Actor, director Sean Astin to visit ECU through Voyages of Discovery Series

East Carolina University’s Voyages of Discovery Series will host “An Evening with Sean Astin,” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, in the Main Campus Student Center ballrooms.

Sean Astin (Photo courtesy of Keppler Speakers)

Astin is an actor and director best known for his classic role as Samwise Gamgee in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and is a staunch supporter of mental health awareness and civic engagement.

His is the first of two events in the 2023-2024 ECU Voyages of Discovery Series, led by the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. Tickets are $20 for the public, and free for ECU faculty, staff and students with a valid ECU 1Card. Purchase tickets online at the Voyages website.

The veteran actor also is known for his roles as Bob Newby, a former high school friend and love interest to Winona Ryder’s character, Joyce Byers, in Season 2 of Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” and for his beloved title characters of Rudy and Mikey in the popular classic “The Goonies.

Astin directed and produced the short film “Kangaroo Court,” which earned him an Academy Award nomination, and “The Long and Short of It,” an entry in the Sundance Film Festival. Astin has journeyed into episodic television, directing episodes of “Angel”(WB) and “Jeremiah” (Showtime).  He narrated Dreamworks’ original series “Captain Underpants” and has voiced many animated characters in films and television.

An avid long-distance runner and triathlete, Astin completed the IRONMAN World Championship in Kaliua-Kona, Hawaii, in 2015. He has completed 12 full marathons, including the 2016 New York City Marathon in honor of his late mother Patty Duke, for her life’s work as an advocate for mental health.

He is a vocal advocate for literacy, mental health awareness, bipolar disorder, and civic engagement, and he is an energetic, passionate speaker who promotes a culture of volunteerism.

The series is made possible through contributions from the Harriot College’s Dean’s Advancement Council, university organizations, and many other community and corporate friends and supporters. For additional information about the Voyages series, visit the Voyages website. Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the event.

Media with credentials are invited to attend without a ticket. Photography is allowed.


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