Family & Companions
Though he was the son of star Martin Sheen, actor Emilio Estevez - who kept his father's given surname to attain success on his own terms - nonetheless benefitted from his family's position. Exposed early on to show business by being on the sets of "Apocalypse Now" (1979) and "Gandhi" (1981), Estevez was more than prepared to make the leap into stardom, which he did following an acclaimed leading performance in the cult comedy "Repo Man" (1984). He soon followed with a string of Gen-X hits, including the cultural landmark teen dramedy, "The Breakfast Club" (1985), directed by John Hughes. Also that year, he starred alongside friends and fellow up-and-comers Andrew McCarthy, Judd Nelson, Demi Moore and Ally Sheedy in "St. Elmo's Fire" (1985). The group of actors, many of whom went on to star in other films together, were notoriously dubbed "The Brat Pack" by New York magazine - a stigma that he was forced to endure. Following commercial hits like "Stakeout" (1987) and "Young Guns" (1990), Estevez's career went on a bit of a slide in the 1990s, with the Disney movie "The Mighty Ducks" (1992) as perhaps his most successful as a star. Turning more to directing in the latter half of the decade, Estevez helmed episodes of several top procedural shows while making his long dreamed-of project, "Bobby" (2006), which helped propel his career into a new and exciting direction.
Born May 15, 1962, Estevez was the oldest son of actor Martin Sheen and artist Janet Templeton, and brother to fellow performers Charlie Sheen, Renee Estevez, and Ramon Estevez. The Sheen family relocated from New York to Malibu in 1968, with Estevez spending his childhood hanging out with future stars like Rob Lowe, and Sean and Chris Penn. It was with these close friends that he got his first exposure to filmmaking via a home video camera that the pre-Brat Pack used to make their own films. Though he appeared in an anti-nuclear power short film called "Meet Mr. Bomb" while attending Santa Monica High School, Estevez made his first official screen appearance with a cameo in Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now" (1979), which starred his father as a conflicted soldier sent to "terminate with extreme prejudice" a former army colonel gone mad (Marlon Brando). The scene, however, was cut from the theatrical version of the film. But he did continue working with his father, serving as the old man's stand-in on the set of "Gandhi" (1981).
By the early 1980s, Estevez began to delve more seriously into acting. He also made the all important decision to use his father's real last name, rather than his more familiar stage name, thereby avoiding comparisons to dad and charges of nepotism. He earned his first notices as Matt Dillon's best friend for his feature debut in "Tex" (1982). This minor success was followed by the more popular coming-of-age drama, "The Outsiders" (1983), which, like "Tex," was adapted from a novel by S.E. Hinton. As the wise-cracking Two-Bit Matthews, comic relief of the Greasers, Estevez starred alongside such future heavyweights as C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Tom Cruise and Patrick Swayze. Directed by Coppola, "The Outsiders" became a popular hit, thanks in no small part to rabid teenage girls who plastered their lockers with pictures of the Teen Beat cover boys. Moving away from teen melodrama, Estevez cemented his status as a young star on the rise with his next film, the cult sci-fi/comedy "Repo Man" (1984), in which he played a young and rowdy punk schooled in the ways of car repossession by a worldly mentor (Harry Dean Stanton).
Estevez nearly played the lead in an early version of Oliver Stone's "Platoon" (1986), but financing fell through on that film, while five years later, brother Charlie Sheen took on the role that established his career. So instead, he joined the young cast of John Hughes' comedic drama "The Breakfast Club" (1985), which became and remained a cultural touchstone movie for members of Generation X. Estevez played the jock who, along with four other mismatched miscreants (Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy and Judd Nelson), spends the entire day in Saturday detention. While filming "The Breakfast Club," Estevez worked on a script based on another Hinton novel, "That Was Then. This is Now" (1985), which he had begun in collaboration with Tom Cruise. The script was purchased by Paramount and was released with Estevez in the lead, but fared only modestly at the box office. Meanwhile, he graduated to college-age roles in his next feature, "St. Elmo's Fire" (1985), which again featured a cast of friends (Lowe) and up-and-comers (Nelson, Sheedy, Andrew McCarthy). The making of the film was profiled in an issue of New York magazine, which dubbed the close-knit group "The Brat Pack" - a label which dogged many of the actors for years.
Estevez attempted to shake the moniker by starring in "Maximum Overdrive" (1986), a horror film directed by author Stephen King in his first and only attempt behind the wheel. Despite the creative pedigree behind the picture, "Overdrive" was savaged by fans and critics alike. Undaunted, Estevez moved forward on his behind-the-camera career. With "Wisdom" (1986), he became the youngest Hollywood star to ever write and direct a film that he also top-billed. Unfortunately, the film - a road movie/romance co-starring his then real-life girlfriend Demi Moore - also tanked at the box office. He bounced back with a grown-up role in "Stakeout" (1987), a breezy comedy-thriller in which he was paired with Richard Dreyfuss, with both playing two Seattle detectives tasked with staking out the home of an escaped convict's (Aidan Quinn) ex-girlfriend (Madeline Stowe). Estevez's easygoing comedic camaraderie with Dreyfuss worked well enough to warrant a sequel, "Another Stakeout" (1993), which unfortunately lacked the sparkle of its predecessor. In the meantime, Estevez continued his hot streak with another considerable hit, the slick gen-X Western "Young Guns" (1988). The combination of old-school shoot-'em-ups and young stars, including brother Charlie, Kiefer Sutherland and Lou Diamond Phillips, proved to be a winning combination. Estevez's gleeful portrayal of Billy the Kid, complete with his infectious laugh, was singled out for praise.
Estevez returned to the role for "Young Guns II" (1990), which proved a slightly lesser box office hit. At the peak of his success in front of the camera, Estevez made his second attempt behind the camera, writing and directing the feature comedy "Men at Work," starring his brother Charlie and himself as garbage men who become entangled in the murder of a city councilman. Though greatly maligned at the time, the film later became a minor cult favorite. Estevez stumbled once again with the inert sci-fi action flick, "Freejack" (1992), perhaps the only good thing the project yielded was a lasting friendship with co-star Anthony Hopkins. Disney came calling next with the kiddie comedy "The Mighty Ducks" (1992), a charming sports picture which cast Estevez as a greedy lawyer forced to coach a misfit hockey team. The film was a big hit with children and parents alike; enough to warrant a few sequels. Meanwhile, Estevez - already having been engaged to fellow Brat Packer Demi Moore in 1986 - embarked on a high-profile marriage with pop star, Paula Abdul, in 1992. But the two were quickly divorced two years later, with Abdul citing Estevez's lack of desire to have children as the cause of their split. For his part, Estevez already had children from a previous marriage with model Carey Salley and wanted no part of that with Abdul.
Estevez returned for the first "Mighty Ducks" sequel "D2" (1993) after logging time in yet another dire comedy, the "Lethal Weapon" spoof "Loaded Weapon" (1993), in which he played the Mel Gibson part. When the expected third "Ducks" film was put on the table, Estevez agreed to make a cameo in if the studio would help him finance his next directorial project, a post-Vietnam family drama titled "The War at Home" (1996). Despite excellent performances by Estevez, Martin Sheen and Kathy Bates; generally positive reviews for his direction and scripting; and two ALMA award nominations, the film died a quick death due to poor distribution. Following up, Estevez maintained a low profile as an actor, preferring to focus on developing projects to direct. Aside from an uncredited role in buddy Tom Cruise's "Mission: Impossible" (1996) and several independent features, Estevez was seen mostly on television; first in "A Dollar for the Dead" (TNT, 1998), a solid tribute to spaghetti Westerns, followed by "Rated X" (Showtime, 2000), a biopic of the porn-producing Mitchell Brothers, responsible for "Behind the Green Door" (1972) and other popular adult titles before murder separated them in the early 1990s. The film, co-starring brother Charlie, earned respectable reviews.
Continuing to work steadily on the small screen, Estevez directed several episodes of series television, including such programs as "Cold Case" (CBS, 2003-2010), "CSI: NY" (CBS, 2004-13), "Numb3rs" (CBS, 2004-10) and "Criminal Minds" (CBS, 2005- ). But all was preparation for his next feature, "Bobby" (2006), a labor of love that was filled with high expectations and A-list stars such as Sharon Stone, Lindsay Lohan and Anthony Hopkins. Set against Senator Robert F. Kennedy's assassination at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after winning the California primary in 1968, "Bobby" focused more on the lives of various employees of the hotel before, during and after the tragic events. While preparing the highly publicized film, Estevez and his financers were the subject of a scathing and anonymous 2006 Esquire article which depicted the production as out of control. He was fortunate, however, to have been able to film at the actual hotel, which was demolished a week after filming ended. Despite its high profile, "Bobby" garnered mixed critical reviews while failing at the box office, though it did earn a Best Picture nod at the Golden Globes. Following an episode opposite his troubled brother Charlie on "Two and a Half Men" (CBS, 2003-15), Estevez stepped back behind the camera to make the low-budget coming-of-age drama, "The Way," which was shot in late 2009.
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Appeared as an extra in Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now," starring his father Martin Sheen
Acted with father (playing parent and child) in the ABC TV-movie "In the Custody of Strangers"
Made feature film acting debut in"Tex," adapted from an S. E. Hinton book
Directed by Coppola in ensemble coming-of-age drama "The Outsiders," also based on a book by Hinton
Co-starred with Harry Dean Stanton in the cult hit "Repo Man"
Wrote first screenplay "That Was Then...This Is Now," based on Hinton's novel; also starred; film directed by Christopher Cain
Became associated with what was called the "Brat Pack"; co-starred in John Hughes' "The Breakfast Club" and Joel Schumacher's "St. Elmo's Fire"
Made directorial debut, "Wisdom"; also acted and wrote
Teamed with Richard Dreyfuss in the comedy "Stakeout"
Played Billy the Kid in "Young Guns," directed by Christopher Cain
Reprised role of Billy the Kid in "Young Guns II"; first collaboration with Geoff Murphy
Wrote, directed and co-starred with brother Charlie Sheen in "Men at Work"
Appeared as a lawyer forced to coach a pee-wee hockey team in "The Mighty Ducks"; also reprised role in two sequels (1994, 1996)
Reteamed with Murphy for the futuristic "Freejack"
Demonstrated comedic talents in "National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon I"
Reteamed with Dreyfuss, joined by Rosie O'Donnell for the sequel "Another Stakeout"
Executive produced "The Jerky Boys"
Made uncredited appearance in "Mission: Impossible"
Wrote, produced and starred in "The War at Home"; film co-starred father Martin Sheen and featured sister Renee Estevez and daughter Paloma Estevez
Made television directorial debut with the CBS dramas "The Guardian" and "Cold Case"
Directed "Bobby," a film centered on the hours leading up to Robert F Kennedy's assassination; also wrote screenplay and co-starred with a huge all-star cast
Guest starred on his brother Charlie Sheen's CBS comedy series "Two and a Half Men"
Directed episodes of the CBS crime drama "Numb3rs"
Wrote, directed and starred in adventure comedy "The Way" opposite his father