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John Astin

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Fast Facts

  • 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


  • 1968Oscar-Best Short Subject (Live Action): nominated