As guest moderators of the “Ellen DeGeneres”-Show flattest Fonda and Tomlin with their ex-canvas spouses in January on US television. How did he make a living before he became a “great” actor, Fonda asked her colleague Sheen. He had done dozens of jobs without any talent, he replied – as a seller of Christmas trees, a caddy on the golf course, an assistant waiter, an elevator operator and a newspaper boy.
In fact, Sheen initially had to make do with little money. Born Ramón Antonio Gerardo Estévez, he was one of ten children of a Spanish immigrant. His mother died young, the father opposed his son’s acting plans. But he made it from the provincial town of Dayton in the US state of Ohio to New York for training.
Michael Sheen: actor, activist, father
There he first adopted a new name: he named himself after the Erzbischof Fulton J. Sheen, whose “Catholic Hour” had been followed by the young Catholic actor on radio and television. Sheen learned the legendary in New York Dorothy Day know, a radical journalist, feminist, pacifist and Catholic, who made the young man an activist at an early age.
With theatrical appearances and films like the war satire “Catch-22” and the trill “Pursuit”, Sheen slowly became known. “Apocalypse Now” made him a star overnight. The shooting was a nightmare, the result a masterpiece. In Francis Ford Coppola’s anti-war film in the jungle of Vietnam, he embodied US captain Benjamin Willard, who is supposed to take down renegade Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando). The horror painting won the Golden Palm in Cannes, received two Oscars and was nominated for six more Oscars.
TV viewers know Sheen primarily as Jed Bartlet. In several seasons he played in “The West Wing” from 1999 the fictional President of the United States. Bartlet is liberal, diplomatic and sophisticated – qualities that activist Sheen denied to the real president elected in 2000. At that time the actor sharply criticized George W. Bush and his politics.
Sheen has been married to actress Janet Templeton for almost 60 years, her three sons Emilio, Ramon and Carlos and daughter Renée followed the parents into show business. The father’s fame, however, was only achieved by Carlos with the stage name Charlie Sheen. He made his breakthrough with the Vietnam film “Platoon”. Together, the two stepped on the wall for director Oliver Stone on “Wall Street” a year later – as a father and son.