“On my birth certificate, it’s still Ramon Estévez. On my marriage certificate too, on my passport and my driver’s license…
In 1968, a young actor named Martin Sheen caused a stir in an adaptation of Hamlet in New York. A few years later, the same actor was a hit at the cinema thanks to Apocalypse Nowby Francis Ford Coppola, then rebelote on television in To the White House. Having become a planetary star, Martin Sheen is now 81 years old, and he regrets having changed his name to break through to the public, as he explains to Closer Weekly : “Yes, that’s one of my regrets. I never officially changed my name, by the way. On my birth certificate, it’s still Ramon Estévez. On my marriage certificate too, on my passport and my driver’s license… Sometimes you let yourself be persuaded when you don’t have enough perspective on yourself or the courage to hold on to what you believe in. Then you pay for it later. Of course , I speak only from my personal experience.
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He explains that he made this choice at the time partly because his father did not support his wish to become an actor. For fear that he will fail in show business and suffer from it, Martin Sheen later understood: “You can’t blame him. Both my parents were immigrants. My father was from Spain, my mother from Ireland. My real name is Ramon Estévez. My father was someone who had his feet on land. He worked in the factory for most of his adult life, he wanted me to go to university to increase my chances of having a better life than him. We had very painful confrontations on this subject.”
When his own children grew up, he left them the choice to follow the career that pleased them, as well as that of bearing the name that they wished. Of the four who in turn became actors, three kept their grandfather’s surname: Emilio Estévez (known in particular for The Breakfast Club and Mighty Ducks/Little Champions), Ramon Estévez (seen in Dead Zone and head of the Estevez Sheen Productions studio) and Renée Estévez (Fatal Games, MacGyver…). Only Charlie Sheen (Hot Shots, My Uncle Charlielisten)) kept his father’s pseudonym, instead of his birth name Carlos Estévez.
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