Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen is an American actor best known for his roles in films Badlands (1973) and Apocalypse Now (1979). He has won numerous awards for his role as President Bartlet on the TV series The West Wing.


Martin Sheen is an American actor who got his start on the New York stage, earning a Tony award nomination for his role in The Subject Was Roses (1965). After reprising his role in the television adaptation he moved on to TV and film, making his big screen debut in 1967's The Incident. He is perhaps best known for his role as Captain Willard in the highly-acclaimed film Apocalypse Now (1979). In 1999, he landed the role of President Bartlet on the TV series The West Wing, for which he won numerous awards. Sheen recently starred in the Netflix series Grace and Frankie.

Early Life

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.

Film Career

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), and Francis 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).

TV Career

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.

Later Roles

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. He also had a role in his son Emilio Estevez's film about the Robert F. Kennedy assassination, Bobby (2006).

More recently, Sheen worked with son Charlie on his latest sitcom Anger Management. He made several guest appearances during the show's run from 2012 to 2014. The following year, Sheen took on a starring role in the Netflix sitcom Grace and Frankie. His character, Robert, is leaving his wife Grace (played by Jane Fonda) for another man (Sam Waterston). Lily Tomlin plays Waterston's wife Frankie on the show. 

Activism and Personal Life

In addition to his acting, Sheen is known for his social and political activism. He has campaigned against nuclear weapons and for workers' rights as well as many other causes. Sheen has been arrested numerous times during political demonstrations and protests.

Sheen and his wife, Janet, live in Los Angeles. The couple has four children, all of whom have followed in their father's footsteps from time to time.

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