While his parents (actor-director John Astin and award-winning actress Patty Duke) pointed out the pitfalls of a show business career, handsome Mackenzie Astin nevertheless chose to act while still a youngster. Like his mother, he was able to make the transition from child player to adult performer after taking a short break to briefly attend college. Astin made his performing debut at age eight in the CBS TV-movie "Lois Gibbs and the Love Canal" in 1982. Three years later, he made a guest appearance on his mother's short-lived ABC sitcom "Hail to the Chief" before joining the cast of the NBC sitcom "The Facts of Life" as wayward youth Andy Moffett. While a popular figure among the Tiger Beat set, the actor segued to the big screen in the crude comedy "The Garbage Pail Kids Movie" (1987). After three seasons and a handful of other TV appearances, Astin took a break to complete high school and enroll at his father's alma mater Johns Hopkins University.