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John Astin

Gomez Addams, "The Addams Family"

John Astin is one of television's most prolific character actors, but will always be recognized as Gomez Addams from Classic TV's "The Addams Family."

Though he started out with the goal of becoming a mathematician, Astin developed an affinity for acting in college. As with many actors, he started slowly in community theater and moved to New York to try for Broadway. He managed to get to Off-Broadway, and began doing commercial voice-overs to make ends meet. At the encouragement of his friend Tony Randall, Astin made the big move to Hollywood to pursue a film career, which turned out to be a wise move. Not long after his move, Astin began getting parts on the big and small screen in the film "West Side Story" and TV shows like "Twilight Zone" and "Dennis The Menace."

His first leading role was in the short-lived comedy "I'm Dickens, He's Fenster" with gravely-voiced co-star Marty Ingels. He next made TV Land history by taking the part of Gomez Addams in the TV show based on the macabre comic strip.

After the "Addams Family," Astin went on to countless guest spots as an actor and soon began directing episodes of various comedy and drama series. He continues to act in theater often and has recently appeared in TV's "The Nanny" and "Mad About You" as well as in the 1996 shocker "The Frighteners."