The multiple Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor, Martin Sheen, became a household name after landing a part in Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Apocalypse Now’ in 1979. The actor was a big star in the ’80s and ’90s and played Potus on West-Wing, for which he won six Emmys. The talented man, however, had skeletons in his closet.
Not only did he have three sons with his wife Janet, but they had a daughter, too. Did you know that? I certainly didn’t. But the thing about the Sheen/Estevez family is that each son (and daughter) is very different from the other. And I think we can all agree on who was the “black sheep” of the family. This is the story of the Sheen and Estevez family.
It all started when Martin met Janet…
You might know of actress Janet Templeton (Janet Sheen) for her appearances in productions like “The Way,” “Rated X,” and “Beverly Hills Brats.” But she’s also known for her role as Elaine de Kooning in “Kennedy,” playing opposite her husband, Martin Sheen, as the lead character, John F. Kennedy. Janet also worked with her husband as the executive producer of “The Way.”
But before they became husband and wife and worked professionally together, they were each studying art at the New School for Social Research in New York. And it’s there that they met. Although the exact date they met isn’t known for sure, we do know for a fact that the two officially tied the knot on December 23rd, 1961.
When the two got married, Martin was only 21, and Janet was just 17! Considering that Martin is now 79 and Janet is 75, the two have been together for a very long time. Fifty-nine years is a very long time for a couple to be married – let alone a couple in Hollywood of all places.
Unlike other Hollywood men, Martin has remained faithful (to our knowledge) to his lifelong sweetheart. Most Hollywood couples have a long way to go to catch up with this husband and wife. But that’s not to say that their almost six decades together were always a walk in the park. Martin has been known to enjoy a drink or two. And it got to the point that it became more than just a few.
During the period of time that Martin Sheen was battling his drinking problem, he confessed (to The Washington Post) that it was a difficult phase for him and his wife. He recalled how their marriage was at the time, saying, “Yeah, it wasn’t very endearing. I was a known alcoholic, and obviously troubled in a lot of areas.”
Luckily, Martin was able to get back on his feet. He joined an Alcoholics Anonymous support group and found his way back to a Catholic belief. And all of that wouldn’t have happened if his wife didn’t always tell him the truth. Janet, who Martin describes as “the scariest woman he ever met,” always called him out when he was doing wrong.
Martin said that he was enough to marry the scariest woman he’d ever met. She just didn’t know how to lie. For Martin, the truth was “a sometimes thing. For her, it was eternity.” And he’s forever thankful that she called him out on the things he did wrong. Now, if you’re wondering how such a famous movie star stayed a one-woman-man for so long, you might be surprised.
According to The Washington Post, he answered their question regarding his faithfulness by first of all laughing and then saying he doesn’t know. “I’ve never met a person with more integrity in my life, though. I honestly couldn’t keep up with her. It’s taken me a long time to be as even and direct with her as she has been, always, with me. And that’s the relationship.”
When Janet and Martin Sheen got married in 1961, it was around the time Martin’s acting career started to take off. The couple welcomed their first child and son, Emilio, on May 12th, 1962, while they were still living in New York City. But with Martin’s rising fame, came a rise in the amount he was drinking. And when Martin Sheen got drunk, he got angry.
Sadly, when Emilio was still young, Martin would beat Emilio up in his bouts of drunken rage. Obviously, his relationship with his son suffered as a result of alcohol abuse. But they eventually started to rebuild their father-son relationship after Martin made the vital move to become, and stay, sober.
Emilio took the last name Estevez because it was actually Martin’s original family name. Martin was born as Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estévez, only taking on the stage name of Martin Sheen later on. As it turns out, Martin adopted this stage name from a combination of two people: the CBS casting director, Robert Dale Martin, who was the first person to give him his first big break.
And the second person was the televangelist archbishop, Fulton J. Sheen. In a 2003 ‘Inside the Actors Studio’ interview, Sheen explained how whenever he would call for an appointment, for a job or an apartment, and would give his real name, there was always hesitation and when he would physically show up, it was always gone. So his choice to be Martin Sheen was to quell the unfortunate discrimination he was facing.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, because Emilio gained his share of fame early on, too. The same year that Emilio Estevez graduated from Santa Monica High School, he landed a role in “Seventeen Going on Nowhere.” In 1982, Emilio Estevez got his big debut role when he played opposite Matt Dillon in the movie “Tex.”
His performance in that movie then led to a part in “The Outsiders” the year after, and then “Repo Man” in 1984. But Emilio didn’t only want to be on the screen; he was interested in the behind-the-scenes, too. He turned to direct and worked on movies like “Stakeout” in 1987, and “Young Guns” in 1988. The actor’s most famous role was in 1992 when he played Coach Gordon Bombay in “The Mighty Ducks” trilogy.
During the same year that Emilio Estevez met his major fame with Mighty Ducks, he also got married to Paula Abdul. The two tied the knot on April 29th, 1992, but their marriage didn’t last too long. They ended up getting divorced on May 10th, 1994. Emilio continued to work prolifically, both acting and directing. But only one of Emilio’s productions really stood out.
In 2006, his film “Bobby” was released, which told the story of Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination. Emilio directed, wrote, and starred in the film. And when the movie premiered at the Venice Film Festival, there was a seven-minute-long standing ovation. Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, Emilio did other projects before running Estevez Sheen Productions for his father.
After Emilio came his brother, Ramon, who is a year and a half younger than Emilio. Ramon also took his father’s original last name of Estevez and, like both his brother and father, decided to get into show business. He started his acting career in 1982. Ramon’s debut role came when he got to be work with his brother Emilio, Jane Alexander, and Ed Lauter in the movie “In the Custody of Strangers.”
After also getting involved in the production and development of Esteves Sheen Productions, Ramon has been working as a co-producer on the hilarious show ‘Anger Management’ with his brother Charlie Sheen (who we’ll get to soon). Ramon seems to do well in roles that are behind the screen – more than those in front. He’s also managed to keep out of trouble.
Charlie was the next son to be born, making him the third. And he is also the only one who took his father’s stage name and also anglicized his first name. He was born Carlos Estevez but later chose to become the Charlie Sheen that we all know. And Charlie was the child who, by far, caused the most drama.
Charlie has made headlines for hiding adult film stars in closets and famously trashing hotel rooms. While he was starring in the TV series ‘Two and a Half Men,’ Charlie insulted the show’s creator, Chuck Lorre. As a result, Charlie got fired, and the sitcom was put on hold until they found a replacement for the star of the show.
After Charlie got fired, he took some time off and went on vacation with his ex-wife, nanny, and adult film star; he made the news again. This time, it was way more controversial and inflammatory than just insulting the guy who gave you a big TV role. This time, he was all over the news because he was talking about “tiger blood” and “winning.”
But before the craziness began, Charlie was just a young boy known as Carlos Irwin Estevez, who was born on September 3rd, 1965. He grew up to be a big star and was popularly known, living in New York City. His career took off in 1984 when he got a role in ‘Red Dawn’ with other actors like Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, and Patrick Swayze.
In 1986, Charlie landed a supporting role in the major comedy film, ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,’ with his co-star, Jennifer Grey. In terms of his movie choices, things were going great for this young actor. By 1997, Charlie Sheen wrote his first film, ‘Discovery Mars.’ This came as a shock to many, but the actor pulled it off. It was all based around the mysterious question; “Is there life on Mars?”
Most of Charlie’s films had comedic elements, and it didn’t take long before he became the golden boy that Americans loved to see on their screens. Aside from comedies, he also lent his voice to different movies for lots of years. As recent as 2017, the actor starred in a 9/11 adaptation film that was a big hit.
Charlotte Lewis and Charlie Sheen dated each from 1986 to 1989 after having met on a set together that they were both working on. At the time, Charlotte was only 19 years old, and Charlie was 21. Charlotte later said how their relationship ended because of Charlie’s issues with alcohol. She couldn’t handle it and decided to call it quits.
After having dated Charlie for three years, the actress went her own way and to do bigger and better things for herself. In 2010, she claimed that while she was working on the pirates’ movie with Charlie in 1986, director Roman Polanski was inappropriate with her on set. However, it was discovered that Lewis’ allegations against Polanski were made up.
Scottine Ross is another actress who more recently got involved with Charlie Sheen, and the two even got engaged in February of 2014. The couple seemed like they were going places together, but after a year, Scottine backed out of their engagement. Not only did they break up, but she also sued Charlie for $5 million on the claim that he exposed her to HIV.
Moreover, she claimed that he made her terminate her pregnancy and was also physically abusive towards her. The couple parted ways for good, and after her emotional venture with Charlie, Scottine became most famous for her involvement with him. But Ross has a lot on her resume like adult films, modeling, acting, and stand-up comedy.
In 2011, Charlie Sheen started acting particularly strange when he took an interest in two specific actresses: Bree Olson and Natalie Kenly. The way he saw it, they were goddesses, and he dated each of the women at the same time. Olson and Kenly were very much aware of the arrangement, and for a while, they both lived with the actor as co-girlfriends.
But after Charlie revealed his sickness, the two showed real hatred towards him. According to both Olson and Kenly, Charlie never told them about his HIV diagnosis, and they had been intimate without protection. Eventually, though, Natalie came around and went on to actually defend her ex-boyfriend, saying publicly that he was indeed a good person.
Denise Richards was one of Hollywood’s rising actresses, at the height of her career, when she became involved with the town’s own bad boy, Charlie Sheen. The two met when they co-starred in the 2001 film ‘Good Advice.’ For a while, it seemed like Denise had a positive effect on Charlie since he was trying to change his ways.
Yet, their marriage, eventual divorce, and the whole fallout would prove that things weren’t as nice as they may have seemed. Throughout the years, these two exes have faced off in court for the custody of their daughters. Sheen didn’t hold back when voicing his criticisms of his ex-wife, claiming that she tried to keep him away from their own kids.
Denise met Charlie in 2001 on the set of ‘Good Advice,’ but she also made a few guest appearances on Charlie’s TV show ‘Spin City.’ Their relationship became the talk of the town as it looked like Richards had miraculously reformed the notorious bad boy that Charlie Sheen was. The couple got engaged in December 2001 and were married by June 2002.
The newlyweds weren’t shy about expressing their love for each other during their star-studded wedding ceremony and after. Sheen himself credited his wife for helping him stay clean. Once the two were married, they opened up about their desire to start a family of their own. By March 2004, Denise gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Sam.
Charlie already had a teenaged daughter named Cassandra from a previous relationship with a woman named Paula Profit. Now with the birth of his second daughter, Sheen was overjoyed. Later that year, Denise and little baby Sam made a guest appearance on Charlie’s hit show, ‘Two and a Half Men.’ In December 2004, the couple announced that a new baby was on its way.
They were expecting their second child together. But, things turned ugly pretty soon in the Richards-Sheen household. The actress filed for divorce, and in June 2005, their second daughter, Lola, was unfortunately born amid her parents’ marital woes. The two did get a divorce, and it was one of the nastiest Hollywood has ever seen.
Sheen and Richards had one of the nastier divorces in Hollywood. And to make it worse, in the middle of their battle were their daughters Sam and Lola. The reason for their divorce? I think you might be able to take a guess. Yes, it was due to Sheen’s ongoing battle with alcohol and drugs. It looks like Richards could only do so much for her troubled husband.
She said that she feared for her and her daughters’ safety, going so far as to file a restraining order against Sheen. Throughout the custody battle, Sheen went on rants against Richards, calling her every bad name in the book, clearly not caring about how it made either of them look.
After a few years, and when Sheen was going through yet another turbulent divorce with his now-ex-wife Brooke Mueller in 2010, Sheen finally decided to give up his custody of Sam and Lola. Despite the bitter lawsuits and emotions, Richards and Sheen were able to work out their differences and put the bad blood behind them. When Sheen announced his HIV diagnosis, Richards said she would be there for her ex-husband if he needed her.
These days, Sheen and Richards actually share custody of Sam and Lola, and the family group is often photographed together. The family now includes Denise’s husband Aaron Phypers and their adopted daughter Eloise, and Sheen’s sons Bob and Max. While they had a tumultuous relationship, their focus is on co-parenting and doing what’s best for their kids.
The baby and the only daughter of the family was born in 1967 and is named Renée Estevez, who also decided to take her father’s original last name. She, like her star-studded family, decided to get into the industry, too. She first appeared onscreen in an episode of ‘CBS Schoolbreak Special'” in 1984. Renée’s most known for her role in the cult movie ‘Heathers’ in 1988, where she played Betty Finn.
She also did two slasher films, ‘Nightmare Vacation 2’ and ‘Intruder’ in 1989. Later on, Renee put her acting behind her and became a pastry chef instead, keeping out of the public eye. When speaking of his family, Renee’s brother Emilio said, “We are a real family with real problems. What we are going through is what millions of other families worldwide have gone through, except we are doing it on a very different level where everything is public.”
Speaking of real problems, according to US Weekly, Martin Sheen talked about his son’s struggles with addiction in 2018 during the Chefs for Human Rights event in LA. Sheen said that in his opinion, the best way to heal is to help others heal because that way, you can appreciate what someone is going through since you have been there as well.
“One of the great energies of addiction is the ego. It gets in the way of everything. When you start serving others, then the ego is removed from the equation,” Martin stated. He also said that he believes no one is really alone because there’s always someone to call. And Charlie may not have been alone, but his road was riddled with struggles.
Charlie’s struggles started when his acting career started to skyrocket. He hit the sky in his acting career, but he also hit rock bottom in other aspects of his life. Alcohol, drugs, and sex addiction plagued his reputation in Hollywood, and his behaviors were spinning out of control. He was arrested after assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Brittany Ashland.
He also landed in a drug rehabilitation center. He later attended a 12-step program to keep himself sober. All hell broke loose when Charlie and Denise Richards split up. He was diagnosed with substance abuse and was accused of physically and verbally abusing Richards. The actress claimed that her husband even threatened to kill her, which resulted in the previously-mentioned restraining order.
In 2009, the story was repeated when Charlie was, yet again, arrested for charges over criminal activities and second-degree assault of his then-wife, Brooke Mueller. In 2010 and 2011, Charlie went in and out of rehab centers. Three years later, Charlie was sued again, this time for assault and battery on a female dental technician. The man was clearly in need of help.
On November 17th, 2015, the star of Two and a Half Man publicly announced that he was HIV positive, saying that he was diagnosed four years prior. The horrible part about it all was that even though he found out about his diagnosis, it didn’t stop his intimate relationships with women. Charlie Sheen had more than 200 sexual partners AFTER learning about his condition.
Being such a celebrity and having to deal with the media after revealing a diagnosis such as HIV is definitely not easy. And as for Martin, he expressed that he was proud of his son’s honesty when revealing to the world that he is HIV positive.
Martin Sheen spoke at an event in Florida that he and his wife had encouraged Charlie to share the news for several months, but he kept refusing to do so. “He had been leading up to this sort of story for several months, and we kept encouraging him to do it,” Martin said. “But he kept backing away and back away because it was like going to his own execution, I guess. It was the most difficult thing he’s ever done.”
Charlie Sheen made his revelation and told the world about his condition when he was on NBC’s Today show that day in November of 2015. Martin Sheen said that his family didn’t know Charlie was going to make the announcement until he was on the set. “We didn’t know until he walked on the set that he was going to do it.”
Martin told his son that he was behind him and, if he wanted him to go, he would be there for him. “But he said no, this was his and his alone,” Martin revealed. Charlie was 50 years old when he told Matt Lauer about living with HIV. And over the years, he admitted that he paid upward of $10 million to blackmailers who threatened to expose him.
The patriarch of the family may have been cast in the shadows of his son with all of the media attention he had been getting, but Martin has made his way out of his own dark past. He remained a respectable member of the Hollywood society throughout all of this. He made acting his primary focus and took cameo roles on shows like Murphy Brown back in the day.
When rumors of a ‘West Wing’ reboot came to light in 2018, people were more than excited. There is always room for entertaining political shows on TV, especially in today’s political climate. In the original West Wing, Martin played the role of the president, but he decided to leave Washington. The reboot is still in question. It’s a matter of time before we get to see it (or not!).
Whether it’s that he was able to stay sober, got great acting roles, or his actual parenting, Martin Sheen seems to have done a pretty good job. All his adult children have evolved into successful adults with major careers. In an interview with the Guardian in 2011, Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez sat down with the interviewer to talk about all kinds of things, but the focus ended up being on the black sheep of the family.
A cloud hung over this father-son team as the interviewer sat with them. And that cloud was Charlie. At the time, the tabloids were obsessed with the “relentless one-man circus” that was Charlie Sheen, then the star of Two and a Half Men. The article said how Martin looked “unbearably sad” while Emilio raised his eyes to the ceiling, and kept them there.
In an “I-knew-this-was-coming” sort of way, Martin began with: “We’ve had some counseling. I’m in Al-Anon. Do you know it? It’s for people with relatives or friends who are alcoholics or drug addicts. You have to stay focused.” He quoted a version of their serenity prayer, which is valued in Alcoholics Anonymous.
The prayer: “I accept my responsibility to change the things I can change and accept the things that I cannot, and I beg for the wisdom to know the difference.” And when it comes to being the father of an addict, Martin knows what he’s talking about. After all, it’s been 30 years since the famous actor was heading down his own path of self-destruction.
Did you know that Martin Sheen had a heart attack at 36 while he was filming the movie Apocalypse Now? More than 80 films later, and being clean and sober, he’s surely one of the best examples of what it means to come back from the brink of disaster. If the “like father, like son” label relates to the situation with Charlie, then there’s also a chance that it could all turn around, too.
For the Godfather fans, you might appreciate what Emilio had to say in that interview. He said that he takes a “Michael Corleone approach to family… I haven’t decided whether Charlie is Sonny or Fredo. And Fredo had to go for a little boat ride, and Michael had to organize that.” But, Emilio doesn’t mean he’s about to do Charlie in! At least I don’t think so…
Martin said that he “absolutely believes” that Charlie will come through it. But let’s be reminded that this interview was before the HIV announcement. Martin also explained that, at the time, Charlie was in the process of searching. He was on a quest for real meaning in his life. After Apocalypse Now and his heart attack, Martin couldn’t go further down. So he went up, right to the top.
Martin found God, and he’s never lost him again. Catholicism is written largely in the new movie too. The movie The Way that Emilio directed and both he and Martin acted in, tells the story of a man who dies while walking the Camino (The Way of St James).
For both Martin and Emilio, filming The Way was an experience that hit very close to home. The film was based in Spain, which is Martin’s original heritage. But after taking on such an American stage name, you would think that the man would have some guilt about chucking in his heritage. But he doesn’t admit it.
The way Martin sees it: “Estevez is still my name. I never changed it officially,” he said, digging into his wallet to find his official ID card to show it as proof.
Interestingly enough, only he and Charlie went by Sheen, which could even be said to have some bad luck. They were the only two who suffered addiction. While Emilio, Ramòn, and Renée all went through a brighter path.
The family’s Spanish roots go deep, which was part of their reason to make the film together. In fact, Emilio said that the irony is that while in the movie, it’s Martin who lost his son to the Camino, in real life, it was he (Emilio) that had the experience of losing his son. But not in a tragic way. Emilio’s son, Taylor, at the age of 26, went to Spain with Grandpa Martin to follow “the way” of St James.
On his journey, he met his wife in one of the “refugios” where they stayed and has been there with her ever since. It’s clear that for Martin and Emilio, their Spanish family is a real part of their lives. “I first went to Spain in 1969. I was working in Italy, and I took Emilio and Ramón, and we went to see where my father had come from,” Martin described.
‘The Way’ is dedicated to Emilio’s Spanish grandfather, Francisco, by the way. And to this day, Emilio says that the town of Galicia in Spain is full of Estevez relatives. “You’ll be driving down the road, and my aunt will say, ‘that’s your third cousin’ as someone walks by, and then ‘that’s your second cousin’ when you see someone else.”
When Emilio was asked what it was like growing up in America while his dad was an increasingly famous actor, he responded by saying, “We traveled a lot – it was a given. We lived a very nomadic existence. I don’t think I ever spent a full year in school because you’d go on auditions or your agent would call, and they’d say, ‘here’s your assignment.'”
One extraordinary thing about Martin is that, after all the ups and downs of his personal and professional life, raising of four children, and dealing with the disasters over Charlie, he’s stayed married to the same woman. He and Janet are an example of what “for better or for worse” truly means.
And when he was asked if he ever imagined that all four of his kids would follow him into acting, he said not at all. “It was surprising to me. One time I thought Emilio had come to visit me on the set of a show, but it turned out that he was there because he had a part himself… But when I saw him acting, I realized how talented he was.”
Martin Sheen also expressed his pride in raising children that hold their own individual talent. “They didn’t get anything by favor – nothing, not once.” Emilio chimed in, adding to this fact. He explained how he was never hired for anything. “I was reading for the director, and it was Sam Wanamaker, and I said ‘Pop, you know this guy! Call him!’ And I was furious when he wouldn’t, and he said ‘One day you’ll understand why.'”
Emilio said that he never asked for another favor since that day. “But I’ve asked for a ton of them,” Martin admitted. It’s that shift in power when one generation moves to the next, and the kids grow up and find themselves in the driver’s seat. And then the parents become the ones who look for favors. Martin said that the truth is there’s no one he would rather work with than Emilio. “From my point of view, there’s nothing better. I’d work with him for the rest of my life, frankly.” How sweet!
After his role as “Charlie Harper” on Two and a Half Men ended about ten years ago, Charlie Sheen appeared on several television shows, including ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,’ and ‘Anger Management.’ The last time we saw Charlie on screen was in the comedy series ‘Typical Rick.’
However, many people don’t know that the actor has been a philanthropist for a long time. In the past few years, Charlie has been a major donor and supporter of “Aid For AIDS.” He also gave his support in several charities, including the Lee National Denim Day breast cancer fund that raised millions of dollars for research and education.
Charlie Sheen recently sold his Beverly Hills mansion for $6.6 million, which was considerably less than its original $10 million asking price was. But then again, he bought it for $7.2 million in 2006. The home was originally built in 1992, and the 8,932-square-foot mansion has been substantially updated since then.
Sheen also previously owned two other houses in the Mulholland Estates area where his just-sold mansion is located, but he sold both of them in the last few years. One of those properties made a small profit of $5.415 million. The buyer of the home? None other than Kendall Jenner. But I think it’s safe to say that buying his home is the closest he will ever get to being connected to Kendall.