Actor with rich acting heritage appears in both ‘Te Ata’ and ‘Montford Johnson’

This article appeared in the January 2022 edition of the Chickasaw Times

Mackenzie Astin grew up with a family heritage of acting. The youngest son of actors Patty Duke and John Astin, he entered the family trade at age nine and found early success on the iconic ‘80s television show “The Facts of Life,” where he spent the better part of four seasons.

As an adult, his work has included more complicated and dynamic characters. He has been cast on some of today’s most exciting programs, including “Scandal,” “Shameless,” “House” and “Lost.”

Mr. Astin has also been active in independent films including “Lonely Boy,” “Welcome to the Men’s Group,” “Moments of Clarity” and more.

He has worked on two Chickasaw Nation Productions’ feature films, which are now available for streaming online. He was cast in a starring role as Dr. Clyde Fisher in “Te Ata,” and portrayed Lt. Pratt in “Montford: The Chickasaw Rancher.”

“Te Ata” is based on the inspiring, true story of Mary Frances “Te Ata” Thompson Fisher, a Chickasaw woman who traversed cultural barriers to become one of the greatest First American performers of all time.

In “Te Ata,” Mr. Astin is cast as Te Ata’s husband, Dr. Clyde Fisher. Fisher is acknowledged as the “father of astronomy” in the U.S. He was the curator of the Hayden Planetarium in New York and concentrated on making astronomy visually stimulating and accessible for children of all ages. He met Te Ata in New York and the couple married in 1933. They were married until his death in 1941.

Mr Astin also portrays Lt. Pratt in the epic western “Montford: The Chickasaw Rancher,” based on the life of historic Chickasaw rancher Montford Johnson.

The Chickasaw Nation Productions’ film features the hardships and tragedy Johnson and those close to him overcame to establish a vast ranching empire along the famous cattle highway of the American West, the Chisholm Trail.

Visit for more information about the films.