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Martin Sheen (1940)

Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estévez

Type :  

  Summary  

Ramón Antonio Gerard Estévez , better known by his stage name Martin Sheen, is an American film actor best known for his performances in the films Badlands , Apocalypse Now and Wall Street , and in the television series The West Wing from 1999 to 2006.

He is considered one of the best actors never to be nominated for an Academy Award despite his acclaimed performances. In film he has won the Best Actor award at the San Sebastián International Film Festival for his performance as Kit Carruthers in Badlands. His portrayal of Capt. Willard in Apocalypse Now earned a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor. Sheen has worked with a wide variety of film directors, such as Richard Attenborough, Francis Ford Coppola, Terrence Malick, David Cronenberg, Mike Nichols, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Oliver Stone. He has had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame since 1989. In television he has won both a Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild awards for playing the lead role of President Bartlet in The West Wing, and an Emmy for guest acting in the sitcom Murphy Brown.

Born and raised in the United States from immigrant parents, a Galician father, Francisco Estévez from Salceda de Caselas in Galicia and a first-generation Irish mother, Mary-Anne Phelan from Borrisokane in County Tipperary. He adopted the stage name Martin Sheen to help him gain acting parts. He is the father of actors Emilio Estevez, Ramon Estevez, Carlos Irwin Estevez , and Renée Estevez. His younger brother Joe Estevez is also an actor.

Although known as an actor, he has also directed one film, Cadence , appearing alongside sons Charlie and Ramon. He has also narrated, produced and directed in documentary television, earning two Daytime Emmy awards in the 1980s. In addition to film and television, Sheen has also become notable for his activism in liberal politics. He declined to run for President of Ireland in 2011, a role he qualified for by virtue of his Irish mother.

  Biography  

 early life
Sheen was born in Dayton, Ohio, the son of Spaniard Francisco Estévez (1898–1974) and his Irish wife, Mary Ann Phelan (1903–1951). During birth, Sheen's left arm was crushed by forceps, giving him limited lateral movement of his left arm, which is three inches shorter than his right. Francisco Estévez was a factory worker/machinery inspector at the National Cash Register Company. Both of Sheen's parents were immigrants, his father from Parderrubias, Galicia, Spain and his mother from Borrisokane, County Tipperary, Ireland. After moving to Dayton in the 1930s, Estévez worked for the National Cash Register Company. Martin Sheen grew up on Brown Street in the South Park neighborhood, one of 10 children . Due to his father's work, Sheen also spent part of his childhood in Bermuda, where the family lived on St. John's Road, Pembroke. He graduated from Chaminade High School and was raised Catholic. Sheen was the first of the children born in the United States. At age 14, he organized a strike of golf caddies while working at a private golf club in Dayton, Ohio. He complained about the golfers: "They often used obscene language in front of us. . . . we were little boys and they were abusive . . . anti-Semitic . . . And they, for the most part, were upstanding members of the community."

Sheen was drawn to acting at a young age, but his father disapproved of his interest in the field. Despite his father's opposition, Sheen borrowed money from a Catholic priest and moved to New York City in his early 20s, hoping to make it as an actor. It was there that he met the legendary Catholic activist Dorothy Day. Working with her Catholic Worker Movement, he began his commitment to social justice, and would one day go on to play Peter Maurin, cofounder of the Catholic Worker Movement, in Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story. Sheen deliberately failed the entrance exam for the University of Dayton so that he could pursue his acting career.

He adopted his stage name, Martin Sheen, from a combination of the CBS casting director, Robert Dale Martin, who gave him his first big break, and the televangelist archbishop, Fulton J. Sheen. In a 2003 Inside the Actors Studio interview, Sheen explained, "Whenever I would call for an appointment, whether it was a job or an apartment, and I would give my name, there was always that hesitation and when I'd get there, it was always gone. So I thought, I got enough problems trying to get an acting job, so I invented Martin Sheen. It's still Estevez officially. I never changed it officially. I never will. It's on my driver's license and passport and everything. I started using Sheen, I thought I'd give it a try, and before I knew it, I started making a living with it and then it was too late. In fact, one of my great regrets is that I didn't keep my name as it was given to me. I knew it bothered my dad."

 career
Sheen has said he was greatly influenced by the actor James Dean. He developed a theatre company with other actors in hopes that a production would earn him recognition. In 1963, he made an appearance in Nightmare, an episode of the television science fiction series The Outer Limits. The following year, he starred in the Broadway play The Subject Was Roses, reprising his role in the 1968 film of the same name. In 1969 Live Bait third season of the TV series, Sheen played Albert, assistant to the colonel interrogating an American agent that IM was tasked to free. He then played Dobbs in the film adaptation of Catch-22. Sheen was then a co-star in the controversial Emmy Award-winning 1972 television movie That Certain Summer, said to be the first television movie in America to portray homosexuality in a sympathetic light. His next important feature film role was in 1973, when he starred with Sissy Spacek in the crime drama Badlands, which he has said is his best film. Also in 1973, Sheen appeared opposite David Janssen in "Such Dust As Dreams Are Made On", which was the first pilot for Harry O.

In 1974, Sheen portrayed a hot rod driver in the television movie The California Kid, and that same year received an Emmy Awardnomination for Best Actor in a television drama for his portrayal of Pvt. Eddie Slovik in the television film The Execution of Private Slovik. Based on an incident that occurred during World War II, the film told the story of the only U.S. soldier to be executed for desertion since the American Civil War. Sheen's performance ultimately led to Francis Ford Coppola choosing him for a starring role in 1979's Apocalypse Now, a film that gained him wide recognition. Filming in the Philippine jungle, in the typhoon season of 1976, Sheen admitted he was not in the greatest shape and was drinking heavily. For the film’s legendary opening sequence in a Saigon hotel room Sheen didn’t have to act so much since it was his 36th birthday, and he was very drunk. After 12 months, Sheen reached breaking point, suffering a minor heart attack and he had to crawl out to a road for help. After his heart attack, his younger brother Joe Estevez stood in for him in a number of long shots and in some of the voice-overs. Sheen was able to resume filming a few weeks later.

Sheen has played U.S. President John F. Kennedy (in the miniseries Kennedy — The Presidential Years), Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy in the television special The Missiles of October, White House Chief of Staff A.J. McInnerney in The American President, sinister future president Greg Stillson in The Dead Zone, the President in the two-part TV movie, Medusa's Child, and fictional Democratic president Josiah "Jed" Bartlet in the acclaimed television drama, The West Wing.

As of November 4, 2010, it has been confirmed that he had been cast as Uncle Ben in Sony's 2012 reboot of the Spider-Man series, directed by Marc Webb.

Sheen has performed voice-over work as the narrator for the Eyewitness series and as the "real" Seymour Skinner in the controversial episode of The Simpsons titled "The Principal and the Pauper." In addition, he played the role of the Illusive Man in the highly acclaimed RPG Mass Effect 2.

Sheen recently travelled to Mexico City to star in Chamaco with Kirk Harris, Alex Perea, Gustavo Sanchez Parra and Michael Madsen. His next project will be Stella Days, which he is filming during November in Tipperary, Ireland, near the birthplace of his mother. Thaddeus O'Sullivan is directing and Irish actor Stephen Rea also stars.

Martin Sheen and son Ramon Estevez combined both their real and stage names to create the Warner Bros.-affiliated company, Estevez Sheen Productions. The company’s latest film is The Way, written and directed by his son Emilio Estevez who also stars in the film as Martin’s on-screen son, who dies while hiking the Camino de Santiago. His daughter, Renée, also has a part in the film. Driven by sadness, Martin’s character, an American doctor, leaves his Californian life and embarks on the 800-km pilgrimage from the French Pyrenees to Spain’s Santiago de Compostela himself, with his son’s ashes. It is set to be released in theaters on Easter 2011.

Martin will appear in a new Irish Film entitled Stella Days directed by Irish Director Thaddeus O'Sullivan and stars IFTA award winning actress Amy Huberman. The film sees Martin Sheen play parish priest, Daniel Barry, whose love for the cinema leads him on a path to help set up a local cinema in the town. Daniel comes up against opposition from doubtful local parishioners who question his faith and the Bishop Hegarty, played by Tom Hickey, who is more interested in raising funds for a new church.

 personal life
 Family
Sheen married art student Janet Templeton on December 23, 1961, and they have four children, three sons and a daughter, all of whom are actors: Emilio, Ramón, Carlos, and Renée. All but one decided to keep their own names when they began acting - Carlos made the decision to use his father's stage name, and is known as Charlie Sheen.


His son, Charlie Sheen, also starred in a film about Vietnam, Platoon. Charlie Sheen once stated that he wanted to star in a film similar to one his father was in because he wanted to know what it feels like. They jointly parodied their respective previous roles in the 1993 movie Hot Shots Part Deux: their river patrol boats passed each other, at which point they both shouted, "I loved you in Wall Street!", a film they both starred in as father and son in 1987.

He has played the father of sons Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen in various projects: he played Emilio's father in The War at Home, In the Custody of Strangers and The Way, and Charlie's father in Wall Street, No Code of Conduct and two episodes of Spin City. He also appeared as a guest star in one episode of Two and a Half Men playing the father of Charlie's neighbor Rose , and another as guest star Denise Richards' father; at the time that episode aired, Richards was still married to Charlie. Martin also played a "future" version of Charlie in a VISA TV commercial. Martin has played other characters with his sons and his daughter. He starred in the film Bobby, which was directed by Emilio. Estevez also starred in the movie alongside his father. His daughter Renée had a supporting role in The West Wing, as one of President Josiah Bartlet's secretaries.

Sheen became a grandfather at age 43 when his son, Emilio, had a son named Taylor Levi with his girlfriend, Carey Salley. Sheen has six other grandchildren, Paloma Rae , Cassandra, Sam J, Lola Rose, Bob and Max .

He celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary in late 2011.

 Alcohol problems

Sheen has struggled with alcoholism but has been sober since the mid-1980s.

 Academic pursuits
After the end of filming of The West Wing, Sheen announced plans to further his education: "My plan is to read English literature, philosophy and theology in Galway, Ireland, where my late mother came from and where I'm also a citizen." Speaking after an honorary arts doctorate was conferred on him by the National University of Ireland, Sheen joked that he would be the "oldest undergraduate" at the National University of Ireland , Galway, when he started his full-time studies there in the autumn of 2006. Although expressing concern that he might be a "distraction" to other students at NUIG, he attended lectures like everyone else. Speaking the week after filming his last episode of The West Wing, he said, "I'm very serious about it." He once said, "I never went to college when I was young and am looking forward to giving it a try . . . at age 65!" On September 1, 2006, Sheen was among the first to register as a student at NUI Galway. He left the University after completing a semester.

Sheen maintains links with Galway and "heartily" supported Michael D. Higgins in the Irish presidential election, 2011, having become a "dear friend" of Higgins while studying there.

 Legal troubles
In an Actors Studio interview with James Lipton, Sheen admitted to being arrested 64 times for protests. "I don't look forward to being arrested and I don't go anywhere to get arrested, I really don't. I never know what's gonna happen at the time and sometimes... you have to do it because you cannot not do it and be honest with yourself," Sheen said in the interview. Since then, Sheen has been arrested two more times for protests.

On April 1, 2007, Sheen was arrested, with 38 other activists, for trespassing at the Nevada Test Site at a Nevada Desert Experience event protesting the site.

 Religion and beliefs
Sheen is a devout Roman Catholic, having had his faith restored by a series of meaningful conversations in Paris in 1981 with Terrence Malick, the director of Sheen’s breakthrough film, Badlands .

Sheen is pro-life. He discussed his views in a 2011 interview with Raidió Teilifís Éireann in which he said his wife was conceived through a rape and he says had her mother aborted her, or dumped her in the Ohio River as she considered, his wife would not exist. He also talked about three of his grandchildren whose parents were unmarried when they were born, saying his sons "were not happy at the time but they came to love these children. We have three grown grandchildren, two of them are married, they’re some of the greatest source of joy in our lives."

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Martin Sheen", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.