Martin's brother Joe Estévez is also a prolific actor, though he doesn't have the public profile of his older brother.
While Martin was filming Kennedy he met James Cagney, one of his heroes, who commented that he wanted Martin to play him in a film.
In 1972, Martin auditioned for the role of Michael Corleone in hit movie The Godfather. The role went to Al Pacino.
Martin turned down the lead role in Ridley Scott's Bladerunner because he was still recovering from the fallout of Apocalypse Now; the part went to Harrison Ford.
In 1993, he was considered for the recurring role of Sloan on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Against his father's wishes, Martin borrowed money from a priest and headed to New York City to pursue his acting career. It was there that he met Catholic activist Dorothy Day and began his commitment to social justice.
For some time during the 1940s and 1950s, Martin's family lived in Bermuda, where his father was a representative for IBM. Martin is the only one of the ten Estevez children who was not born in Bermuda.
Martin credited James Dean as his influence to begin acting.
Martin attended Chaminade High School (renamed Chaminade-Julienne High School) and was raised as a Roman Catholic.
Martin adopted his stage name in honor of the Catholic archbishop and theologian, Fulton J. Sheen.
In September 2006, Martin enrolled at the National University Galway, in Ireland, to study for a Bachelor of Arts degree. This included Philosophy and English Literature.
Lifetime Achievement award from both the Imagen Foundation (an organization that honors portrayals of Latinos in the media) and the Catholics in Media Associates (CIMA).
Honorary trustee of the Dayton International Peace Museum.
Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 1500 Vine Street.
Honorary Doctorate of the Arts from the National University, Ireland (April 2006).
Honorary Doctorate from Notre Dame University (May 2008).
Awarded the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame University. The medal is awarded to Catholics for their humanitarian work. (2008).
In 1998, Martin Sheen made $250,000 for his role as Bill Peterson in the movie No Code Of Conduct.
Martin Sheen's left arm is three inches shorter than his right because of an accident using forceps when he was born. Because of his shorter arm, the only way that Martin Sheen can put a jacket on is by flipping it over his head.
In October of 2000, Martin Sheen was arrested and charged with trespassing for crossing over a line established by the Air Force in an anti-militarization protest at California's Vandenberg Air Force base.
Martin Sheen is 5' 7" tall.
Martin appeared in an amusing commercial for the Visa Check Card with his son Charlie Sheen. Charlie wants to write a check to buy some of his movies from a video store, but the clerk asks for ID and then has to call the bank to confirm. Charlie wanders around the store and gets bored. Later the clerk is looking at the ID, then he lowers it and we see that Charlie has turned into Martin. "This doesn't look like you," the clerk says. Martin replies, "It did when I came in here."
His original contract for The West Wing only had him signed for 4 episodes per season.
Sheen suffered a heart attack during the arduous shooting of Apocalypse Now. He emerged from the medical crisis spiritually reborn with a commitment to work and family.
Awards BAFTA Awards Best Actor for Kennedy (1984) (Nomination). Best Actor for Apocalypse Now (1980) (Nomination). Emmys Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama for The Execution of Private Slovik (1974) (Nomination). Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama or Comedy Special for Taxi! (1978) (Nomination). Outstanding Performer in Religious Programming for Insight: A Long Road Home (1981) (Won). Outstanding Directing in a Children's Special for CBS Schoolbreak Special: Babies Having Babies (1986) (Won). Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for Murphy Brown: Angst For The Memories (1994) (Won). Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for The West Wing (2000-2004, 2006) (Nomination). Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for Two and a Half Men (2006) (Nomination). Golden Globes Best Actor for The Subject was Roses (1969) (Nomination). Best TV Actor - Drama for Blind Ambition (1980) (Nomination). Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for TV for Kennedy (1984) (Nomination). Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series - Drama for The West Wing (2000, 2002-2004 - Nomination, 2001 - Won). Golden Satellite Awards Best Performance by an Actor in a Series - Drama for The West Wing (2000 - Won, 2001-2003 - Nomination). Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama for The West Wing (2000, 2003, 2004 - Nomination) (2001, 2002 - Won). Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for The West Wing (2001, 2002 - Won) (2003-2006). Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for The Departed (2007) (Nomination). Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for Bobby (2007) (Nomination).
He has memorized and can sing every single Frank Sinatra song.
Of all the U.S. presidents, he admires Jimmy Carter the most.
Martin Sheen is a Democrat.
(on what happened when Bush got into power)
Martin Sheen: When the new administration got into power, all my West Wing colleagues were invited there to meet their counterparts. All except me. I was specifically asked not to come. I was very relieved about that.
(on how he handles his children's behavior)
Martin Sheen: You are still their parent, you still have a responsibility. If you try to coddle them you can add to the problem. You have to risk your relationship, you have to love them enough to risk their wrath by telling them the truth, and it's not easy.
(on running for President)
Martin Sheen: Your life is over as soon as you say you want to occupy the Oval Office. We elect an institution, the family of the guy, his entourage. He has to be someone with enormous ego who fancies he'll have an impact on history.
(on his parents' influence)
Martin Sheen: The bottom line: if you have compassionate, loving parents who are themselves concerned about the larger community and are living a compassionate life, that's going to be ... they don't have to preach it if they're living it. It becomes part of the children's outlook and view of things and a view of themselves.
(on his faith)
Martin Sheen: I enjoy being Catholic. It's a personal thing. It's a gift, and I enjoy it, receiving it and sharing it. If I can find my humanity then I am free. If your religion defines your humanity, the more it demands you be more human. It takes compassion and forgiveness, and love and service. It doesn't get any better than that. If you are searching for God, you will find yourself.
(on why he won't run for office)
Martin: I am not a politician or a public servant. I am still a journeyman actor and a peace and justice activist. I'm a pilgrim trying to win my freedom and serve as best I can in the time I have, with this gift I've been given.
Martin Sheen: I'm not interested in being loved or liked. I'm interested in being free. I'm interested in knowing myself as I really am. I'm interested in uniting the will of the spirit to the work of the flesh. The only one that I have to account for is myself. I'm not trying to influence anybody. I don't really care a damn if anybody follows me or believes me. That's not important. I do it for myself so that I will know myself and earn my own freedom.
Martin Sheen: When I reached adulthood, even now, I could afford to belong to a country club. But I could never belong to a private club because of my experience as a child, because it would isolate me from the whole of humanity.
Martin Sheen: Those years on the golf course as a caddie, boy, those people were something. They were vulgar, some were alcoholics, racist, they were very difficult people to deal with. A lot of them didn't have a sense of humor.
Martin Sheen: There's no way that I could be the president. You can't have a pacifist in the White House... I'm an actor. This is what I do for a living.
Martin Sheen: I personally am opposed to abortion, but I will not judge anybody else's right in that regard because I am not a woman and I could never face the actual reality of it.
Martin Sheen: There are so many people in the third world suffering so horribly right now, and we are so focused on ourselves and our culture that a lot of things are showing up in our culture that are making it impossible for us to focus on others. We're so self-focused.
Martin Sheen: I would like to apologize for referring to George W. Bush as a deserter. What I meant to say is that George W. Bush is a deserter, an election thief, a drunk driver, a WMD liar, and a functional illiterate. And he poops his pants.
Martin Sheen: I think President Clinton was probably the brightest President of the 20th century.
Martin Sheen: I'm one of those cliff-hanging Catholics. I don't believe in God, but I do believe that Mary was his mother.
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