Actor and activist Martin Sheen was born Ramón Estevez on August 3, 1940, in Dayton, Ohio. During his impressive acting career, Sheen has played all types of characters, from killers to world leaders. He discovered his love of acting while in high school. Never formally trained, he learned from experience while performing on the New York stage.
Sheen earned a Tony Award nomination in 1965 for his work in The Subject Was Roses (he reprised his role for the 1968 film adaptation). After appearing in such television shows as Route 66,The Outer Limits, My Three Sons and The Nurses, he made his film debut in 1967’s The Incident, playing a teenager thug who takes over a subway car. In the 1970s, Sheen gave several great performances in such films as the adaptation of Joseph Heller’s best-selling novel Catch-22 (1970), the spree killer Charles Starkweather-inspired Badlands (1973), andFrancis Ford Coppola’s Vietnam War masterpiece Apocalypse Now(1979). He went to give strong performances in Gandhi (1982),Wall Street (1987), The American President (1995) and Catch Me if You Can (2002).
Along with his career in film, Sheen found success on the small screen with the political drama The West Wing, which debuted in 1999. He took on the leading role of President Josiah Bartlet in the critically acclaimed television series, for which he received a Best Actor Golden Globe Award in 2001. Sheen was nominated for an Emmy Award six times for his work on the show, including for the show’s final 2005-2006 season. He picked up another nomination that year for a guest appearance on his son Charlie Sheen’s hit comedy Two and a Half Men.
Also in 2006, Sheen appeared in the Academy Award-winning film “The Departed” directed by Martin Scorsese with Leonardo DiCaprio,Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg. Also that year, he had a role in his son Emilio Estevez’s film about the Robert F. Kennedy assassination, Bobby. Along with his acting career, Sheen told People magazine in April 2006 that he intended to further his education by attending the National University of Ireland.