Aug 10, 2015

Mackenzie Astin: Bisexual-Inclusive

In 2011, Mackenzie Astin starred in Caught at the Zephyr Theater in Los Angeles.  He played a gay man blissfully planning a wedding with his partner (Will Beinbrink), when suddenly his Bible-thumping sister arrives for some screeching.













I hadn't heard much about Mackenzie, son of John Astin and Patty Duke, younger brother of Sean Astin, since the 1980s.  His biggest claim to fame then was a starring role on The Facts of Life (1985-88), about four girls in a private boarding school.

By the time he hit the series, the girls had graduated and were working in a boutique, Over Our Heads.  He played Andy Moffett, an orphan adopted by end-of-series lead Beverly (Cloris Leachman).

Teen magazines gave Mackenzie some attention, but not a lot.  Maybe because he wasn't very muscular.  He was soft, pretty, and feminine, a tween version of Kurt from Glee.

During the 1990s, he grew hard, hairy, and rather gaunt, as he tried to distance himself from his gay-coded teen years with macho hetero-roles: Iron Will (1994), about a dogsled competition; the Western Wyatt Earp (1994); Ernest Hemingway's wartime buddy in In Love and War (1996).









But Mackenzie played a lot of gay characters, too. In Stranger Than Fiction (2000), he plays a gay man named Jared who kills someone and asks his straight friends to help him hide the body.  In the short-lived tv series First Years (2001), he played a gay lawyer living in San Francisco.

Out as bisexual, Mackenzie is married to a woman, and a gay ally.

See also: The Patty Duke Show.