Sean Astin is one of Hollywood’s least dramatic celebrities, but the actor’s birth was anything but! Astin went a little crazy when it came to learning who his biological father really was. Fortunately, it ended well.
Patty Duke’s relationships with three different men
Astin was born in 1971 to actress Patty Duke. At the time of Astin’s conception, she was involved with three different men – actors Desi Arnaz Jr. and John Astin, as well as rock promoter Michael Tell.
When she learned she was pregnant, Duke married Tell, but the marriage only lasted 13 days. Astin was born seven months after the marriage was annulled. Duke claimed his relationship with Tell was never consummated and maintained that John Astin was his son’s father. In 1972, she and John were married. They divorced in 1985.
How Astin found out who his father really was
Duke spent years naming John Astin as his son’s father, but soon changed his story. When Sean was 14, Duke told him that Arnaz was actually his father. Sean and Arnaz continued to form a relationship, but further complications arose when a 20-year-old Sean met one of Tell’s parents.
The relative noticed a similarity between Tell and Astin and suggested the two might be related. Sean decided to finally get some answers and underwent genetic testing. The results? Tell was his biological father.
He is close to all three men, plus his stepfather
Even though Sean Astin now knows who his biological father is, he still has a close relationship with the three men he considered his father over the years. In a 2004 interview, Astin opened up about his relationships with Tell, John Astin, and Arnaz.
“Desi Arnaz Jr. loves me and I love him. We are so close” He shared. “Science tells me…he’s not my biological father. Science tells me that Michael Tell is. Sean also said he considers John Astin his father because he was raised by him.
The actor is close to all three men, as well as his stepfather, Mike Pearce, who married Duke in 1986. “I can call any of them on the phone anytime,” Sean explained. “John, Desi, Mike or Papa Mike…my four daddies.”
Duke disagrees with genetic tests that indicate Tell is the father of his son; instead, she prefers to believe that Arnaz is. The pair agreed to disagree and remain close today. Sean Astin’s journey to find out who his biological father really is has been quite a messy one, but it seems like the actor is perfectly happy with all four of his famous fathers.