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[[Sheen, Martin (2008).jpg|250px]]
Sheen in 2008

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Ramón Estévez, (born August 3, 1940) better known by his stage name Martin Sheen,[1] is an actor best known for his performances as Captain Willard in the film Apocalypse Now and President Josiah Bartlet on the television series The West Wing. He has worked for some of cinema's most prominent directors, including Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Oliver Stone, Richard Attenborough, Terrence Malick and Mike Nichols.

As well as the critical acclaim he has received as an actor, he has become known as an activist.[2][3] Born and raised in Ohio, United States, with Irish and Spanish parents, Sheen is also an Irish citizen.

He is the father of actors Carlos Irwin Estévez (Charlie Sheen), Emilio Estévez, Ramón Estévez and Renée Estévez, and is brother of the actor Joe Estevez.

Early lifeEdit

Sheen was born in Dayton, Ohio, the son of Mary Ann (née Phelan), an immigrant from Borrisokane, County Tipperary, Ireland, and Francisco Estévez, a factory worker/machinery inspector from Parderrubias, Galicia, Spain, near the border of northern Portugal.[3] Sheen's mother fought in the Irish War of Independence due to her family's connections to the Irish Republican Army. Sheen adopted his stage name in honor of the Catholic archbishop and theologian, Fulton J. Sheen.[3] Sheen lived on Brown Street in the South Park neighborhood, and was one of 10 siblings (nine boys and one girl).[3] One of his brothers is actor Joe Estévez. He attended Chaminade High School (now Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School) and was raised as a Roman Catholic.[3]

During the 1930s, his family lived in Bermuda, where Sheen's father was a representative of IBM, selling cash registers and early computing and copying equipment to businesses and to the U.S. Air Force.[4] The family lived on St. John's Road, Pembroke, just outside Hamilton and Sheen and his siblings attended the Mount Saint Agnes school, an institution operated by the Sisters Of Charity, a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church. Sheen was the first of the ten Estevez children who was not born in either Bermuda or Ireland.[5]



Martin Sheen

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 headed to New York City. It was there that he met the legendary Catholic activist Dorothy Day. It was working with her Catholic Worker movement that began his commitment to social justice.[3][6] 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 ... racist. And they, for the most part, were upstanding members of the community." [7] While Sheen claims he deliberately failed the entrance exam for the University of Dayton so that he could pursue his acting career, he still has an affinity for UD, and is seen drinking from a "Dayton Flyers" coffee mug during several episodes of The West Wing. He also has a great affinity for the University of Notre Dame and in 2008 was awarded the Laetare Medal,[8] the highest honor bestowed on American Catholics, in May 2008 at the school's commencement. Sheen has said that he was greatly influenced by the actor James Dean.[3] He developed a theater 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, which he recreated in the 1968 film of the same name. In 1969 "Live Bait" (Mission Impossible) 3rd season of the TV series, played Albert, assistant to the Col. interrogating an America Agent that IM was tasked to free. Sheen was a co-star in the controversial, Emmy-winning 1972 television movie That Certain Summer, said to be the first television movie to portray homosexuality in a sympathetic, non-judgmental 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 in many interviews is his best film.[3][9]

In 1974, Sheen portrayed a hot rod driver in the TV movie The California Kid, and that same year received an Emmy Award nomination for Best Actor in a television drama for his portrayal of Pvt. Eddie Slovik in the made-for-television film, The Execution of Private Slovik.[3] 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. It was Sheen's performance in this film that ultimately led to Francis Ford Coppola choosing him for a starring role in 1979's Apocalypse Now, a film that gained him wide recognition. Sheen admitted that during filming, he was not in the greatest shape and was drinking heavily.[3] On location, he had a heart attack and crawled out to a road for help.[3] 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 has performed voice-over work as the narrator for the Eyewitness series.

Sheen recently went to Mexico City to star in "Chamaco" with Kirk Harris, Alex Perea, Gustavo Sanchez Parra and Michael Madsen.

Currently, Sheen is in Spain shooting the film The Way , a story about Camino de Santiago and directed by his son, Emilio Estevez .[1]

NUI GalwayEdit

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, Republic of Ireland, where my late mother came from and where I'm also a citizen".[10] 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 (NUI), 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!"[11] On September 1, 2006, Sheen was among the first to register as a student at NUI Galway.[12] He left the University after completing a semester.

Political activismEdit

Martin sheen

Martin Sheen at an anti-war protest in October 2007.

Martin Sheen is no stranger to politics, both as an actor and in real life. He has played U.S. President John F. Kennedy (in the miniseries Kennedy — The Presidential Years), Attorney General Robert 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, and fictional Democratic president Jed Bartlet in the acclaimed television drama The West Wing.[3]

Although he did not attend college, Sheen credited the Marianists at University of Dayton as a major influence on his public activism. Sheen is known for his robust support of liberal political causes, such as opposition to United States military actions and a toxic-waste incinerator in East Liverpool, Ohio. Sheen has resisted calls to run for office, saying: "There's no way that I could be the president. You can't have a pacifist in the White House ... I'm an actor. This is what I do for a living."[13] Sheen is an honorary trustee of the Dayton International Peace Museum.

He supported the 1965 farm worker movement with Cesar Chavez in Delano, California. He is a proponent of the Consistent Life ethic, which advocates against abortion, capital punishment and war.[14] He also supports the Democrats for Life of America's Pregnant Women Support Act.[15] In 2004, along with fellow actor Rob Reiner, Sheen campaigned for Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean. He later campaigned for nominee John Kerry.

On May 16, 1995, Martin Sheen and Paul Watson from the non-profit environmental organization, Sea Shepherd, were confronted by a number of Canadian sealers in a hotel on Magdalen Islands over Sea Shepherd's history of attacks on sealing and whaling ships. Sheen negotiated with the sealers while Watson was escorted to the airport by police.[16] In early 2003, Sheen signed the "Not in My Name" declaration opposing the invasion of Iraq (along with prominent figures such as Noam Chomsky and Susan Sarandon); the declaration appeared in the magazine The Nation. On August 28, 2005, he visited anti-Iraq War activist Cindy Sheehan at Camp Casey. He prayed with her and spoke to her supporters. He began his remarks by stating, "At least you've got the acting President of the United States," referring to his role as fictional President Josiah Bartlet on The West Wing.[17] Cindy Sheehan had been demanding a second meeting[18] with the President, George W. Bush.

Sheen endorsed marches and walkouts called by the civil rights group, By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), to force the state of California to honor the Cesar Chavez holiday. On March 30, the day of the protests, thousands of students, primarily Latino from California and elsewhere, walked out of school in support of the demand. Sheen also stated that he participated in the massive immigration marches in Los Angeles in 2006 and 2007.[19][20]

On April 10, 2006, the New York Times reported that members of the Democratic Party in Ohio had contacted Sheen, attempting to persuade him to run for the U.S. Senate in Ohio. Sheen declined the offer, stating that "I'm just not qualified," he said. "You're mistaking celebrity for credibility."[21] On November 26, 2006, the Sunday Times in the Republic of Ireland, where Sheen was then living due to his enrolment in NUI Galway, reported on him speaking out against mushroom farmers exploiting foreign workers by paying them as little as €2.50 an hour in a country where the minimum wage was €7.65.

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 Nevada Test Site.[22]

His latest activism includes several attendances at meetings of the environmentalist group Earth First!.[23] Sheen has also endorsed and supported Help Darfur Now, a student run organization to help aid the victims of the genocide in Darfur, the western region in Sudan.

Sheen has appeared in television and radio ads urging Washington State residents to vote no on Initiative 1000, a proposed assisted suicide law before voters in the 2008 election.[24]

Sheen initially endorsed New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson in the 2008 US Presidential Election, and helped raise funds for his campaign.[25] After Richardson had dropped out of the campaign, Sheen stated in a BBC Two interview that he was supporting Barack Obama.[21]

Personal lifeEdit

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 (better known as Charlie Sheen) and Renée.[3] Sheen became a grandfather at age 43 when his son, Emilio, had a son named Taylor Levi with his girlfriend, Carey Salley. As well as Taylor Levi, Sheen has six other grandchildren, Paloma Rae, (From Emilio) Cassandra, Sam J, Lola Rose, Bob and Max (from Charlie). Sheen is a devout Roman Catholic.

Sheen starred in the Vietnam war film Apocalypse Now, and 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.

In the Spring of 1989, Sheen was named Honorary Mayor of Malibu, California. He promptly marked his appointment with a decree proclaiming the area "a nuclear-free zone, a sanctuary for aliens and the homeless, and a protected environment for all life, wild and tame".[26] Some local citizens were angered by the decree, and the Malibu Chamber of Commerce met in June of that year to consider revoking his title, but voted unanimously to retain him.[27]

Sheen has limited lateral movement of his left arm, which is three inches shorter than his right, due to its being crushed by forceps during his birth.[28] This restricts him from putting on a coat in the typical manner; instead, he flips it up and over his head from the front, as clearly demonstrated throughout the run of The West Wing.

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 and In the Custody of Strangers, 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 (Melanie Lynskey), 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.

Sheen is also an activist for labor rights, specifically farm workers. Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack aged 38 while filming 'Apocalypse Now'. [29]


Sheen received six Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his performance on The West Wing, for which he won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in TV-Drama, as well as two SAG Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series, and was part of the cast that received two SAG Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.

In his acting career, Sheen has been nominated for ten Emmy Awards, winning one. He has also earned eight nominations for Golden Globe Awards. Sheen has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 1500 Vine Street.[30]

Sheen was the 2008 recipient of the Laetare Medal, an annual award given by the University of Notre Dame for outstanding service to the Roman Catholic Church and society.

Sheen was the 2003 recipient of the Marquette University Degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa for his work on social and Catholic issues.


Year Film Role Director
1967 The Incident Artie Connors Larry Peerce
1968 The Subject Was Roses Timmy Cleary Ulu Grosbard
1970 Catch-22 1st Lt. Dobbs Mike Nichols
1972 No Drums, No Bugles Ashby Gatrell Clyde Ware
Pickup on 101 Les John Florea
Rage Maj. Holliford George C. Scott
That Certain Summer Gary McClain Lamont Johnson
1973 When the Line Goes Through Bluff Jackson Clyde Ware
Badlands Kit Carruthers Terrence Malick
Catholics Father Kinsella Jack Gold
1974 The Legend of Earl Durand Luther Sykes John Patterson
The California Kid Michael McCord Richard T. Heffron
The Missiles of October Robert F. Kennedy Anthony Page
1975 The Last Survivors Alexander William Holmes Lee H. Katzin
Sweet Hostage Leonard Hatch Lee Phillips
1976 The Cassandra Crossing Robby Navarro George P. Cosmatos
The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane Frank Hallet Nicolas Gessner
1977 The Execution of Private Slovik Eddie Slovik Lamont Johnson
1979 Apocalypse Now Captain Benjamin L. Willard Francis Ford Coppola
Eagle's Wing Pike Anthony Harvey
1980 The Final Countdown Warren Lasky Don Taylor
1981 Loophole Stephen Booker John Quested
1982 Gandhi Vince Walker Richard Attenborough
That Championship Season Tom Daley Jason Miller
In the Custody of Strangers Frank Robert Greenwald
1983 Enigma Alex Holbeck Jeannot Szwarc
In the King of Prussia Judge Samuel Salus II Emile de Antonio
Man, Woman and Child Robert Beckwith Dick Richards
The Dead Zone Greg Stillson David Cronenberg
1984 Firestarter Captain Hollister Mark L. Lester
1985 The Fourth Wise Man Artaban Michael Ray Rhodes
1986 A State of Emergency Dr. Alex Carmody Richard C. Bennett
Shattered Spirits Lyle Mollencamp Robert Greenwald
1987 The Believers Cal Jamison John Schlesinger
Siesta Del Mary Lambert
Wall Street Carl Fox Oliver Stone
1988 Da Charlie Matt Clark
Judgment in Berlin Herbert Jay Stern Leo Penn
1989 Marked for Murder Man in park Rick Sloane
Cold Front John Hyde Allan A. Goldstein
Beverly Hills Brats Dr. Jeffrey Miller Jim Sotos
Nightbreaker Dr. Alexander Brown Peter Markle
Beyond the Stars Paul Andrews David Saperstein
1990 Cadence MSgt. Otis V. McKinney Martin Sheen
1991 Touch and Die Frank Piernico Solinas
The Maid Anthony Wayne Ian Toynton
JFK Narrator Oliver Stone
1992 Running Wild Dan Walker Duncan McLachlan
Original Intent Joe Robert Marcarelli
1993 When the Bough Breaks Captain Swaggert Michael Cohn
My Home, My Prison Narrator Susana Blaustein Muñoz
Ghost Brigade (aka The Killing Box) Gen. Haworth George Hickenlooper
Fortunes of War Francis Labeck Thierry Notz
Hear No Evil Lt. Brock Robert Greenwald
Hot Shots! Part Deux Capt. Benjamin L. Willard Jim Abrahams
Gettysburg Robert E. Lee Ronald F. Maxwell
A Matter of Justice Jack Brown Michael Switzer
1994 Guns of Honor Jackson Baines Hardin David Lister
Hits! Kelly William R. Greenblatt
Grey Knight General George Hickenlooper
Boca Jesse James Montgomery Walter Avancini, Zalman King
1995 The American President Chief of Staff A.J. McInnerney Rob Reiner
Sacred Cargo Father Andrew Kanvesky Aleksandr Buravsky
Dillinger and Capone John Dillinger Jon Purdy
Captain Nuke and the Bomber Boys Jeff Snyder Charles Gale
A Hundred and One Nights of Simon Cinema Himself Agnès Varda
The Break Gil Robbins Lee H. Katzin
Dead Presidents The Judge Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
Gospa father Jozo Zovko Jakov Sedlar
1996 The War at Home Bob Collier Emilio Estevez
Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story Peter Maurin Michael Ray Rhodes
1997 Truth or Consequences, N.M Sir Kiefer Sutherland
An Act of Conscience Narrator Robbie Leppzer
Spawn Jason Wynn Mark A.Z. Dippé
1998 Family Attraction President Brian Hecker
Stranger in the Kingdom Sigurd Moulton Jay Craven
Gunfighter The Stranger Christopher Coppola
Monument Ave. (aka Snitch) Hanlon Ted Demme
Shadrach Narrator Susanna Styron
A Letter from Death Row Michael's Father Marvin Baker, Bret Michaels
Free Money New Warden Yves Simoneau
No Code of Conduct Bill Peterson Bret Michaels
1999 Ninth Street Father Frank Tim Rebman, Kevin Willmott
Lost & Found Millstone Jeff Pollack
Storm General James Roberts Harris Done
A Texas Funeral Grandpa Sparta W. Blake Herron
2001 O Coach Duke Goulding Tim Blake Nelson
2002 Catch Me if You Can Roger Strong Steven Spielberg
2003 Mercy of the Sea Frederik Dominik Sedlar, Jakov Sedlar
The Commission Dep. Atty. Gen. Nicholas Katzenbach Mark Sobel
2004 Jerusalemski sindrom Dominik Sedlar, Jakov Sedlar
2006 The Departed Capt. Oliver “Charlie” Queenan Martin Scorsese
Bobby Jack Stevens Emilio Estevez
2007 Talk To Me E.G. Sonderling Kasi Lemmons
Bordertown George Morgan Gregory Nava
Flatland: The Movie Arthur Square Dano Johnson, Jeffrey Travis
2008 A Single Woman voice Kamala Lopez
2009 Echelon Conspiracy Raymond Burke Greg Marcks
Love Happens Burke's Father-in-Law Brandon Camp
Bhopal: Prayer for Rain Warren Anderson Ravi Kumar


Year Film Role Director
1968 Pat Neal Is Back Himself Edward Beyer
1985 Broken Rainbow Narrator Maria Florio, Victoria Mudd
In the Name of the People Narrator Frank Christopher
Spaceflight Narrator Blaine Baggett
1988 Walking After Midnight Himself Jonathon Kay
1991 Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse Himself Fax Bahr, George Hickenlooper
1994-1996 Eyewitness Narrator (US version)
1997 187: Documented Narrator Timothy Fong
Tudjman Narrator Jakov Sedlar, Joe Tripician
1998 Taylor's Campaign Narrator Richard Cohen
Holes in Heaven Narrator Wendy Robbins
2001 The Papp Project Himself Tracie Holder, Karen Thorsen
SOA: Guns and Greed Himself Robert Richter
Stockpile Narrator Stephen Trombley
2002 The Making of Bret Michaels Himself
Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion Narrator Tom Piozet
Straight Up: Helicopters in Action Narrator David Douglas
2003 Hidden in Plain Sight Narrator John Smihula
2004 Learning to Sea Narrator Ziggy Livnat
Winning New Hampshire Himself Aram Fischer, Mark Lynch, William Rabbe
Tell Them Who You Are Narrator Mark Wexler
2005 On the Line: Dissent in an Age of Terrorism Himself Peter Glenn, Jason A. Schmidt
James Dean: Forever Young Narrator Michael J. Sheridan
2006 Who Killed the Electric Car? Narrator Chris Paine
Between Iraq and a Hard Place Narrator Rex J. Pratt
2008 Flower in the Gun Barrel Narrator Gabriel Cowan
They Killed Sister Dorothy Narrator Daniel Junge

Television and videoEdit

Year Episode Title Series Title Role Director
1963 "Nightmare" The Outer Limits Private Arthur Dix John Erman
1969 "Live Bait" Mission: Impossible Albert, assistant to the Col. interrogating an America Agent that IM was tasked to free
1970 "Cry, Lie" Hawaii Five-O Eddie Calhao
1973 "Lovely But Lethal" Columbo Karl Lessing, a chemist who became the murder victim Jeannot Szwarc
1986 News at Eleven TV movie Frank Kenley, a well-respected senior anchorperson at a fictional San Diego TV station Mike Robe
1996 The Crystal Cave: Lessons from The Teachings of Merlin Video King Arthur (Created by Deepak Chopra)
1997 "The Principal and the Pauper" The Simpsons Seymour Skinner
1998 Babylon 5: The River of Souls (TV film) Babylon 5 A Soul Hunter Janet Greek
1999 "Virtual Justice" Total Recall 2070 Praxis Mark Sobel
1999 - 2006 Seasons 1–7 The West Wing President Josiah Bartlet (Created by Aaron Sorkin)
2005 Season 3-7 Two and a Half Men Harvey, Rose's Father Gary Halvorson
2009 Season 2, episode 7 The Sunday Night Project Guest Host Steve Smith
2009 One Water Documentary Narrator Sanjeev Chatterjee and Ali Habashi



External linksEdit

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