Martin Sheen is opening up about one of the biggest regrets of his career.
The actor spoke with Closer Weekly about his life, career, as well as some mistakes he made along the way – including using a nom de plume for Hollywood.
“That’s one of my regrets. I never changed my name officially,” he shared. “It’s still Ramon Estévez on my birth certificate. It’s on my marriage license, my passport, driver’s license.”
As for the reasoning behind the change, he admitted he was convinced into it by others.
“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,” said the actor.
The actor began his career as the breakout star of a hit adaptation of “Hamlet” in New York City which modernized the famous tale with song and dance.
He would go on to find success in famous films like “Apocalypse Now” and “Badlands”. Despite his immense success, his father was not initially receptive to his acting aspirations.
“You couldn’t blame him. Both my parents were immigrants. My father was from Spain, and my mother was from Ireland. My real name is Ramon Estévez . My father was very practical,” explained Sheen. “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.”
He was finally able to make peace with it after a discussion one night.
“He was a big fan of TV westerns in the ’50s. One night, we started a discussion about my going to New York. He said to me, ‘You want to go into the theatre. You can’t sing, you can’t dance. You don’t know what you’re doing!’ I said, ‘Pop, you sit here every night watching westerns — do you see anyone singing or dancing?’” recalled Sheen.
“He finally saw that I was committed and realized it would be a life and death struggle with me if I didn’t pursue it. When I got ready to go, he blessed me, and he continued to bless me the rest of his life. I adored him,” he added.