Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estévez (born August 3, 1940), better known by his Stage Name as Martin Sheen, is an acclaimed American actor, best known for his portrayal of President Jed Bartlet on The West Wing, which earned him several Emmy nominations, a Golden Globe, and two SAG Awards. He has one Emmy, for, of all things, a guest appearance on Murphy Brown in the early 1990s.
Prior to The West Wing, Sheen had a lengthy career in film and television, with his most famous role undoubtedly being the lead in Apocalypse Now. Other notable parts include The Subject Was Roses, Badlands, Gandhi, The American President (an earlier Aaron Sorkin work where he played the White House Chief of Staff character instead of the President) and The Departed. He also voices (and supplies the appearance of) The Illusive Man of the Mass Effect series. Most recently he played Uncle Ben in The Amazing Spider-Man reboot series.
Sheen is also known as the father of a number of other actors, most notably Charlie Sheen (who, alone of his siblings, makes use of his father's stage surname) and Emilio Estevez. He has appeared with his children in a couple of films, most notably as Charlie's father in Wall Street and starred in The Way (2010) which is directed by Emilio (who played his character's son), and eventually co-starred with Charlie on his FX sitcom Anger Management. His daughter Renee Estevez had a recurring minor role on The West Wing as the president's secretary.
He's well known for putting on jackets by flipping them back over his head, the result of his left arm being partially paralyzed after it was damaged by forceps during his birth.
Not to be confused with British actor Michael Sheen.
His roles include:
- 1967: The Incident as Artie Connors
- 1968: The Subject Was Roses as Timmy Cleary
- 1970: Catch-22 as 1st Lt. Dobbs
- 1973: Badlands as Kit
- 1975: Sweet Hostage as Leonard Hatch
- 1976: The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane as Frank Hallet
- 1976: The Cassandra Crossing as Robby Navarro
- 1978: Apocalypse Now as Capt. Benjamin L. Willard
- 1980: The Final Countdown as Warren Lasky
- 1982: Gandhi as Walker
- 1982: That Championship Season as Tom Daley
- 1983: The Dead Zone as (President) Greg Stillson
- 1984: Firestarter as Captain Hollister
- 1985: The Fourth Wise Man as Artaban
- 1987: The Believers as Cal Jamison
- 1987: Wall Street as Carl Fox
- 1988: Judgment In Berlin as Judge Herbert J. Stern
- 1991: JFK as Narrator
- 1993: Hot Shots! Part Deux as Capt. Benjamin L. Willard ("I loved you in Wall Street!")
- 1993: Gettysburg as Gen. Robert E. Lee
- 1994: When the Bough Breaks as Captain Swaggert
- 1995: The American President as A.J. MacInerney
- 1995: Dead Presidents as The Judge
- 1997: Truth or Consequences, N.M. as Sir
- 1997: Spawn as Jason Wynn
- 1999: The Time Shifters as Grifasi
- 2002: Catch Me If You Can as Roger Strong
- 2006: The Departed as Captain Queenan
- 2006: Bobby as Jack
- 2010: The Way (2010) as Tom
- 2012: The Amazing Spider-Man as Uncle Ben
- 2014: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as Uncle Ben
- 2014: Selma as Judge Frank Minis Johnson
- 2016: Rules Dont Apply as Noah Dietrich
- 2018: Come Sunday as Oral Roberts
- 2021: Judas and the Black Messiah as J. Edgar Hoover
- 1963: The Outer Limits as Pvt. Arthur Dix
- 1967: Flipper as Phil Adams
- 1969: Mission: Impossible as Lieutenant Albert Brocke
- 1970: Ironside as Johnny
- 1970: Hawaii Five-O as Arthur Dixon
- 1973: Columbo, as Karl Lessing
- 1985: Alfred Hitchcock Presents as Paul Dano
- 199092: Captain Planet and the Planeteers as Sly Sludge
- 1993: Murphy Brown as Nick Brody
- 1993: Tales from the Crypt as Kraygen / Thomas Miller / Zorbin the Magnificent
- 1994 -1996 Eyewitness as the narrator for the U.S. version
- 1997: The Simpsons as Sgt. Seymour Skinner
- 1999: Total Recall 2070 as Praxis
- 19992006: The West Wing as President Jed Bartlett
- 2005: Two and a Half Men as Harvey
- 201214: Anger Management as Martin Goodson
- 2015-ongoing: Grace and Frankie as Robert Hanson
Tropes related to Martin Sheen:
- Celebrity Resemblance: in Badlands with Alain Delon young and James Dean, which is lampshaded.
- Character Tics: He's known for his unique style of putting on jackets and coats, pulling both sleeves up and pulling them both onto his shoulders in one motion. This is a result of a shoulder injury from his birth.
- Cool Old Guy: Since The West Wing, this has been his usual role.
- Ink-Suit Actor: His character, The Illusive Man, from Mass Effect is modeled on Sheen.
- Life Imitates Art:
- Averted; despite repeated entreaties, he has turned down attempts to get him to run for public office in Real Life, saying that despite playing one on TV, he really doesn't have the experience for that sort of thing. Though this hasn't stopped him from being a prominent pro-life liberal activist.note
- Sheen specifically rejected the idea of becoming President as he is a pacifist and thus sees himself as unsuited to being Commander-In-Chief.
- His son Charlie got in a dig at George W. Bush when someone asked him the same question. "I've done drugs, I've been arrested, I'm not a very smart guy. It'd be insane to want me in charge just because my dad was President."
- Named After Somebody Famous: His stage name is a tribute to Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.
- The Patriarch: He's the Patriarch of one of the more notable acting families in Hollywood. All four of his children are actors, with Charlie being the most notorious.
- Playing Against Type: These days, he usually portrays father-figures, mentors, or morally-upstanding politicians. But his best known role aside from The West Wing is as Captain Benjamin Willard in Apocalypse Now - a morally conflicted assassin with nihilist tendencies working form Army Intelligence during The Vietnam War. Other exceptions include:
- In the Mass Effect series he plays the scheming, The Illusive Man, head of the pro-human terrorist organization known as Cerberus. Sheen maintains that The Illusive Man is untrustworthy and a horrible human being. If only he knew...
- His signature role gets inverted in hindsight in the 1983 film The Dead Zone, were he plays a trigger-happy American President whose destiny is to doom the world after an unnecessary nuclear strike. It's worth pointing out that The West Wing includes on rare occasion similar tendencies, but in the end he tends to remain reasonable.
- His guest spot on Two and a Half Men, where he plays Rose's father: a complete lunatic with an unhealthy obsession over Evelyn.
- Not to mention his character in Terrence Malick's Badlands, a sociopath who was also a Sympathetic Murderer.
- He plays against his "father figure" character type in the TV series Anger Management by playing Martin Goodson, a distant, uninvolved father who got back in his son's life because he didn't want to be alone after divorcing his current wife and none of his other kids wanted anything to do with him.
- He portrays an entitled, manipulative, and sadistic child sex predator leering lasciviously after Jodie Foster in The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane.
- Real-Life Relative: He has made numerous appearances as the onscreen father of his sons Charlie and Emilio in various roles, along with other appearances alongside his children where they don't play relatives.
- Strong Family Resemblance: All of his male relatives bear a ridiculous degree of resemblance to him, his brother Joe is practically a clone of him (and actually filled in for his brother a few times during the nightmarish ordeal that was the filming of Apocalypse Now), with them even sounding close to identical (this was utilized for opposing political ads on gun control in 2000).