Martin Sheen regrets career name change from Ramon Estevez
Veteran movie actor Martin Sheen has expressed his regret at using that name in his career instead of his birth name, Ramon Estevez.
Born Ramon Antonio Gerardo Estevez in 1940, Sheen is the son of two immigrants - his father was Spanish and his mother was Irish.
After moving to New York to pursue an acting career, Sheen found that casting directors baulked at his ethnic name, Ramon Estevez, which led to him changing his professional name to Martin Sheen.
The actor has since admitted that his father disapproved of the name change.
In an interview with Closer, Sheen was asked about his children, Emilio, Ramon, Carlos (Charlie Sheen), and Renee, becoming actors. The 81-year-old is glad Emilio didn't change his name and wishes he kept his own, too.
"I was so self-involved and trying to be a provider that I wasn’t aware of their inclination to being actors," he said.
"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. 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.
“That’s one of my regrets. I never changed my name officially. It’s still Ramon Estevez 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.”