WORCESTER – The affable sounding Sean Astin is known for his roles of resilience and everyday heroism, such as Samwise Gamgee in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Mikey Walsh in “The Goonies,” the title character in “Rudy,” and Bob Newby in Netflix’s “Stranger Things.”
He is also an active advocate for mental health education and for ending the stigma of mental illness. Asked why he became involved in the cause of increasing mental health awareness, Astin had a two-word response: “My mother.”
Patty Duke (1946-2016) was a beloved actress who won an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards, and three Primetime Emmy Awards. She was also “really one of the first celebrity types to talk about bipolar disorder, or manic depression as it was known at that time,” Astin said.
“We watched her devote the second part of her life to advocacy, doing shows, speaking to Congress,” he said.