Sean Astin

Born Feb. 25, 1971, in Santa Monica, Calif., Sean Astin knew from the start that he wanted to be an actor -- not surprising coming from the son of John Astin ("The Addams Family") and Patty Duke. Unlike many child stars, however, he also wanted to get an education -- which he did, graduating from UCLA with degrees in history and English.

Astin was a familiar face to TV audiences by the time Steven Spielberg handpicked him to star in The Goonies (1985). Since then, Astin has moved to adult roles in films such as Encino Man (1992), Rudy (1993) and The Low Life (1995). In 1999, Astin gained 30 pounds to land the role of hobbit Sam Gamgee in Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Astin also writes, directs and produces films for his company, Lava Entertainment, and in 1995, his second short film, Kangaroo Court, received an Oscar nomination for Best Short Film.