film of the same name set during World War II, in which Sherman is the commanding officer of a submarine.
The ’80s and Career Decline
He had a slow start to the ’80s, making only a handful of appearances during the decade. One of his most popular roles was as Ed LaSalle in the sitcom “Mary”, the best friend and co-worker of the main protagonist, Mary Brenner, played by Mary Tyler Moore.
His next popular role was Professor Mortimer Gangreen in the 1988 horror-comedy film “Return of the Killer Tomatoes”, a sequel to the cult classic “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes”, and was known for its over-the-top humor and absurd plot, also starring George Clooney.
He started the ’90s with portrayals of the deranged scientist Professor Mortimer Gangreen in two films, “Killer Tomatoes Strike Back” (1990) and “Killer Tomatoes Eat France” (1991).
Since then, he’s rarely appeared on screen, focusing more on voice-acting duties. A few of his most famous voice roles include:
- The animated series “The Addams Family” (1992-1993), in which Astin provided the voice of the character of Gomez Addams, reprising his role from the original 1960s TV series.
- “The Frighteners” (1996), a horror-comedy film in which Astin voiced The Judge, a ghost who helps the film’s protagonist track down a serial killer.
- “Batman: The Animated Series” (1992-1995), in which Astin voiced several characters, including the villainous Riddler and the mob boss Cameron Kaiser.
- “Higglytown Heroes” (2004-2007), in which he voiced Santa Clause.
- “Justice League Action” (2017), providing the voice of Uncle Dudley.
Despite being in his 90s, John is currently working on the upcoming comedy film “Starship II: Rendezvous with Ramses”, in which he will star alongside Richard Hatch and Jason Carter. The film is currently in post-production, without a premiere date set.
Feliz Cumpleaños 91 al gran actor JOHN AUSTIN 🎉🎬📣🎥Nació un día como hoy pero de 1930. Conocido principalmente por…
Posted by Enjoy the Movies on Tuesday, March 30, 2021
According to authoritative sources, John Astin’s net worth is estimated at over $6 million, as of mid-2023.
Personal Life, Marriage, Wife, Children
John Astin has been married three times. His first wife was Suzanne Hahn, with whom he was married from 1956 until 1972. They have three children, David, Allen and Tom.
In 1972 he wed his second wife, actress Patty Duke, with whom he was married until 1985. He fathered one son, Mackenzie with the actress, and adopted her son, Sean, from an earlier relationship. Sean is an acclaimed actor as well, known for his work on the “Lord of the Rings” franchise.
Since 1989 he’s been married to Valerie Ann Sandoval.
Appearance and Body Measurements
John Astin has gray hair and blue eyes. He stands at a height of 5ft 11ins (1.8m), while his weight and other body measurements are unknown, though he has an average figure.