Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Martin Sheen (born August 3, 1940) is an American actor. Sheen was born Ramón Estévez in Dayton, Ohio. He lived on Brown Street in the South Park neighborhood, and was one of 9 brothers. He attended Chaminade High School. A Roman Catholic, he adopted the stage name Sheen in honor of priest and theologian Fulton J. Sheen. Martin Sheen is of Irish and Spanish extraction.
Sheen had wanted to act since he was very young, but his father disapproved. He deliberately flunked out of the University of Dayton so that he could pursue his goal. (He has, however, credited the Marianists at that university as a major influence on his public activism.) His first major role was on Broadway, in The Subject Was Roses, which he recreated in the 1968 film of the same name. He did not receive another important part until 1973, when he starred with Sissy Spacek in the crime drama Badlands. It was his 1979 starring role in Apocalypse Now which gained him fame. On the set of Apocalypse Now, Sheen admitted that he wasn't in the greatest shape and was using drugs heavily. On location Sheen had a heart attack and crawled out to a road for help. He received much critical acclaim for his starring role as Private Eddie Slovik in The Execution of Private Slovik, the motion-picture story of the last American soldier to be sentenced to execution at a court-martial.
Sheen married fellow actor Janet Templeton in 1961, and the two have four children, all actors:
Martin Sheen is no stranger to politics, both professionally and in real life. He has played U.S. President John F. Kennedy (in the miniseries Kennedy - The Presidential Years) and fictional Democratic president Josiah Bartlet in the acclaimed television drama The West Wing. Sheen is known for his robust support of "liberal" political causes, and has been arrested 63 times for protesting against issues such as United States military actions. Sheen has resisted calls to stand for office, saying "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." 
Although generally liberal in his political beliefs Sheen is in fact pro-life and is a member of Consistent Life, a group promoting the Consistent Life Ethic which speaks out against abortion, the death penalty, euthanasia and war.
Sheen has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 1500 Vine Street.
Sheen recently expressed a wish to return to education. "My plan is to read English literature, philosophy and theology in Galway, Ireland, where my late mother came from and where I'm also a citizen.", he said.  A spokeswoman for National University of Ireland (NUI), Galway, said: "Obviously we would be quite happy to accommodate him. This is the first I have heard of it." 
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