Actors not using their birth names as screen names or changing their actual names is a sort of norm in the entertainment industry. Some artists who have done so include Anthony Quinn, Steven Bauer, Rita Hayworth, and Raquel Welch.
Also, one of those performers is Martin Sheen, known as Ramón Antonio Gerardo Estévez by birth. However, the 81-year-old actor currently regrets the decision.
Reflecting on his life, the Apocalypse Now star divulged effacing all trace of his father’s, a Spanish immigrant, last name was he was “persuaded” to exercise when he didn’t have “enough insight or even enough courage” to contradict the decision.
“That’s one of my regrets,” he said in an interview with Closer Weekly.
“I never changed my name officially. It’s still Ramon Estévez on my birth certificate. It’s on my marriage license, my passport, driver’s license. Sometimes you get persuaded when you don’t have enough insight or even enough courage to stand up for what you believe in, and you pay for it later. But, of course, I’m only speaking for myself.”
Sheen’s mother was also an immigrant but Irish. He later convinced his son – also an actor, Emilio Estévez, not to change his birth name when he chose to pursue his own career in the entertainment industry.
“The only influence I had on Emilio was to keep his name,” Sheen continued. “When he started out, his agent was advising him to change his name to Sheen, and he wouldn’t do it. And I thank God he didn’t.”
Sheen’s other son Ramon also absorbed his father’s advice and remained using his given surname. But Charlie Sheen walked the same paths as his father did – he altered his given surname.