Looking back, Martin Sheen would rather the audience see his real name, Ramon Estévez, in the credits of Revelation now, Wall Street, The dead and, of course, televisions The west wing.
“It’s one of my regrets,” he said. Closer Weekly in an interview published on Saturday, when they asked him if he regretted changing his name. “I’ve never officially changed my name. It’s still Ramon Estévez on my birth certificate. It’s on my marriage license, my passport, my driver’s license. Sometimes you let yourself be convinced when you don’t doesn’t have enough insight or even enough courage to stand up for what you believe in and pay for it later. But, of course, I only speak for myself.
Sheen racked up his first professional acting credits in the 1950s when he was still a teenager.
“When I came to New York in 1959, there was a lot of, you know, prejudice against Hispanics, a lot of it against the Puerto Rican community that I loved, and I really felt part of the Hispanic community,” said Sheen, whose father was a Spanish immigrant and whose mother is from Ireland.
He took the name Martin from CBS producer Robert Dale Martin, who had encouraged him from the start; Sheen came from Fulton J. Sheen, who was the Auxiliary Bishop of New York at the time.
In the 80s, Sheen’s son Charlie also changed his name before landing roles in films such as Lucas, Wall Streetin which his father played his character’s father, and major leaguewhich launched him into a long career in film and television.
Martin’s son, Emilio Estévez, who also made a name for himself, however, kept his name, and this was partly due to his father.
“The only influence I had on Emilio was keeping his name,” Sheen said. “When he started, his agent was advising him to change his name to Sheen and he didn’t. And I thank God he didn’t.”
Estévez explained his side of the story when he and his father had a conversation for the Hudson Union Society in 2012.
“He really implored me, he said, ‘Don’t make the same mistake I made,'” Estévez said. “But, you know, you’re young and you want to push the old man away. You know, ‘What does he know?’ Turns out he knew a lot.”