- Father was the director of the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology).
- Majored in mathematics when he entered college, but decided to pursue drama after appearing in a play.
- Did graduate work in English literature and dramatics at the University of Minnesota.
- Early theatrical training was in classical drama, including Shakespeare.
- First notable work on screen was a small part in West Side Story (1961).
- Received an Oscar nomination for Prelude (1968), a short he wrote, produced, directed and starred in.
- Taught theater at Johns Hopkins University.
- Is a Buddhist and a vegetarian.
- 1968, Oscar — Best Short Subject (Live Action): Nominee
- David Astin — Son
- Thomas Astin — Son
- Mackenzie Astin — Son
- Margaret Linnie Mackenzie — Mother
- Valerie Ann Sandobal — Wife
- Allen Astin — Son
- Suzanne Hahn — Ex-wife
- Patty Duke — Ex-wife
- Sean Astin — Son
- Dr. Allen V. Astin — Father
- Attended Washington & Jefferson College, Washington, Pennsylvania, United States; Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States (BA in Drama, 1952); attended the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
- Birth Name: John Allen Astin
- Birth Place: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
- Profession: Actor
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