Dark haired, usually mustachioed US actor with a cheeky grin who achieved pop culture status through his portrayal of the kooky patriarch “Gomez Addams” in the hit TV series The Addams Family (1964), John Astin was born March 30, 1930, in Baltimore, MD. He attended Johns Hopkins University and studied mathematics. However he discovered a passion for the theater and began performing in minor plays and doing voice-over work for commercials. He first got noticed in a small role in West Side Story (1961), then appeared in several other films before being cast as “Gomez Addams”. While “The Addams Family” was initially a huge hit, its popularity petered out after two years, and Astin moved on to other work including the offbeat Bunny O’Hare (1971), playing a grizzled but not particularly bright gunfighter in the western spoof Evil Roy Slade (1972), an appearance in the Disney comedy Freaky Friday (1976) and dual roles in National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985).
He has since lent his comedic talents to numerous appearances as “Dr. Gangreen” in several corny “Killer Tomato” movies, and has contributed his voice to recreate “Gomez Addams” in the animated series The Addams Family (1992), and then played “Grandpa Addams” in the short-lived TV series The New Addams Family (1998). In addition, Astin has contributed voices to several animated shows, and still regularly appears in films.
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