Martin Sheen ‘regrets’ changing his name for Hollywood career

As William Shakespeare once wrote, “What’s in a name?”

Legendary actor Martin Sheen changed his birth name of “Ramon Estévez” to his now-famous stage name for his Hollywood career.

However, the 81-year-old now wishes he never fixed his moniker for his acting profession.

“That’s one of my regrets,” the “West Wing” star recently told Closer Weekly. “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 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,” Sheen added.

Charlie Sheen and Martin Sheen attend the premiere of “Into The Night” on February 12, 1991, in Los Angeles, California.
Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

The Ohio native also revealed that his father tried to dissuade him from going into show business. “You couldn’t blame him. Both my parents were immigrants. My father was from Spain, and my mother was from Ireland,” Sheen said.

“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,” the “Apocalypse Now” icon went on.

Sheen’s sons, “Breakfast Club” actor Emilio Estevez and Ramon Estevez, are both actors and chose not to Anglicize their names for the biz. His daughter Renée Pilar Estevez also opted not to alter her identity for Tinseltown.

American Martin Sheen's new film Cadence, starring his son Charlie Sheen, is screening at the 43rd Cannes Film Festival.  (Photo by Micheline Pelletier/Sygma via Getty Images)
Charlie Sheen opted to change his birth name of “Carlos Estevez” like his father for Hollywood.
Sygma via Getty Images

The “Badlands” star’s other son, “Two and a Half Men” alum Charlie Sheen, was born Carlos Irwin Estévez and went on to modify his moniker.

As for if he objected to any of his four children making their way to Hollywood, Sheen explained: “No, but I honestly have to say I wasn’t aware of it. I was so self-involved and trying to be a provider that I wasn’t aware of their inclination to being actors.”

“I was doing a show one time, and Emilio showed up. I thought he was there to visit me, but he’d gotten a part in the same show,” Sheen noted. “The only influence I had on Emilio was to keep his name. When he started out, his agent was advising him to change his name to Sheen and he wouldn’t do it. And I thank God he didn’t.”


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