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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

Why Emilio Estevez Doesn’t Go by the Last Name Sheen

Emilio Estevez is best recognized as a member of John Hughes' iconic Brat Pack group, composed of several teenage actors in the 1980s who appeared in coming-of-age films. The Brat Pack included Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall and many more young stars. Estevez's most notorious role as a member was in the 1985 cult classic The Breakfast Club, as Andrew Clark, the jock in the wrestling program, alongside other Brat Pack members, including Judd Nelson as teenage rebel John Bender.

In addition to The Breakfast Club, Estevez also starred in St. Elmo's Fire and The Outsiders, and had the lead role in the 1992 sports comedy The Mighty Ducks. However, Estevez wasn't the only member of his family to make it big in the film industry. Both his parents and all three siblings are Hollywood actors, but some may not know of Estevez's celebrity relatives due to their contrasting last names.

Estevez was born in Staten Island, New York, to Janet and Martin Sheen. However, those weren't his parents' legal names. Martin was born as Ramón Estevez to an Irish immigrant mother and Spanish immigrant father. The Apocalypse Now actor adopted the stage name "Martin Sheen" to avoid being type-cast in films. Despite the pseudonym, Martin never changed his legal name. He talked about his decision on Inside the Actors Studio, Season 9, Episode 16.

On the same episode, Martin also shared that one of his biggest regrets was "not keeping his name as it was given to him," which he admitted annoyed his dad. The inspiration behind his stage name was also revealed on Inside the Actors Studio. The first name Martin was an agent/friend, and the last name Sheen was to honor Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, a bishop in the Catholic Church.

Estevez's brother, Carlos, decided to follow in their father's footsteps and adopt the stage name "Charlie Sheen." Like Estevez, Charlie also amassed many acting credits in the 1980s, including the lead role in the war filmPlatoon, Red Dawn, and even a minor role in Hughes' Ferris Bueller's Day Off, which eventually led to the spread of a dark conspiracy theory. Interestingly, the former Two and a Half Men star decided to drop his stage name for Robert Rodriguez's 2013 film Machete Kills.

Unlike his brother, Estevez decided against using the last name Sheen for his acting ventures. In a 2020 interview with The Guardian, Estevez stated his father "earned his name" and he hadn't. The actor's IMDb biography states that Estevez also thought the set of double "E" initials was "pretty." Despite the refusal to adopt his father's stage name, Estevez was still successful in the film industry. His other siblings, Ramon and Renée, followed his suit and also don't use the last name Sheen. Estevez can be seen as Billy the Kid in the upcoming film Young Guns III: Alias: Billy the Kid, which is planned for release sometime this year.

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