Actor, Martin Sheen says he regrets adopting a stage name for show business.
The 81-year-old actor, born Ramon Estévez, spoke with Closer Weekly Saturday about the career decision, saying, “That’s one of my regrets.”
“I never changed my name officially. It’s still Ramon Estévez on my birth certificate.” Sheen went onto say. “It’s on my marriage license, my passport, driver’s license. Sometimes you get persuaded when you don’t 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 the interview, Sheen, who is father to Emilio Estevez, 60, and Charlie Sheen, 56 – said that he didn’t stand in the way of his children entering show business.
“I honestly have to say I wasn’t aware of it,” he told the outlet. “I was so self-involved and trying to be a provider that I wasn’t aware of their inclination to being actors.”
Sheen said he “was doing a show one time, and Emilio showed up,” adding, “I thought he was there to visit me, but he’d gotten a part in the same show.”
Sheen went onto say “the only influence” he had on son Emilio “was to keep his name,” as “when he started out, his agent was advising him to change his name to Sheen and he wouldn’t do it.” He added, “And I thank God he didn’t.”
Sheen opened up about working with his son Estevez on his 2010 dramatic comedy The Way, saying the film filled him “with the deepest gratitude and satisfaction” of all the roles he had in his career.
“We made it in Spain about the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and dedicated it to my father, who was from Galicia,” Sheen said. “It was written, directed and starred my son Emilio Estevez. It is the best thing I’ve ever done. Thousands of people have seen the film and been inspired to do the pilgrimage. That is a great source of satisfaction and pride.”
Sheen also spoke about his stint on the acclaimed series The West Wing, in which he played the role of President Josiah Bartlet from 1999-2006.
“It’s the people – so many wonderful, wonderful people,” Sheen said, adding that he and late actor John Spencer “were the oldest, so we were kind of like the parents.”
He continued: “But we all treated each other with such respect, passion and, above all, joy. I still get letters from people who are just discovering it, and a lot of young people were inspired to go into public life because of it. The blessings were just endless with that show, and they’re still coming.”
Sheen’s father did not want him to go into show business. “You couldn’t blame him,” he said. “Both my parents were immigrants. My father was from Spain, and my mother was from Ireland. My real name is Ramon Estevez. 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.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK POST
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