Beloved actor Sean Astin brought heart and optimism to the RootsTech stage last weekend as he sat down with emcee Kirby Heyborne for a heartfelt conversation about the importance of family, unity, and knowing where you come from.
For over four decades, Astin has accrued over 160 acting credits and has captivated fans with roles that emphasize his good heart, hope, and loyalty. Astin’s parents, Patty Duke (The Miracle Worker) and John Astin (The Addams Family), were also known for various roles on the big screen.
Sean and his wife Christine have been married for thirty years and have three daughters together. As part of his discussion with Heyborne, Astin mentioned that his daughter Ali has developed a serious love for genealogy. She has traced their family line all the way back to the Roman emperor Charlemagne.
Before hitting the stage, Astin sent his daughter a text message asking her why she loves genealogy. He read her response: “It’s a way to learn about the ancestors that live on through me. We are the key to our ancestors’ eternal life, and through my children, in a way, I will live forever. So it is important to honor that.”
Astin said he wrote back, joking, “What’s the real reason?” Then he turned serious again and shared that she also wrote, “I think we all repeat certain generational patterns, and learning from my ancestry is the biggest cheat sheet to solving life’s greatest problems.”
“The emotion of it hit me today,” Astin shared with reporters after his presentation. “I don’t think it has ever hit me before. Shame on me. This idea that history is alive in us, and what your great-great-great-grandparents did actually might have meaning for you.”
You can watch the entire interview with Astin on FamilySearch.org (Astin’s portion begins at 10 minutes).
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