Martin Sheen
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
December 19, 2023 ·  4 min read

Martin Sheen Is Married to the ‘Scariest Woman’ He’d Ever Met for 60 Years Now & They Share 4 Kids

Martin Sheen is a multiple Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor whose decades-long career has solidified him as one of America’s greats. Known for his roles in films like Apocolypse Now, Gandhi, and Bobby, among others, what fans may not know about him is that he’s been married to his wife, Janet Sheen, for 60 years. In an interview he once said she’s “the scariest woman” he’s ever met.

The Life of Martin Sheen

Born Ramón Antonio Gerard Estevez in Dayton, Ohio, to an Irish immigrant (Mary-Ann Phelan), and a Spanish-born factory worker and machinery inspector (Francisco Estevez), Sheen changed his name when he moved to Hollywood. According to the actor, his original name was too difficult to pronounce, which made it hard to get acting roles. (1)

Sheen met his wife, Janet Sheen, in 1960 when he was just 20 years old. She was an actor in her own right, eventually becoming known for roles in Kennedy, The Way, and Beverly Hills Brats. They were wed one year later on December 23, 1961.

Martin Sheen and his wife at the 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles. September 19, 2004.
Martin Sheen and his wife Janet at the 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles. September 19, 2004.

Their Early Years

During the early years of their marriage, the couple struggled financially. Despite this, they eventually had four children together – Emilio, Ramon, Carlos (Charlie Sheen), and Renée. His wife was there for him through all of his darkest moments, including one heart attack and a quadruple-bypass surgery.

“It was very serious, and she handled it like a pro. She had me laughing in the most dire circumstances. She said, ‘Don’t take yourself so seriously.’” (2)

She also supported him through a long battle with alcoholism. According to Sheen, she was always telling him not to take life so seriously. She was also not afraid to tell him the truth when he needed it. According to a 2015 Washington Post Interview, Sheen said:

“I was fortunate enough to marry the scariest woman I’d ever met. She did not know how to lie. It was impossible. For me, the truth was a sometimes thing. For her, it was eternity. She would always call me out, thank God.” (3)

Read: Bon Jovi’s 30-Year Marriage Is Proof That High-School Romances Can Turn Into Love That Lasts A Lifetime

Their 50th Wedding Anniversary

When asked just ahead of their 50th wedding anniversary how a Hollywood couple managed to stay together so long, Sheen laughed. 

“I haven’t a clue,” he said. “I really don’t. I’ve never met a person with more integrity in my life, though. I honestly couldn’t keep up with her. It’s taken me a long time to be as even and direct with her as she has been, always, with me. And that’s the relationship. I honestly don’t have a clue who she is because when I get to the point where I’ve caught up with her, she’s gone.”

All four of their children followed in their father’s footsteps and became actors themselves. Each of them has experienced their own success, but Sheen insists they did it all on their own.

“I was so relieved because each of my children was an individual talent,” he said. “They didn’t get anything by favour – nothing, not once.”

Actor Martin Sheen and wife Janet at party in Los Angeles to celebrate to 100th episode of TV series The West Wing. November 1, 2003

Read: Denzel Washington Chose ‘Very Tough’ Marriage despite the Temptations That Were around Him

Acting Runs In The Family

Of course, Charlie is arguably the most famous of the Sheen children, if not for being the highest-paid actor on television then for his struggles with alcohol abuse. Sheen senior is, of course, uniquely well-equipped to handle the situation with his son. After all, it was he himself who was going through similar struggles only 30 years ago.

Charlie’s self-destruction was painful for his father to watch, but Sheen was confident he’d come out on the other side.

“I absolutely believe,” Martin said, “that he’ll come through it.”

Father apparently knew best, because Charlie has since bounced back. He is in a long-term relationship and is apparently working again. He alluded to a new role for 2022 when he posted a picture of a script by Doug Ellen on his Instagram.

Emilio Estevez, Ramon Estevez, Martin Sheen, Charlie Sheen at the AARP Movies For Grownups Premiere of “The Way,” Nokia Theater, Los Angeles, CA 

A Life Well Lived

As for Sheen himself, the actor turned 82 last August, and is proud of his son for his recovery. In a 2021 interview with PEOPLE, the TV show, he said, “I adore him. I’ve always, always adored him. His recovery and his life is a miracle and he’s an extraordinary man.”

Keep Reading: Ashton Kutcher & Mila Kunis Cut Kids off from Their Trust— They Will Not Get a Penny from Them


  1. Martin Sheen: Being a dad.” The Guardian. Joanna Moorhead. March 25, 2011.
  2. “Martin Sheen Opens Up About His Marriage – My Wife Saved Me”. Closer Weekly. November 3, 2016.
  3. “Martin Sheen says wife is the ‘scariest woman.’ Washington Post. May 30, 2015.