After decades spent in show business with a variety of acclaimed roles on the big and small screens, most everyone knows veteran actor Martin Sheen by his stage name. In actuality, Sheen’s real name is Ramon Estévez, but at the start of his acting career, he’d had difficulty in securing work. Wondering if this was because of his name, Estévez adopted the more familiar stage name of Martin Sheen. His career then blossomed, and once he was established as Martin Sheen, there was no going back to Ramon Estévez.
But Sheen never felt right about the name change. In a new interview with Closer Weekly, the actor reflected upon adopting his stage name and admitted that it was something he now regrets. Sheen says he has never changed his name in an official capacity and if he had his way, it would have been Ramon Estévez who rose to fame with his breakout role in Apocalypse Now. As he puts it:
“That’s one of my regrets. I never changed my name officially. It’s still Ramon Estévez on my birth certificate. It’s on my marriage license, my passport, driver’s license. Sometimes you get persuaded when you do not have enough insight or even enough courage to stand up for what you believe in, and you pay for it later. But, of course, I’m only speaking for myself. ”
In part, Sheen regrets using a different name for his acting career as he would have preferred to use his father’s surname. He spoke about how his father did not want him to get involved in show business in the first place, but it was because he wanted the best life for his son. Of course, there was no way at the time he could have foreseen the success of his son and grandchildren.
“You could not blame him. Both my parents were immigrants. My father was from Spain, and my mother was from Ireland. My real name is Ramon Estévez. My father was very practical. He was a factory worker for most of his adult life, and he wanted me to go to college and improve my chances of making a better living than he did. We had some very, very painful confrontations about it. ”
Most of the Estévez Children Kept Their Real Names
Martin Sheen’s children would end up getting into show business themselves. This includes Emilio Estévez, who rose to fame as the star of The Mighty Ducks; he recently reprised his role for the Disney + sequel series The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers. Two of Sheen’s other children, actors Ramon Estévez and Renée Estévez, also kept their real names when it came to getting credited for their acting work.
Meanwhile, Charlie Sheen took an approach similar to that of his father. His birth name is Carlos Estévez, but like father Martin, the younger Sheen thought he’d have an advantage in capturing the attention of casting directors with a stage name. Though, in Charlie Sheen’s case, he had the added advantage of having a father in the business who’d already found fame with that established name.