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Sean  Astin

Sean Astin

Actor & Filmmaker


Sean Astin is an American film actor, director, voice artist and producer, best known for his film roles as Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Mikey Walsh in The Goonies, the title character of Rudy, and Bob Newby in Netflix’s hit series, Stranger Things 2. He is also the author of the New York Times best-selling There and Back Again, a memoir – co-written with Joe Layden – of his film career with emphasis on his experiences with the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Read More >

Son of Academy Award winning actress Patty Duke and acclaimed actor John Astin, Sean Astin scored a career defining, triumphant success in the inspirational and universally applauded college football biopic Rudy, about the life-changing struggles and rewards of the title character, Daniel Ruettiger. In the early 2000s, he experienced another career breakthrough with his role as Samwise Gamgee in Peter Jackson’s the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, released in 2001, 2002 and 2003. Along with the many awards bestowed upon the trilogy – eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture – Astin received nominations for his own performance. He took home the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor and awards from the Las Vegas Film Critics Society, the Seattle Film Critics, the Utah Film Critics Association and the Phoenix Film Critics Society.

Astin has been a long-distance runner since his teens. To date, he has participated in four LA Marathons, the San Francisco Marathon and the Chicago Marathon, running in all three cities in 2013. While training for the LA Marathon in 2012, he began a Twitter campaign using #Run3rd, a way to dedicate his runs to causes and ideas that mattered not just to him, but to others. From July 2006 through August 2013, he amassed more than 3,000 miles using his Nike+ sensor.

Sean Astin attended the Crossroads High School for the Arts and later a master class at the Stella Adler Conservatory in Los Angeles. He graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in History and English. An alumnus of Los Angeles Valley College, he served on the school’s Board of Directors of the Patrons Association and the Arts Council.

Since Lord of the Rings , Astin has served on the board of several non-profit organizations, including the National Center for Family Literacy. A vocal advocate for literacy, mental health awareness, bi-polar disorder, civic engagement and other issues, Astin is an energetic, passionate speaker who promotes a culture of volunteerism to all audiences. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Life Lessons From a Career in Film

On Mental Strength - Sean Astin

Speech Topics

Mental Health

Sean Astin approaches the national mental health conversation from a unique perspective. His mother, academy and multi Emmy Award-winning Patty Duke suffered through most of Sean’s childhood with an undiagnosed bipolar mood condition. Once diagnosed, she became a nationally renowned mental health advocate writing books, producing a film and giving lectures across the country in an effort to help destigmatize mental illness. Read More >

For over twenty years, Sean has continued to build on his mother’s legacy of advocacy. By sharing intimate stories and details of growing up in a family where a mental health issue informs everyday life, Sean guides an audience through practical thinking about the issues from a lay perspective. Having built a relationship with film audiences for forty years, he relies on that goodwill to allow him to delve into these topics in a serious and supportive manner. His discussions are about representation, advocacy and empowerment in a relatable manner with an emphasis on his disarming and common sense perspective. Read Less ^

Using Your Voice in Today's Political Conversation

Everyone has the power to share their beliefs and stand up for what they deem right, and everyone, especially those who can reach tremendous audiences, should certainly do so. Sean Astin discusses the importance of being the change we want to see in the world, and offers insight into his personal experiences with political involvement. Astin, for instance, spreads his message through his online political interview show, Vox Populi, but there are countless outlets for people to use to voice their political views and facilitate reform in the areas they see necessary.

Health & Wellness for Children

Staying healthy through proper nutrition and exercise is crucial for children. Astin, an avid marathon runner, discusses the ways which children’s health and wellness allows them to grow and succeed.

Bi-Polar Disorder & Mental Health Awareness

Activism & Volunteerism on Campus

Civic Duty & Politics Today

Films & Film-Making