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Who is Sean Astin on The Big Bang Theory? How Patty Duke’s son learned about his biological father

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Sean Astin plays Dr. Greg Pemberton in The Big Bang Theory: Pic credit: @ImageCollect/ Birdie Thompson/AdMedia

Sean Astin has appeared in three episodes of The Big Bang Theory Season 12 as Dr. Greg Pemberton. Actor, voice actor, director and producer Astin first appeared in Episode 13, titled The Confirmation Polarization.

He also appeared in episode 18, titled The Laureate Accumulation, which aired April 4, 2019, and finally on episode 21, The Plagiarism Schism, which aired on May 2.

Who is Sean Astin?

Born in Santa Monica, California on February 25, 1971, Astin is known for his role as Mikey Walsh in The Goonies (1985) and for playing Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003).

Astin’s mother is actress Patty Duke and he was raised by his stepfather John Astin.

When Duke was 23 years old in 1970, she became involved with three men at once: 17-year-old star Desi Arnaz Jr., rock promoter Michael Tell and actor John Astin. She was married to Tell for only 13 days after which the marriage was annulled.

Tell was a total stranger who was subletting her apartment when she married him. She claimed that her marriage to Tell was only to “give [her baby] a name.” Tell purportedly married her to save her from the scandal of her relationship with 17-year-old Desi Arnaz Jr.

Duke claimed that her marriage to Tell was never consummated and that John Astin was Sean’s biological father. But she later told Sean that Desi Arnaz Jr. was his biological father.

Astin later confirmed through a DNA test in 1994 that his biological father was actually Michael Tell.

His film debut was Please Don’t Hit Me, Mom (1981), in which he starred alongside his mother as Brian Reynolds. He also appeared in Toy Soldiers (1991) and Where the Day Takes You (1992).

He played the title character Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger in Rudy (1993). He played Bob Newby in Stranger Things Season 2 (2017). He made his directorial debut with the short film Kangaroo Court (1994).

Sean is also known as a marathon runner. He participated in the 2014 Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. and in the 2015 Boston Marathon.

In Octobers 2015, he completed the Ironman World Championship Triathlon in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

Sean Astin’s Greg Pemberton ends career with a plagiarism scandal

Sean Astin’s Dr. Greg Pemberton is accused of plagiarism in The Big Bang Theory Season 12, Episode 21, titled The Plagiarism Schism, which aired on Thursday, May 2, 2019.

Kripke (John Ross Bowie) claims to have proof that Pemberton plagiarized his college thesis. Amy (Mayim Bialik) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons) need to decide whether they want to expose Pemberton who, along with Campbell (Kal Penn), is a rival for the Nobel Prize.

President Seibert (Joshua Malina) plays peacemaker. He brings them together to resolve their differences. Amy apologies for calling Pemberton and Campbell frauds, but Pemberton launches a verbal attack against Amy and Sheldon.

Siebert warns them that they have to resolve their differences otherwise the Nobel Prize committee will look elsewhere.

Kripke arrives as Pemberton and Campbell are leaving. Kripke cheerfully greets Pemberton but afterward tells Amy and Sheldon that Pemberton plagiarized his college thesis. He also claims he has proof.

Later, Sheldon and Amy debate with their colleagues whether to expose Pemberton. But they have misgivings about it. While Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) and Leonard (Johnny Galecki) want Amy to expose Pemberton, others such as Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Howard (Simon Helberg) don’t want her to do it.

Sheldon and Amy finally decide they don’t want to expose Pemberton. But Leonard privately tells Penny that he would secretly take matters into his own hands and expose Pemberton.

Leonard obtains the proof from Kripke. Amy soon notices that Leonard and Penny are acting funny. Penny finally confesses to Amy who tells Sheldon.

The two confront Leonard and tell him they don’t want him to expose Pemberton. Leonard gives them the envelope containing the evidence of Pemberton’s plagiarism.

Sheldon and Amy then invite Pemberton and Campbell to lunch and turn the evidence over to Pemberton.

Campbell is alarmed that his career could be ruined by his association with Pemberton and in the process, he appears to confirm that he’s been secretly hooking up with Pemberton’s wife Linda.

Pemberton and Campbell end up brawling on the floor and Campbell later exposes Pemberton who gets fired.

Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8/7c on CBS.

John Thomas Didymus has worked as a writer since 2010. He has written for several sites including Screen Rant and WikiHow, and his articles have... read more
John Thomas Didymus

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