John Astin

John Astin


3/30/1930, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Birth Name


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John Astin was born to a father who had a knack for numbers (his father was the Director of the National Bureau of Standards). Astin thought he would follow in Allen Astin's footsteps. He majored in mathmatics at Washington and Jefferson College. When he transferred to John Hopkins,…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • John (On his absence from the "Addams Family" DVD commentary): I wish I'd been able to comment on the shows, but my teaching schedules were tough to work around, so I was left off. The shows speak for themselves, although I may do my own personal book on the series some day.

    • John: My father was shocked when I told him I was going to become an actor. It really disappointed him, I know. But he was wonderful about it. He and my mother were faithful in their attendance at my performances in the theater. They would drive many miles. It was very encouraging.

    • John: There is something good about the character of Gomez. I wouldn't trade the association with him for anything or any role that I might have missed.

    • John (On Rod Serling): He was a wonderful guy. Very creative. Very dedicated to the work. He never got tired of trying to work out a problem. I never saw him sluff anything off. He really wanted get things right. I liked that. He never seemed to fatigue in the area of trying to improve something. Very often, I think, there is a low threshold for fatigue in television and people give up and say, it's alright this way. Rod really wanted to work until something was right and he felt good about it.

    • John (On the creator of his most famous part)): I was a great fan of the Charles Addams cartoons.

    • John (On teaching): The main difference between these kids and professionals is that the professionals aren't studying a lot of other stuff...You have to work within the parameters of college life -- you can't expect a student to blow off two papers that are due the next day because she has to come to rehearsal. But at the same time, I want to make serious acting training available.

    • John: Life is unpredictable, which is why theater is perhaps the greatest medium of all. If it's done right, theater is a living presence in front of us.

    • John: We are running ourselves into a damaged earth. But I am optimistic. I believe that we can change; we must change. As a human race, we are very young and quite primitive. The sooner we learn the greatness of humanity the better off we will all be.

    • John: (On one of the episodes in "The Addams Family") There was one where Gomez was on a trapeze hanging by the legs upside down. I remember how much the backs of my knees would hurt until I got used to it. It was hard.

    • John: My work is to reach people with ideas, hopes, dreams, encouragement, insight, and revelation. That's what an actor wants to do.