Sean spent his life wondering who his father could be out of a possible three. While this is something that mainly happens in the movies, to actor Sean Astin, it was real life.
One Test Reveals Everything
As the son of a celebrity, Patty Duke, Sean Astin was always clouded by rumors about his father. After 26 years of growing up fatherless, Patty Duke decided it was finally time to reveal the truth. Incredibly, a paternity test was used and once the results came in Sean Astin was absolutely speechless.
Famous From Birth
Of course, Sean Astin has established himself as a household name due to his work on The Lord of the Rings film franchise, amongst other things. However, many movie fans have been familiar with his name since the day he was born. When Astin was born on February 25, 1971, he was given his mother’s last name and named Sean Patrick Duke. His mother, Patty Duke, was a well known Academy Award-winning actress, which meant the birth of her son was all over the tabloids…
In Between Relationships
There was actually a very good reason why Sean Astin’s birth stole the headlines, and it had nothing to do with how cute he was as a baby. It was more to do with the circumstances surrounding his birth and where his mother was at in her life. Everyone knew that Patty had been in between relationships when she had her baby, literally by days, and realized that even she did not know who the father was. Patty was not the only one trying to do the math…
However, she finally broke free of her guardians and began focusing on her career herself. Soon after she started a fling with Desi Arnaz Jr., the famous son toLucille Ball and Desi Arnaz from the popular ’50s sitcom I Love Lucy,and the tabloids were all over it. Given that Desi was six years younger than Patty, it was reported that his mother did not approve of the relationship. But could he be a potential father?
While the tabloids went crazy when they learned of Patty and Desi’s relationship, they would soon be printing their names for a variety of other reasons. For a start, the relationship between Patty and Desi ended quicker than it began. It simply didn’t work out between the two and there was Patty, single and ready to date again. It was not long until another potential came along. Patty began to feel the pressure of being watched by the public eye…
A Hand in Marriage
Luckily, Michael Tell who was subletting Duke’s apartment at the time offered her a helping hand. The two had been on good terms for a while, but now Michael saw an opportunity to make Patty’s life just a little bit easier. He offered to marry her in order to distract the press from her relations with Arnaz Jr. He was a stranger, but she agreed. Their marriage lasted a total of 13 days and Patty was back to square one…
More Than A Potential
Truth be told, Tell and Duke’s marriage was extremely short-lived and there was no indication that there was anything serious between the two while they were “together.” Tell was simply trying to help out Patty during this desperate time in her life. Although the pair never grew close, many wondered whether Tell could have been Sean’s father. While rumors started to quiet down, Patty eventually got herself into a completely different entanglement…
It was just a matter of time before Patty decided to look elsewhere in the love department. Things seemed to be going well when it was revealed that she was dating The Addams Family actor John Astin. What some didn’t realize though was that the couple were actually having an affair. Although he was separated, John was still married to Suzanne Hahn, and this affected their relationship. While this would have been enough drama for anyone to handle, there was more to come for Patty…
The Arrival of Sean
This was certainly a tumultuous time in Patty Duke’s life. Being in an affair with a fellow actor would have been enough to have to deal with, as far as the tabloids were concerned. However, she ended up learning something else that ended up changing her life completely. As if things in her life weren’t already dramatic, Patty then found out she was pregnant with Sean. She was certain that Astin was the father and was determined to act upon it…
Taking The Role
After John Astin finally managed to finalize his divorce, he was finally able to get married to Patty Duke. Although neither Patty nor John knew if the baby was biologically his, John was ready to take on the role of dad. In return, Patty helped look after Astin’s three sons. It seemed like an arrangement that suited all parties. They basically brought the two families together and there was some sense of unity. And that’s not all that Patty was pleased about…
He Called Him “Daddy”
By the time the couple wed in 1972, Sean was already one year old and even ended up attending the ceremony. The little baby looked up at John and called him “Daddy!” For the next few decades, Sean looked to John as a serious father figure, regardless of what the biological truth actually was. Also, it seemed as though John and Patty’s relationship was decided. However, it wouldn’t last and it was just a matter of time before cracks started to show…
Another Day, Another Father
Unfortunately, Patty and Astin’s relationship began to develop some cracks, and after 13 years of marriage, they divorced. It was undoubtedly a tough time for everyone involved. Patty, John, his kids, and Sean were all facing the dilemma of the family once again separating. That would have been more than enough for Sean to handle during this period of transition. However, it was around this time, when many changes were already happening in his life, that Patty made her confession…
He Might Not Be Your Dad
There is no denying that Sean Astin’s childhood was full of twists and turns. However, the following news was bound to be the most earth-shattering news of his life so far. Sean was 14 when his mother revealed to him that Astin may not be his father after all. She told him that another man, a stranger to Sean named Desi Arnaz Jr. may be his biological father. Sean was in shock and was entirely sure how to deal with this news…
A Second Dad
Sean decided he wanted to meet this man his mother claimed was his father. After getting in touch with Arnaz Jr., it did not take long for the two to create a close bond, and this continued for more than just one meeting. Sean referred to Arnaz Jr. as his second dad and once said in an interview,“Desi Arnaz Jr. loves me, and I love him. We are so close.” However, more family drama was just around the corner.
Keeping A Career
With all the family commotion brushed to the side, Sean did not let any of it get in the way of his career and he continued to pursue a life in the acting industry. The same year that his mom made her confession, Sean was given his first major acting role. He played little Mikey Walsh in The Goonies. The boy was as lovable in the film as he was in real life and he continued to feature in many other films.
Like His Character
If you had not known Sean Astin before, then you would certainly have after this. His biggest success came when he was cast as Samwise Gamgee in Lord of the Rings. Despite being on a terrifying journey through Middle Earth, he would constantly keep a smile on his face. Samwise, out of the kindness of his heart, would accompany his friend on a tricky quest. Similarly, his role as Bob in Stranger Things also portrays his caring heart – a feature that Sean possessed in real life.
The Fellowship of the Ring
Not only were The Lord of the Rings movies all about family and togetherness, but the cast and crew also had a real family dynamic behind the scenes – something that Sean Astin was desperate for. Seven out of the eight actors, including Elijah Wood and Ian McKellen, ended up getting the same tattoo of the word “nine” in the Tengwar script. Astin got it on his ankle and it was a testament to how close they had become.
Sean’s career continued and even exploded despite of his daddy drama. In 1993 he warmed hearts all over with his performance as Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger in the film Rudy.Portraying an aspiring footballer with dreams far out of reach, he never gives up. He plays a determined boy who overcomes all obstacles in his way. The way the film ends is not perfect, but the way Rudy fights his battles and wins them is much like Sean’s real character.
Based On Truth
Sean most recently appeared in the popular second season of Stranger Things. Playing the humble hero Bob Newby, he is the girlfriend of the main character’s mom and ironically becomes a father figure. When the family is in danger, he manages to save the day, but unfortunately, the outcome for his character is more than upsetting. Sean plays this non-biological father role extremely well, but could this be a result of his own personal experiences?
His Own Family
Although he certainly did not come from a traditional family background, Sean Astin was determined to build his own family with as little drama possible. On July 11, 1992, the actor tied the knot with Christine Harrell, who held the Miss Indiana Teen USA title back in the ’80s. Over the years, they have had three daughters: Alexandra, Elizabeth, and Isabella. Not only is Sean proud of the family that he has built with Christine, but he is excited about his children’s futures…
Like Father, Like Daughter
It seems like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as far as Sean Astin is concerned. Even when he was busy working on The Lord of the Rings movies, Sean was more than happy to have his children on set, to introduce them to the world of filmmaking. His daughter Alexandra even had a small cameo role in the third installment, The Return of the King as the daughter of Samwise – Elanor Gamgee. She has since gone onto star in Bad Kids of Crestview Academy as Ethel Balducci.
A Sense of Community
It’s not just in the world of acting that Sean Astin has looked for family dynamics and a strong sense of community. He has also taken a lot of comfort in the religious community that he has immersed himself in over the years. In an interview he had back in August 2013, the actor admitted that he was, in fact, a Lutheran. Despite not being brought up in this faith, he explained that he had been “baptized in my wife’s Lutheran church.”
Another Bump In The Road
Suddenly, in the midst of his successful career, some more daddy dramas approached. At 26 years old, a stranger addressed Sean, providing news about his father. The man revealed he was a relative of Michael Tell, his mom’s second husband. He was adamant that Tell was his biological father and that Arnaz Jr. was not. Sean was naturally confused, given this man was only married to his mom for 13 days. Nevertheless, he decided to take further action.
Sean bumping into Michael Tell’s relative was the final straw. His life had been a rollercoaster when it came to knowing who his father was and despite meeting three potentials, he still did not have a definite answer. The identity of his father was not only questioned by him, but by his mom and even the tabloids. This was not an easy thing for Sean to have to deal with. Finally, he decided to get the answers he had always needed.
Finding The Answers
Although the daddy thing was causing a stir in Sean’s life, everything else was going well. He had been raised by a caring father, even if it was not his biological one, and had pursued a successful career just like his mother. Sean was even happily married to Christine Harrell for 10 years. Feeling confused and frustrated, he decided to solve the mystery of the potential father. Luckily, there was one simple and easy way to do it…
Taking The Test
Sean Astin decided that the best way to find his answers was through a DNA paternity test. He finally needed to put the unresolved drama at rest and find out which of the three potential fathers was his – Astin, Arnaz Jr., or Michael Tell. To Sean’s delight, all the men agreed to take part. However, he had not yet met the last candidate in his father conundrum, so he set off to find Michael Tell.
The Final Result
After some time, Sean finally got the results he had so longingly waited for – Michael Tell was his biological father. The news came as a shock for Sean, as well as the other men, and even Patty. It seemed very unlikely that Tell was the dad given the little time that he and Sean’s mom had been together. Nevertheless, seeing them next to each other, the resemblance was uncanny. Sean decided to reach out to Michael once more and ask for them to get to know each other.
In the late 80s, Patty exposed to the public that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She even became one of the first public figures to speak out openly about her first-hand experience of mental health. Duke then spent the rest of her life advocating for more funding and research on the topic. One thing that Patty had to deal with on top of her mental health disorder is not knowing the father of her son. However, putting it to bed helped her manage.
A Son’s Support
Sean struggled when he discovered that his mom was bipolar. However, it did not change anything in their relationship nor with his father figures. Patty’s emotional struggles may be what led her to have disbeliefs about her son’s paternity test.She said, “I don’t buy that test. I can support his truth as long as my truth, if not supported, is respected.” She added, “I have told him I know what I know to be true.” Nevertheless, Sean supported her throughout.
A Man Of Many Dads
Despite all his battles throughout his youth, Sean Astin has kept positive and opened his heart to many. He not only gave his heart to the man he thought was his father but to the other men too. Sean developed healthy and nurturing relationships with all three of them, regardless of circumstances. He would call Arnaz Jr. his “godfather” claiming that he has a “powerful love bond” with him and said Tell“turned out to be a great guy.”
Because Of Him
After everything that happened throughout Sean’s life, he was finally able to have more than what some dream of – an extended family. If he had not been the man he was, perhaps he would not have been in this situation. Thanks to his ability to see the light in every darkness, something even he portrays in his films, Sean has made this crazy story a reality. He finally got the answers and the family he wanted for so long.
With all the commotion in Sean’s life, people started to look back at the life of Patty Duke. She had been openly scrutinized from a young age and the public was constantly commenting on her and her relations. From an outsider, it seemed peculiar how quickly Patty would jump from one relationship to another. But what made her do this? Little was known at the time about where she had come from, which may have impacted her life decisions.
Life In The Media
Born into a world of stardom, Patty’s whole life was dedicated to her career. Reaching her late teens, she began to speak up and make demands on how she spent her time. However, her managers were determined to keep their power over her. The battle continued, and it was not long before Patty felt trapped in her own life, making her want to rebel even more. The media caught onto this and began taking note of all her actions.
By Michelle Bullier –
Doniella Davy, the makeup artist for the hit tv show Euphoria has recently announced her own cosmetic line. The brand, called Half Magic, has been in development since 2019 and will debut in May of this year. Davy’s brand will offer makeup products that will recreate the fantastical and bold looks that have been created by her for the show’s last two seasons.
Davy’s Half – Magic
According to Donni Davy, the idea for the makeup line was an organic step following the success of season one of Euphoria and the consequent makeup trend that it sparked. She wanted to provide people with specific products aimed at making multidimensional, colorful color-scapes on one’s eyes. Half – Magic’s standout product would be the Chrome Addiction, an eye product in mattes, shimmers, and glitters, as well in an array of colors and earth tones. The brand also hopes to offer people the tools they need to make achieving a graphic makeup look much easier. The name Half-Magic was chosen by Davy to reflect her aesthetic of uniting graphic makeup looks with the everyday. The makeup line is inspired not just by Euphoria, but also by people (mostly Gen Z’s) who have recreated the looks in their own ways.
Davy and Euphoria
Davy has used her upcoming brand’s product to create some of the looks for the second season of the HBO show. Davy has explained this season’s vibe as ‘emotional glam’, stating that the designs all come from a place of the character’s arc in that moment. She also revealed that she felt the pressure to deliver the same level of graphic beauty looks as those which had impacted a lot of viewers, and still continue to do so till date. Euphoria season two debuted in January, and the show has already been renewed for a third season.