Martin Sheen


Actor
Martin Sheen

About

Also Known As
Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estévez, Ramon Estevez
Birth Place
Dayton, Ohio, USA
Born
August 03, 1940

Biography

One of the busiest, most conscientious actors who ever worked in Hollywood, Martin Sheen put together a Herculean body of work - though much of it forgettable - that contained enough highlights to consider him to be among the great actors of his generation. After establishing himself as a youth run amok, most notably in "Badlands" (1973), Sheen grew over the years into a patriarchal figu...

Family & Companions

Janet Sheen
Wife
Artist. Married on December 23, 1961.

Notes

Sheen took his stage name from the last names of CBS casting director Robert Dale Martin and Bishop Fulton Sheen.

Appointed as honorary mayor of Malibu, California, in 1989; appointment nearly rescinded when Sheen declared city a "nuclear-free zone, a sanctuary for aliens and the homeless and a protected environment for all life, wild and tame"

Biography

One of the busiest, most conscientious actors who ever worked in Hollywood, Martin Sheen put together a Herculean body of work - though much of it forgettable - that contained enough highlights to consider him to be among the great actors of his generation. After establishing himself as a youth run amok, most notably in "Badlands" (1973), Sheen grew over the years into a patriarchal figure whose rectitude and social responsibility kept with his liberal Catholic activism. A proud family man who saw all four children enter the acting business, with sons Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen enjoying lucrative careers of their own, he was perhaps most noted for his performance in Francis Ford Coppola's storied "Apocalypse Now" (1979), on which he suffered a near-fatal heart attack while seen onscreen in a drunken, unscripted meltdown the director incorporated into the finished product. But he subdued his rebellious ways with the help of Alcoholics Anonymous, while putting his political activism to the fore with an enduring portrayal of an idealistic president on "The West Wing" (NBC, 1999-2006), which allowed him to put his two greatest passions - acting and activism - on full display.

Born Ramon Estevez on Aug. 3, 1940 in Dayton, OH, Sheen was raised the seventh of 10 children by his father, Francisco, a Spanish immigrant who worked the sugarcane fields of Cuba for a few years after initially being denied entry into the United States, and his mother, Mary Ann, an Irish woman sent to the United States by her father because of her family's deep involvement in the Irish Republican Army. When he was nine, Sheen began working as a caddy at an exclusive country club, where he saw for the first time the differences between working class people and privileged elites; the latter of which he grew not to envy or respect. While attending Chaminade High School, he began performing in several productions after having harbored a desire to become an actor. Despite his father's objections, Sheen borrowed money from a local Catholic priest, Father Alfred Drapp, and moved to New York City to pursue his dream post-high school. Shortly after his arrival, he landed work as a curtain puller and floor sweeper at the Living Theater, which netted him just five bucks a week but the opportunity to audition for roles.

In 1959, Sheen made his professional stage acting debut in "The Connection" for the Living Theater. Soon after, he began working in television, landing guest spots on early shows like "The Defenders" (CBS, 1961-65) and "Route 66" (CBS, 1960-64), as well as a featured role on "As the World Turns" (CBS, 1956-2010). Following a production of "Antony and Cleopatra" for the New York Shakespeare Festival, Sheen made a brief Broadway debut in Frank Gilroy's "Never Live Over a Pretzel Factory" (1964), which ran for about a week before the play was shuttered. He found greater Broadway success with Gilroy's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, "The Subject Was Roses" (1964), in which he played a young soldier returned home from World War II, only to find himself embroiled in his parents' domestic strife. The role earned Sheen his first Tony Award nomination. Meanwhile, he made his feature debut as a juvenile delinquent terrorizing the occupants of a subway car in "The Incident" (1967), which he followed by reprising his Tony-nominated role alongside Broadway co-star Jack Albertson in the film adaptation of "The Subject Was Roses" (1968).

Despite dipping his toe in features and television, Sheen stayed wedded to the stage during the early part of his career. He tackled the title roles in the New York Shakespeare productions of "Hamlet" (1967) and "Romeo and Juliet" (1968) before writing "Down the Morning Line" (1969) under his birth name for the Public Theater, which starred the then-unknown Danny DeVito and was directed by Michael Douglas. Returning to film, he joined an all star cast that included Alan Arkin, Jon Voight, Bob Newhart, Anthony Perkins and Orson Welles for Mike Nichols' biting adaptation of Joseph Heller's wild anti-war satire, "Catch-22" (1970). Two years later, he had a significant role in the landmark television movie, "That Certain Summer" (ABC, 1972), playing the male lover of a middle-aged divorcee (Hal Holbrook) confronted with the challenge of telling his son (Scott Jacoby) about his sexuality. Though tame by later standards, the film was the first to portray homosexuality in a mature and non-derogatory way.

But Sheen's real breakthrough came as the amoral, yet charismatic serial killer, Kit Carruthers, who goes on the run with a teenage girl (Sissy Spacek) in Terrence Malick's "Badlands" (1973), based loosely on the Starkweather-Fugate thrill-killings of the 1950s. Tacitly evoking the specter of James Dean, Sheen portrayed Kit as a rebel seeking notoriety, capture, fame and even death. Sheen long remembered the part as being his favorite, even claiming that it was the one role where he would not change a thing about his performance. Meanwhile, Sheen embarked on a series of critically-acclaimed projects for the small screen. In "Catholics" (CBS, 1973), he played a priest sent by the Pope to conform a strong-willed abbot (Trevor Howard) to the new ways of the church. He followed with an Emmy-nominated turn as real-life deserter Eddie Slovik, the only soldier sentenced to death for cowardice during World War II, in "The Execution of Private Slovik" (NBC, 1974). Sheen was a gangster with a human touch in "The Story of Pretty Boy Floyd" (ABC, 1974), depicting the famed bank robber as a decent man with a strong sense of family duty.

In one of his first fictional forays into the political theater, Sheen delivered a strong and believable turn as one of his own personal heroes, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy in "The Missiles of October" (ABC, 1974), a powerful docudrama detailing the events surrounding the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. He maintained a steady presence on television for the bulk of the decade, starring alongside brother Joe Estevez in "The California Kid" (ABC, 1974), which he followed with "The Last Survivors" (NBC, 1975), playing an officer from a sunken ship who must decide who lives and who dies aboard a crowded lifeboat heading toward a dangerous typhoon. While in Rome filming the mediocre disaster flick, "The Cassandra Crossing" (1976), Sheen received a phone call from director Francis Ford Coppola, who was in the Philippines making "Apocalypse Now" (1979). Dissatisfied with the performance of original lead actor, Harvey Keitel, Coppola offered the part of Willard, an Army captain sent upriver during the Vietnam War to kill a colonel gone mad (Marlon Brando). Sheen accepted and flew to the island jungles for what became the most tumultuous shoot of his career.

Almost from the start, production on "Apocalypse Now" was plagued with disaster - brutal monsoon weather that shut down filming for weeks, cost overruns, an overweight Marlon Brandon who was cast to play the emaciated Colonel Kurtz, and the lack of a coherent ending, thanks in large part to Brando's weight. For his part, Sheen was taxed to near death by the demanding Coppola, who put the 36-year-old actor through the ringer to the point where he suffered a near-fatal heart attack a year after principle photography began. Sheen's heavy drinking - which was starting to become a serious problem - only added to the degradation of his health. While Coppola spent six weeks shooting other scenes, Sheen recuperated. He returned to the set in mid-April, completing the production. The finished film - hailed as a masterpiece by most - opened with a hypnotic montage that depicted a drunken Sheen suffering a near-mental collapse in a hotel room - an event the actor barely remembered being a part of afterward. Completely unscripted, the scene ended with Sheen punching a real mirror with his fist, which cut his hand, while showing him on the floor breaking down in tears. All actions were captured by Coppola, who rolled camera on Sheen's brief, but real descent into madness.

Though he continued his slide for a couple of more years, Sheen eventually rebounded from his near-death experience with a renewed sense of purpose. His road to recovery began while filming "Gandhi" (1982), in which he played a fictional American journalist who befriends Mahatma Gandhi (Ben Kingsley) on his quest for Indian independence. He donated his $200,000 salary for his three weeks' work to various charities, while returning to his Catholic roots after a meeting with Mother Teresa. Sheen also joined Alcoholic Anonymous in a long effort to overcome his drinking problem. Meanwhile, he delivered a creepy turn as the villainous populist of David Cronenberg's "The Dead Zone" (1983), based on the Stephen King novel. Returning to the political arena, he played President John F Kennedy in the miniseries "Kennedy" (NBC, 1983), which encompassed the doomed president's administration - from the early days of Camelot to the tragedy that befell the nation in Dallas. In the melodrama, "Man, Woman and Child" (1983), he was a happily married college professor whose tranquil family life is shattered when the child he fathered with an old lover shows up on his doorstep.

After a supporting turn in the solid adaptation of Stephen King's "Firestarter" (1984), he was a liberal-minded tenant of an apartment complex who challenges a no-nonsense ex-military man who has taken over security of the building following a series of crimes in "The Guardian" (HBO, 1984). Sheen exercised some of his own personal demons playing real-life cop Ed Zigo, who was plagued by personal tragedies while tracking down the notorious Son of Sam, in "Out of the Darkness" (CBS, 1985). Meanwhile, the actor formed Sheen/Greenblatt Productions with William R. Greenblatt and began mixing directing and producing with his onscreen duties. He earned a Daytime Emmy Award for his direction of "Babies Having Babies" (1986), a well-regarded "CBS Schoolbreak Special" that explored the issue of teen pregnancy by following the stories of five different girls struggling to cope with the same problem. Sheen returned to feature prominence with a small, but memorable turn as a union official and father at odds with the insider trading world of his financier son - played by real-life son Charlie Sheen - in Oliver Stone's absorbing drama of greed and excess, "Wall Street" (1987).

The following year, Sheen executive-produced and starred in two features, playing Barnard Hughes' son in "Da" (1988) and a trial judge in Leo Penn's "Judgment in Berlin" (1988), a courtroom drama about a real incident in 1978, when an East German man hijacked a Polish airliner with a toy gun and forced it to land in West Germany. Following several forgettable projects - "Beverly Hills Brats" (1989) and "Beyond the Stars" (1989), chief among them - Sheen served as executive producer while starring alongside son Emilio Estevez in the made-for-television movie "Nightbreaker" (TNT, 1989), a politically-themed drama about a former military doctor - played by both Sheen and Estevez; the latter in flashbacks - sterilized after nuclear bomb testing by the U.S. government in the 1950s. By this time, Sheen was also well-known for being a political activist with a knack for getting arrested - some 60-odd times over the course of a few decades. Following his first arrest, which came when he protested President Ronald Reagan's nuclear initiative, Sheen was involved in many issues, including environmental causes, anti-war demonstrations and civil rights marches. Sheen also had no problem doing whatever was necessary to save one of his sons from drug addiction. After staging an intervention for Charlie - even putting friend Clint Eastwood on the phone to talk him into rehab - Sheen went public in a big way when Charlie overdosed in May 1998 and his father reported it to police - in essence, landing his son in legal trouble and court-ordered rehab to save his life. Some were flummoxed that a father would turn in his own son, but Sheen passionately spoke publicly of his determination to do whatever was necessary to ensure Charlie's recovery.

Despite the many nights he spent in jail for his political activism and devotion to issues close to his heart, Sheen maintained a steady flow of film and television projects. He made his feature debut as a director with the disappointing military drama, "Cadence" (1991), which depicted an AWOL soldier (Charlie Sheen) thrown into an all-African American stockade, where he confronts a racist sergeant. Though he continued to be a consistent force in the feature world, Sheen became more indentified with the small screen as his career progressed. While the Civil War epic, "Gettysburg" (1993) received a theatrical release, far more people saw his distinguished, bewhiskered turn as General Robert E. Lee on the later TNT telecast. That same year, Sheen copped his first Emmy Award for his memorable guest appearance on "Murphy Brown" (CBS, 1988-1998) as a celebrated sixties radical writer who emerges from a self-imposed seclusion as a vocal conservative. Following the tone-deaf thriller "Hear No Evil" (1993), he starred opposite Patty Duke in "A Matter of Justice" (NBC, 1993), a two-part miniseries based on the true story of a mother trying to bring her daughter-in-law to justice for the murder of her son.

Sheen's prolific output - which consisted of as many duds as gems - continued unabated in the second half of the decade. After playing an assistant district attorney in "One of Her Own" (ABC, 1994), which was based on the real-life case of a female officer (Toni Shroud) raped by a fellow cop, he strapped on his tinfoil hat for the alien conspiracy drama "Roswell" (Showtime, 1994), which focused on the crash of an unidentified flying object in the New Mexico desert in 1947. Perhaps his most prominent feature role of the decade came as a presidential advisor to Michael Douglas' commander-in-chief in "The American President" (1995), which acquainted him with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. Three generations of Sheen's, including son Emilio and granddaughter Poloma, appeared in "The War at Home" (1996), which starred Estevez as a Vietnam veteran struggling to adapt to life back at home after the war. In "Hostile Waters" (HBO, 1997), he was the captain of a U.S nuclear submarine that collides with another nuclear sub from the Soviet Union, sparking a near-catastrophe of international proportions. Sheen was the heavy in the supernatural adventure, "Spawn" (1997), playing an evil government official who betrays and kills an assassin (Michael Jai White) who returns from hell to exact revenge.

After several decades on the stage and screen, Sheen finally landed his first regular series role with "The West Wing" (NBC, 1999-2006), Aaron Sorkin's behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the White House, as seen through a group of idealist staffers. Sheen played President Josiah Bartlet, a former two-term governor of New Hampshire who serves as the leader of the free world with passion, intelligence, toughness and a touch of humor. Perhaps idealized to the point of being impossible, Sheen's character nonetheless faced numerous challenges, particularly a battle with multiple sclerosis. Meanwhile, the critically-acclaimed show was a long-running ratings winner for NBC, while racking up numerous awards and nominations. Sheen himself was nominated for an Outstanding Lead Actor Emmy Award six times, though he failed to win one. Nonetheless, Sheen became the country's favorite pseudo-president, particularly during the dark days of George W. Bush. Of course, his numerous arrests for political activism were only amplified because of his fictional portrayal of the president.

As the political atmosphere darkened following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 and the subsequent Iraq War, Sheen was a frequent presence at numerous anti-war rallies. He also became actively involved on the campaign trail, stumping for Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry in 2004. In 2006, Sheen was rumored to have been contacted by members of the Democratic Party in Ohio to persuade him to run for the senate, which he politely declined, stating he was unqualified for office. Following yet another arrest in 2007 for trespassing on a nuclear test site in Nevada, Sheen supported and raised money for New Mexico governor Bill Richardson during the 2008 Democratic primary campaign. Once Richardson dropped out of the race, Sheen threw his support behind the eventual president, Barack Obama.

During his successful run on "The West Wing," Sheen's film career received a significant jolt in the arm. He delivered a strong turn as a high school basketball coach in "O" (2001), a contemporary take on William Shakespeare's "Othello," which he followed with a turn as a southern lawyer who welcomes con man and prospective son-in-law Frank Abagnale, Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) into his home in "Catch Me If You Can" (2002). He next made an appearance in Emilio's reflective political drama, "Bobby" (2006), which focused on the people working at the Ambassador Hotel the night Robert Kennedy was shot. Being a huge political influence on his sons, both Sheen and Estevez spoke reverentially of the real RFK throughout the extensive press tour. Sheen was one of many quality parts of Martin Scorsese's award-winning crime drama, "The Departed" (2006), in which he played the commanding officer of an undercover cop (Leonardo DiCaprio) who has infiltrated the inner circle of a notorious mob boss (Jack Nicholson) at the same time an informant has infiltrated the state police. Following an episode on Charlie's hit sitcom, "Two and a Half Men" (CBS, 2003-15), he narrated "They Killed Sister Dorothy" (HBO, 2008), a documentary that shed light on why a Catholic nun from Ohio was shot to death in South America. He next made an appearance in the forgettable comedy "Imagine That" (2009), starring Eddie Murphy.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Cadence (1990)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Come Sunday (2018)
The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)
The Vessel (2016)
The Rules Don't Apply (2016)
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)
Himself
Trash (2015)
Undiscovered Gyrl (2014)
The Boxcar Children (2014)
Voice
Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey (2014)
Selma (2014)
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)
Death By China (2012)
Narrator
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Wrinkles (2012)
Voice
The Way (2011)
Stella Days (2011)
The Kid: Chamaco (2010)
They Killed Sister Dorothy (2009)
Narrator
Echelon Conspiracy (2009)
Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain (2009)
Imagine That (2009)
Love Happens (2009)
The End of Poverty? (2008)
Narrator
Talk to Me (2007)
Bordertown (2007)
Confessions of an Innocent Man (2007)
Narrator
Bobby (2006)
The Departed (2006)
Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006)
Tell Them Who You Are (2004)
Himself
Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion (2003)
Narrator
The Commission (2003)
Hidden in Plain Sight (2003)
Narrator
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Apocalypse Now Redux (2001)
O (2001)
Stockpile (2001)
Narrator
Mexico (2000)
Narrator
No Code of Conduct (2000)
Bill Peterson
Forget Me Never (1999)
Jack Mcgowin
Lost & Found (1999)
Millstone
The Timeshifters (1999)
Babylon 5: River of Souls (1998)
A Letter from Death Row (1998)
Ninth Street (1998)
Father Frank
Shadrach (1998)
Narrator
Gunfighter (1998)
A Stranger in the Kingdom (1998)
Sigourd Moulton
Monument Ave. (1998)
Hostile Waters (1997)
Spawn (1997)
Truth Or Consequences, N.m. (1997)
Project: ALF (1996)
Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story (1996)
Peter Maurin
An Act of Conscience (1996)
Narrator
The War At Home (1996)
Dead Presidents (1995)
Sacred Cargo (1995)
Gospa (1995)
Jozo Zovko
The American President (1995)
Dillinger and Capone (1995)
The Break (1995)
Gil Robbins
Born Wild (1995)
Captain Nuke and the Bomber Boys (1995)
When the Bough Breaks (1995)
Police Captain Swaggert
One Hundred and One Nights (1995)
Boca (1994)
Jesse James Montogomery
Hits (1994)
One of Her Own (1994)
Assistant District Attorney Pete Maresca
The Floating Outfit: Trigger Fast (1994)
Roswell (1994)
Gettysburg Journal (1993)
The Ghost Brigade (1993)
General Haworth
The Last P.O.W.? The Bobby Garwood Story (1993)
Hear No Evil (1993)
Gettysburg (1993)
My Home, My Prison (1992)
Narration
The Water Engine (1992)
Touch And Die (1992)
The Maid (1991)
Anthony Wayne
Guilty Until Proven Innocent (1991)
Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991)
Original Intent (1990)
Cadence (1990)
Beverly Hills Brats (1989)
Nightbreaker (1989)
Dr Alexander Brown--As An Older Man
Cold Front (1989)
Beyond The Stars (1989)
Just One Step: The Great Peace March (1989)
Himself
Promises to Keep (1988)
Narrator
Judgment in Berlin (1988)
Herbert J Stern
Da (1988)
Walking After Midnight (1988)
The Believers (1987)
Wall Street (1987)
Siesta (1987)
Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam (1987)
Narrator
Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago 8 (1987)
James Marion Hunt
News at Eleven (1986)
Loophole (1986)
Samaritan: The Mitch Snyder Story (1986)
A State of Emergency (1986)
Dr Alex Carmody
Shattered Spirits (1986)
Lyle Mollencamp
Broken Rainbow (1985)
Narration
Out of the Darkness (1985)
Consenting Adult (1985)
Ken Lynd
The Guardian (1984)
In the Name of the People (1984)
Narration
Firestarter (1984)
Enigma (1983)
Choices of the Heart (1983)
Father Matt Phelan
Man, Woman and Child (1983)
The Dead Zone (1983)
Gandhi (1982)
In the King of Prussia (1982)
Judge Samuel Salus Ii
That Championship Season (1982)
Tom Daley
In the Custody of Strangers (1982)
The Final Countdown (1980)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Eagle's Wing (1978)
The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane (1977)
Frank Hallet
The Cassandra Crossing (1977)
Sweet Hostage (1975)
Leonard Hatch
The Last Survivors (1975)
The Legend of Earl Durand (1975)
The California Kid (1974)
Michael Mccord
The Story of Pretty Boy Floyd (1974)
The Execution Of Private Slovik (1974)
Eddie Slovik
The Missiles of October (1974)
Catholics (1973)
Father Kinsella
Badlands (1973)
Letters From Three Lovers (1973)
Vincent
Harry O (1973)
Message to My Daughter (1973)
Rage (1972)
Major Holliford
Pickup on 101 (1972)
Les Cavanaugh, also known as Les Baumgartner
Crime Club (1972)
That Certain Summer (1972)
Gary Mcclain
Pursuit (1972)
Welcome Home, Johnny Bristol (1972)
Graytak
No Drums, No Bugles (1971)
Ashby Gatrell
Mongo's Back in Town (1971)
Goodbye, Raggedy Ann (1971)
Jules Worthman
Catch-22 (1970)
Lieutenant Dobbs
Then Came Bronson (1969)
Nick Oresko
The Subject Was Roses (1968)
Timmy Cleary
The Incident (1967)
Artie Connors

Writer (Feature Film)

Cadence (1990)
Screenplay

Producer (Feature Film)

Nightbreaker (1989)
Executive Producer
Da (1988)
Executive Producer
Judgment in Berlin (1988)
Executive Producer

Music (Feature Film)

The War At Home (1996)
Song Performer

Special Thanks (Feature Film)

The Thin Red Line (1998)
Special Thanks To

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Tell Them Who You Are (2004)
Other
Just One Step: The Great Peace March (1989)
Other

Director (Special)

Babies Having Babies (1986)
Director

Cast (Special)

Christmas in Rockefeller Center (2003)
All the Presidents' Movies (2003)
Narrator
A Home for the Holidays (2002)
Gorillas: Primal Contact (2002)
Narrator
Bringing Down a Dictator (2002)
Narrator
The 59th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2002)
Presenter
Heroes For the Planet -- A Tribute to National Geographic (2001)
The Apostle Paul: The Man Who Turned the World Upside Down (2001)
Narrator
Echoes From the White House (2001)
The 58th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2001)
Performer
The 2001 ESPY Awards (2001)
Performer
Intimate Portrait: Allison Janney (2001)
Interviewee
Stockpile: The Nuclear Menace (2001)
Narrator
Irish Tenors Ellis Island (2001)
The 2001 TV Guide Awards (2001)
Performer
Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular (2001)
Narrator
The 53rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (2001)
Presenter
The 52nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (2000)
Presenter
Hollywood, D.C.: A Tale of Two Cities (2000)
Hispanic Heritage Awards (2000)
Presenter
Last Stand -- The Struggle For the Ballona Wetlands (2000)
The 57th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2000)
Presenter
Great Wall Across the Yangtze (2000)
Narrator
Prism Awards 2000 (2000)
Performer
World's Deadliest Storms (1999)
Narrator
Heart of Darkness (1999)
SAG Awards Show (1999)
Presenter
The Vietnam War: A Descent Into Hell (1999)
Narrator
Forbidden Depths (1999)
Narration
The Twelve Apostles: History's Great Revolutionaries (1999)
Narrator
Virus of Violence (1999)
Host
War Dogs (1999)
Narrator
A Conversation With Koko (1999)
Narrator
The Great American History Quiz (1999)
Harrison Ford: America's Leading Man (1999)
Interviewee
Cinema Combat: Hollywood Goes to War (1998)
Narrator
The 1998 Genesis Awards (1998)
Presenter
Ed Asner: Lovable Grouch (1998)
Chicken Soup For the Soul (1998)
The 12th Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards (1998)
ALMA Awards (1998)
Performer
Burt Lancaster (1997)
Narrator
Titanic: Anatomy of a Disaster (1997)
Narration
Innovation (1997)
Narrator
The Soul of Christmas: A Celtic Music Celebration With Thomas Moore (1997)
When Disasters Strike (1996)
Celebrate the Dream: 50 Years of Ebony (1996)
Blacklist: Hollywood on Trial (1996)
Voice
Present Tense, Past Perfect (1996)
Carrie Fisher: The Hollywood Family (1995)
Carrier: Fortress at Sea (1995)
Narrator
Marlon Brando, Wild One (1994)
Earthquakes: The Terrifying Truth (1994)
Narrator
Missions to the Moon (1994)
Narrator
Bah! Humbug! (1994)
Last Voyage of the Lusitania (1994)
Narrator
Larry Kramer (1993)
Hearts of Hot Shots! Part Deux - A Filmmaker's Apology (1993)
The King and I: Recording a Hollywood Dream (1993)
1968: 25th Anniversary (1993)
Well-Cooked Hams (1993)
The Making of Gettysburg (1993)
Narrator
Alive -- The Miracle of the Andes (1993)
Narrator
The Made-For-TV Election (1992)
Host
Braving Alaska (1992)
Narrator
Columbus: The World's First Astronaut (1992)
Host
An All-Star Celebration: The '88 Vote (1988)
NBC News Report on America: Stressed to Kill (1988)
Messages From the Birds (1988)
Narration
1968: A Year to Remember (1988)
The Politics of God (1987)
Narration
My Dissident Mom (1987)
The Blessings of Liberty (1987)
China Odyssey: Empire of the Sun (1987)
Narration
Quest For the Atocha (1986)
Narrator
Secrets Of The Titanic (1986)
Narrator
The Fourth Wise Man (1985)
The Funniest Joke I Ever Heard (1984)
The Screen Actors Guild 50th Anniversary Celebration (1984)
I Love Liberty (1982)
Circus of the Stars (1979)
Taxi (1978)
Taxi Driver

Producer (Special)

No Means No (1988)
Executive Producer
Babies Having Babies (1986)
Executive Producer

Cast (Short)

Pat Neal Is Back (1968)
Himself

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

A Texas Funeral (2000)
The Darklings (1999)
The Elevator (1999)
Storm (1999)
Free Money (1998)
Voyage of Terror (1998)
Medusa's Child (1997)
Queen (1993)
A Matter of Justice (1993)
The Atlanta Child Murders (1985)
Kennedy (1983)
Blind Ambition (1979)

Life Events

1959

Made stage acting debut in "The Connection" at NYC's Living Theater

1961

Early TV work as guest on shows like "The Defenders" and "Route 66" (CBS)

1962

First Shakespearan role in the NY Shakespeare Festival production of "Anthony and Cleopatra" in Central Park

1964

Made Broadway debut in Frank Gilroy's "Never Live Over a Pretzel Factory"; play closed after eight days

1964

Had first Broadway success in Gilroy's "The Subject Was Roses" opposite Jack Albertson; the pair reprised their roles for the 1968 film adaptation

1965

Landed feature role on the CBS daytime soap "As the World Turns"

1967

Made screen debut in "The Incident"

1967

Portrayed the title role in Joseph Papp's NYSF production of "Hamlet"

1968

Played the title role in the NYSF production of "Romeo and Juliet"

1969

Penned the play "Down the Morning Line" for NYC's Public Theater (billed under Ramon G Estevez)

1970

Acted in the star-studded "Catch-22"; film was adapted from the Joseph Heller novel

1972

Appeared in landmark TV-movie "That Certain Summer" (ABC), starring Hal Holbrook

1973

Co-starred with a young Sissy Spacek, as a cross-country killer, in Terrence Malick's "Badlands"

1974

Portrayed Robert Kennedy in the NBC movie presentation of "The Missiles of October"

1974

Played the title role in "The Execution of Private Slovik" (NBC), received first Emmy nomination

1975

Returned to Broadway as Happy Loman in a revival of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman"

1978

Nominated for an Emmy for his performance as a cab driver in "Taxi!" (NBC), co-starred with Eva Marie Saint

1979

Gained wide recognition for playing the Captain sent upriver after Kurtz (Marlon Brando) in Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now"; suffered a heart attack during the arduous shoot

1982

Acted with Daniel and Phil Berrigan in the docudrama "In the King of Prussia"

1982

Appeared in Richard Attenborough's "Gandhi"

1983

Offered a villainous turn in David Cronenberg's "The Dead Zone"; adapted from the Stephen King novel

1983

Played President John F. Kennedy in the NBC miniseries "Kennedy"

1986

TV directing and producing debut, "Babies Having Babies" (CBS)

1987

Played son Charlie's fictional father in Oliver Stone's "Wall Street"

1987

Played the leading role of writer Ned Weeks in the acclaimed London stage production of Larry Kramer's "The Normal Heart"

1988

Returned to the stage as Marcus Brutus in a NYSF production of "Julius Caesar"

1988

Feature producing debut, "Da"; also played Barnard Hughes' son

1989

Produced and starred in the TNT movie "Nightbreaker"; son Emilio played his character as a young man

1990

Feature directing and screenwriting debut, "Cadence"; co-starred with sons Charlie and Ramon

1993

Portrayed Robert E. Lee in "Gettysburg"; released theatrically before airing on TNT

1993

Earned an Emmy Award for his guest appearance as a former radical turned conservative on "Murphy Brown" (CBS)

1995

Cast as the President's (Michael Douglas) advisor in "The American President"; scripted by Aaron Sorkin

1996

Co-starred with son Emilio Estevez and Kathy Bates in "The War at Home"; directed by Estevez; daughter Renee Estevez and granddaughter Poloma Estevez (Emilio's daughter) also appeared

1999

Re-teamed with Sorkin (series creator) to play U.S. President Josiah Bartlet on NBC's "The West Wing"; garnered Best Actor Emmy (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006) SAG (2002, 2004) and Golden Globe (2002, 2003) nominations

2001

Cast in "O," a modern reworking of Shakespeare's "Othello"

2002

Portrayed Leonardo DiCaprio's prosepctive father-in-law in "Catch Me If You Can"

2006

Cast in Martin Scorsese's mob drama "The Departed," a remake of the popular Hong Kong crime thriller "Infernal Affairs" (2002)

2006

Earned an Emmy nomination for his guest-starring role on "Two and a Half Men" (CBS), series starred his son Charlie

2006

Co-starred in his son Estevez's directorial debut "Bobby," an ensemble centered around the night of Robert F. Kennedy's assassination

2007

Co-starred in "Talk to Me," a film about D.C. radio personality Ralph 'Petey' Greene (Don Cheadle)

2009

Played Aaron Eckhart's father-in-law in the romantic drama "Love Happens"

2010

Co-starred with son Estevez in the adventure comedy "The Way"; Estevez also wrote and directed

2012

Cast as Peter Parker's Uncle Ben in "The Amazing Spider-Man"

Videos

Movie Clip

Subject Was Roses, The (1968) - Open, Who Knows Where The Time Goes? Judy Collins’ vocal on Sandy Denny’s then-unreleased composition, first heard as the B-side of Collins’ hit 1968 recording of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” later recorded by Denny and Fairport Convention, nearly overshadows director Ulu Grosbard’s opening, with Patricia Neal, briefly Martin Sheen, and Jack Albertson, in his Academy Award-winning performance, from The Subject Was Roses. 1968.
Subject Was Roses, The (1968) - This Is Where I Came In Jack Albertson as Bronxite John was just trying on the uniform coat brought home by his still-snoozing son, just returned from WWII, when he notices his wife Nettie (Patricia Neal) coming back from morning shopping, character sketching in their first scene together, adapted by Frank Gilroy from his Pulitzer Prize-winning play, in The Subject Was Roses. 1968.
Subject Was Roses, The (1968) - Crazy About Waffles Dad (Jack Albertson) just departing the family Bronx apartment on business as his son (Martin Sheen as Timmy), the morning after his welcome-home from WWII party, converses with his mom (Patricia Neal as Nettie), raising her ire when he deploys one of the old man’s verbal devices, early in The Subject Was Roses. 1968, from the Frank D. Gilroy play.
Gandhi (1982) - Conscience Of All Mankind Opening scenes, the death of the title character (Ben Kingsley) in Delhi, Harsh Nayyar as assassin, then the funeral, Shane Rimmer as the commentator, generally recognized as the largest movie scene ever filmed, with over 300,000 extras, from Richard Attenborough's Gandhi, 1982.
Badlands (1973) - Some Kinda Dog Opening scenes, Holly (Sissy Spacek) narrating and twirling her baton, Kit (Martin Sheen) on the garbage crew, from Terrence Malick's Badlands, 1972, based on the Charles Starkweather killings.
Badlands (1973) - Just Like James Dean Holly (Sissy Spacek) resumes her narration when Kit (Martin Sheen) comes to visit, in their South Dakota hometown, in Terrence Malick's treatment of the Charles Starkweather crime spree, Badlands, 1972.
Rage (1972) - The Army's Position In This Wyoming GP Cardwell (Richard Basehart) confronts public health official Spencer (Barnard Hughes) and Army doc Holliford (Martin Sheen), about death of the son of his patient (director and star George C. Scott), who won't admit they were victims of a chemical weapon accident, in Rage, 1972.
Badlands (1973) - Takes All Kinds More of Holly (Sissy Spacek) narrating, then boyfriend Kit (Martin Sheen) visits her sign-painter father (Warren Oates) on the job, in writer-director Terrence Malick's Badlands, 1972.
Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, The - Pretty Girl Like You... Creepy Frank Hallett (Martin Sheen) pays a Halloween visit to Rynn (Jodie Foster) in this early scene from The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, 1976.
Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, The - Officer Miglioriti Rynn (Jodie Foster) escapes creepy Frank (Martin Sheen) with the help of Officer Miglioriti (Mort Shuman) in The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, 1976.
Broken Rainbow - People Of Peace Narration by Martin Sheen for a segment on the origins of the Hopi and Navajo tribes, from the Academy Award winning documentary Broken Rainbow, 1985, directed by Maria Florio.
Broken Rainbow - No Word For Relocation Martin Sheen's narration over some background on the Navajo relocation project of the 1980's, and the introduction of elderly Hosteen Nez, from the documentary Broken Rainbow, 1985, song by Laura Nyro.

Trailer

Family

Francisco Estevez
Father
From Spain; originally denied entrance to the USA because ill will from the Spanish-American War was still fresh; immigrated to Cuba where he worked a couple of years in the sugarcane fields.
Mary Ann Estevez
Mother
Of Irish origin; sent to the USA for her safety because of her father and brothers' deep involvement in the IRA; died when Sheen was 11.
Joe Estevez
Brother
Actor. Co-starred with brother in "The Story of Pretty Boy Floyd" (ABC, 1974), playing his on-screen brother E.W. Floyd; the two reteamed as brothers later that year in "The California Kid" (ABC).
Carmen Estevez
Sister
Teacher.
Emilio Estevez
Son
Actor, director. Directed father in "The War at Home" (1996).
Charlie Sheen
Son
Actor. Has appeared opposite father in "Wall Street" (1987) and other films.
Ramon Estevez
Son
Actor. Appeared with father in "The Dead Zone" (1983) and "Cadence" (1990).
Renee Estevez
Daughter
Actor. Married Jason Federico in October 1997; acted with father in "Touch and Die" (1992) and "The War at Home".

Companions

Janet Sheen
Wife
Artist. Married on December 23, 1961.

Bibliography

Notes

Sheen took his stage name from the last names of CBS casting director Robert Dale Martin and Bishop Fulton Sheen.

Appointed as honorary mayor of Malibu, California, in 1989; appointment nearly rescinded when Sheen declared city a "nuclear-free zone, a sanctuary for aliens and the homeless and a protected environment for all life, wild and tame"

Sheen intervened when sons Emilio and Charlie got girlfriends pregnant at a young age and refused to take responsibility. He bought houses for the women (Carey Salley, who has two children by Emilio, and Paula Profitt, Charlie's high school girlfriend) near his own and set up trusts for the grandchildren.

About the opening sequence of "Apocalypse Now", shot prior to his heart attack: "Frankly, I was intoxicated; I had been drinking all day. I'd lived in the room for a couple of days. Day and night. I had no business on screen. Francis didn't want me to do it, but I insisted. I said, 'There is something here I need to investigate.' He put two cameras up and said, 'Whenever you want to quit, just say it.' He was very compassionate, very sweet, and at the same time protective. He asked, 'What is it you want to do?' I said I didn't know,' and he said, 'I'll go along with that. Fine. OK.'"I was a raving lunatic. Joe Lowery, a Vietnam veteran and friend, was teaching me hand-to-hand -- karate and judo. He explained that the best way to train is by yourself in front of a mirror, because nothing is faster than your own reflection. I was in front of a mirror. I made a chop; I was too close; I hit it and cut myself and Francis yelled, 'Cut!'

"And I said, 'No, keep it rolling.' And he said, 'No, you're bleeding,' and I said, 'Yes, I know, let's go on; I'm not hurt, I want to explore this.'"He held the footage in the Phillipines for a long time. He finally said, 'You must see this footage. I don't want to use it unless you see it.' And I said, 'No, I can't look at it; it's part of myself I'm not able to look at; I'm not able to deal with it.' Francis said, 'I don't want you to be surprised or embarrassed.' I said, 'Look we're dealing with a guy here who's in a very bad way. This could be useful to the film.' He offered to show it to me after he cut it, but I refused. The first time I ever saw it was in the theater." --Martin Sheen, speaking to Emilio de Antonio, his director for "In the King of Prussia" (1982)

On turning his son Charlie in for violating his probation: "People ask me if it's hard to be tough on your kid. It's a lot tougher to bury him. Everyone knows how to put someone in a box and carry them into a hole, but that's not what being a parent is about. You have to love someone enough to risk their wrath."I don't care if my son always likes me. I know he loves me for what I did."I knew that unless I had my son locked up, he wasn't going to be here much longer than a few weeks. So I got rid of all the thugs, sycophants and fools in my boy's life. And I staged an exorcism."He's 15 months sober, man. His sobriety has been the great miracle in my life. Charlie is my hero.""I still don't know if he will be OK ... I know two things in this life: Nothing is a sure thing. And you have to trust that your feet will find solid ground. You just have to keep moving and trusting each step." --Sheen to Cindy Pearlman of the Chicago Sun-Times, October 3, 1999.