Martin Sheen: Changing name from Ramón Estévez “one of my regrets”

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During a recent interview, Grace and Frankie star Martin Sheen discussed his long career, which included film roles in Badlands and Apocalypse Now, and on TV as U.S. President Josiah Bartlet on NBC’s The West Wing.

Sheen also expressed his regret over changing his name from his birth name, Ramón Estévez.

When reflecting on his sons Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estévez‘s acting careers, the elder Sheen told Closer, he was “so self-involved and trying to be a provider that I wasn’t aware of their inclination to being actors.”

“The only influence I had on Emilio,” he adds, “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,” Sheen recalls. “And I thank God he didn’t.”

The 81-year-old actor, born in America to a Spanish father and an Irish mother, admits changing his name, which he reportedly did to try and land more more acting roles, was “one of my regrets.”

“I never changed my name officially. It’s still Ramón Estévez on my birth certificate. It’s on my marriage license, my passport, driver’s license,” he says. “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.”

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