Even though Martin Sheen and his wife Janet didn’t have much money, they were happy together. But after a few years, something bad happened and Sheen was hospitalized and on the verge of dying. Janet stayed by his side, just as she did when he had open heart surgery 40 years later. Even though they’ve been together for 60 years, they still can’t live without each other.
Martin Sheen is an American actor who was born Ramón Antonio Gerardo Estévez. He is known around the world for his many fan-favorite roles in movies like “Mission Impossible,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “The American President,” “Spawn,” and “Columbo.”
After he was in “The Subject Was Roses” in 1968 and “Badlands” in 1973, the actor got a lot of praise from critics. But he became even more well-known when he played Captain Benjamin Willard in “Apocalypse Now,” an epic psychological war drama from 1979.
Sheen has been on the big screen for decades, ever since he made his first movie. He has been in movies back to back and has reached a level of success in Hollywood that is still a dream for many.
Still, his acting career, in which he has been in more than 60 movies, is just one of his many accomplishments. Sheen is also proud of his beautiful marriage to Janet Sheen, which has been going strong for over 60 years. But where did everything start?
Sheen met Janet when he was only 20, which was a long time before the “Running Wild” actor made it big in Hollywood. In 1960, Sheen wanted to be a jazz musician and spent most of his time in an apartment in Greenwich Village.
Martin Sheen plays Att Gen Robert F. Kennedy in “The Missiles of October,” an ABC TV movie.
At the time, he wasn’t really thinking about looking for love, and he had no idea that he would soon meet the woman he would spend the rest of his life with.
In the winter of 1960, Janet had just moved to New York from Kentucky, where she had lived with her grandparents for the past six years. She then moved to Cleveland, where she went to public school. She had also won scholarships to the Cleveland Institute of Art and Western Reserve University.
When they met, she was studying painting at the New School for Social Research on a scholarship. They fell in love quickly and were ready to take on the world as a couple.
Martin Sheen and his wife Janet Sheen went to the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on March 21, 1981, for the Insight Gala Honoring Jack Albertson.
But there was one big problem: they didn’t have any money. At first, the couple struggled to make ends meet. They cut back on their meals and sometimes had trouble putting food on the table. But neither of them let that stop them from moving forward. They knew that if they stuck together through hard times, they could get through them.
Then they found out that Janet was going to have their first child. Even though their situation was terrible, they did not panic. Sheen came from a big family, and he says that whenever their parents had a new baby—which was almost every other year—the other kids would just move over to make room.
Sheen and Janet did what all couples do when they are in love. The next year, on December 23, 1961, they got married. They got married in a small ceremony at the altar of the Church of St. Stephen on East 28th Street, between an 8:00 a.m. mass and a funeral service.
Martin Sheen and his wife Jan Sheen went to the Rainbow Warrior Launch Party on February 1, 1992, in San Pedro, California. They were on the Rainbow Warrior.
After they said their vows, they invited a few friends to a breakfast reception at the Jewish deli in their neighborhood. Even though the wedding was simple, it was more than Sheen could have asked for. He says:
“I couldn’t have asked for a better day,” she said.
Emilio was the couple’s first child. He was born in 1962. Emilio became an actor like his parents, and he is best known for his role as Andrew Clark on “The Breakfast Club.” He is also known for directing movies like “Men at Work,” “The Way,” and “The Public.”
In 1963, they had their second child, Ramón Sheen. Before he and his father started Estévez Sheen Productions in the early 2000s, Ramón was also an actor.
Charlie Sheen was born in 1965. Like his parents and brothers, he went on to become an actor. He is best known for appearing with his father in “Anger Management,” “Spin City,” and “Wall Street.” He also played Charlie Harper in the TV show “Two and a Half Men.”
Two years after having Charlie, Sheen and Janet gave birth to their only child, Renée Estevez. Renée has also had some great roles in movies like “JAG,” “The West Wing,” and “Heathers.”
Renee, Emilio, Charlie, Martin, and Janet Sheen, from left to right, at a party after the screening of “In the Custody of Strangers,” a made-for-TV movie by Robert Greenwald.
Sheen and Janet are both well-known actors, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that all of their children also became actors. Janet made a name for herself as an actress, just like her husband. She was in several movies, including the 1983 “Kennedy” miniseries.
But acting is not the only thing she does. She has also worked as a producer. People know her for producing “Beverly Hills Brats” in 1989 and for being the executive producer of “The Way,” a drama in which her husband stars.
Martin Sheen and his wife Janet went to the InStyle Golden Globes after-party in Beverly Hills, California, on January 20, 2002.
The actor from “The Departed” and his wife lived a happy, calm life for a long time. They raised their four children together. But at the end of the 1970s, tragedy struck.
Martin was close to dying, but Janet was there for him.
Sheen has always said that one of his favorite roles was as a U.S. Army special operations officer in “Apocalypse Now.” Still, while making that movie, he went through one of the scariest times of his life. He had a very bad illness that would come back to bother him almost 40 years later.
The movie was about Sheen, a veteran assassin who was on his third tour of duty in Vietnam. Frederic Forrest, Robert Duvall, and Marlon Brando were also in the cast.
Sheen cared a lot about the role. After all, it was his first big one and was sure to make him famous and successful for life. But it was so bad that it hurt both his physical and mental health.
He remembers waking up one morning and seeing how bad he looked when he looked in the mirror. He says he started to feel weird and dizzy, and he had to get dressed while lying on the floor so he wouldn’t fall over.
Then he dragged himself to the road, propped himself up, and waited. When the wardrobe van came by and picked him up, the production designer started to cry. Sheen remembers how hard he tried to stay awake. The actor says that he knew that if he passed out, he wouldn’t wake up.
“Apocalypse Now,” which was made in 1979, starred Martin Sheen as Captain Benjamin L. Willard.
The movie was shot in very remote places, which made it hard when the actor, who was in his mid-30s at the time, had a heart attack that nearly killed him. After he passed out, a doctor from the village helped him get stable so he could be taken out of the jungle by helicopter.
He even got a priest to come and say his last rites. Even after all these years, it’s still very hard for the actor to talk about that time. He says:
“All I wanted to do was talk to Janet.”
Choice Act” at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, on March 31, 2009.
He remembers lying there for hours while the rest of the team talked about whether or not it would be worth the risk to send a helicopter to get him out. Soon after that, Sheen was flown to Manila and then taken by ambulance to a hospital.
Sheen says that as they were driving to the hospital, he got up and started taking his shoes off. The paramedics kept telling him to lie down, but he was determined to take his shoes off. Why?
He says that when he first went to New York a long time ago, he saw people from the morgue take a dead man away. The shoes of the dead man were taken off and thrown away by one of them.
Sheen’s mind kept going back to all those years ago, and he kept thinking that if he could just take off the boots himself, he would be able to get out alive.
Once they got to the hospital, the actor remembers that his wife was running down the hallway as hospital staff rolled him in on a gurney. When he looked up at her, she only had one thing to say:
“Baby, it’s just a movie. “Oh, come on, it’s just a movie!”
Martin Sheen gives his wife Janet a hug on March 11, 2001, in Los Angeles, California, at the 7th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Sheen also had a nervous breakdown as well as a heart attack. He was lucky that he always had someone with him. He says that Janet didn’t move while he was getting better, which helped him get back on his feet. She also talked to Sheen every day on the phone with a therapist in New York. He says:
“I broke down in pieces. My heart was shown. I couldn’t stop crying. I turned gray all over. I was in the emergency room. Janet slept next to me on the floor.”
Janet became a rock for Sheen when he was going through some hard times. She laid on the floor next to his hospital bed and helped him feel better while he was sick.
Sheen says he only got through it because his wife and therapist helped him. But he also takes full responsibility for the fact that he is in the position to begin with.
He said that he was in such a bad place because of his huge ego and his strange desire to be in a Coppola movie, and that the only way he could get out of it was to fully own that fact.
Martin Sheen goes to the “Apocalypse Now” 40th Anniversary Special Screening of the Final Cut at the ArcLight Cinemas Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, California, on August 12, 2019.
Janet would show Sheen how much she cared and supported him many times, not just when his life was in danger. Sheen would have another health problem almost 40 years later, and Janet would stick by his side and help him get better.
Janet was there again for Sheen.
In December 2015, Sheen went to a hospital in Los Angeles for quadruple bypass surgery, which is an open-heart surgery to improve the flow of blood to the heart muscle. Emilio, Sheen’s oldest son, said that the decision was more of a planned move than a last-minute one.
Emilio shared the news on Facebook that his father was doing well after surgery, thanks to the help of the nurses, doctors, and cardiologists.
Emilio wrote that his father was eager to get better quickly and get back to work as soon as possible.
He also said that his mother, Janet, had been by Sheen’s side, which is something Sheen is eager to acknowledge and appreciate. Sheen told Closer that his wife was by his side the whole time he was in surgery and recovering. He also said:
“She was there the whole time, and I laughed my way back to her.”
He said that even though it was a hard time, Janet had handled it like a pro. She had made him laugh even when things were bad, and she would often tell him not to take himself too seriously.
He is thankful that Janet has been there for him through good times and bad, just like she said she would in their wedding vows. The “Catch Me If You Can” actor is not afraid to praise his wife for this and many other things.
When asked if they celebrate their anniversaries, Sheen said that they don’t make a big deal out of it, and when they do, it’s only because of their kids and grandkids.
“This dame makes every day a holiday.”
On April 8, 2017, in Los Angeles, California, actors Martin Sheen (left) and Janet Sheen watched “The Incident” as part of the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival.
Sheen’s wife has helped him stay strong even though life has thrown him some serious curveballs. Theirs isn’t a hasty marriage like most. This relationship is based on love and support, so it makes sense that it has lasted for so long.
When asked how he, a big name in Hollywood, has been married to the same woman for over 50 years, Sheen says he doesn’t know:
“No, I don’t. I’ve never met a more honest person than you, though.”
He told her he couldn’t keep up with her, and it took him a long time to be as honest with her as she has always been with him.
“And that’s how it works. I have no idea who Janet is because every time I catch up with her, she’s gone.” He jokes.