Hopkins renames theater in honor of John Astin

It's official: Gomez has own theater.

A newly renovated theater in the Johns Hopkins University's Merrick Barn was renamed Saturday in honor of the actor who originated the role on television of Gomez Addams, husband to Morticia and patriarch of one of America's weirdest clans on "The Addams Family."

On hand Saturday night to rename the 104-seat performing space "The John Astin Theatre" after its $210,000 make-over was Astin's close friend, the actor Ed Asner.

Astin, a member of the class of 1952, starred in "The Addams Family" from 1964 to 1966, and returned to his alma mater in 2001 to teach acting and directing. He has been credited with revitalizing the university's theater program, which enrolls about 140 students each semester.

At the dedication, Hopkins president Ronald J. Daniels said: "The John Astin Theatre in the Merrick Barn will be a permanent embodiment of your tremendous legacy already so beautifully reflected in the artistry of the students you have taught and the joy of audiences you have touched."

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