Happy birthday Martin Sheen! What you should know about his history in Dayton

Article about Martin Sheen in an Aug. 20, 1962 edition of the Dayton Daily News.

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Article about Martin Sheen in an Aug. 20, 1962 edition of the Dayton Daily News.

Martin Sheen was born on Aug. 3, 1940 in Dayton, and has become one of the biggest celebrities ever from the city.

The Chaminade High School graduate told the Dayton Daily News in 1962 that he used the name Martin Sheen instead of his given Ramon Estevez because he was told his name sounded “too Puerto Rican.”

He came up with the name by combining names of two people: Robert Dale Martin of CBS and Catholic writer and theologian Fulton J. Sheen, he told a reporter.

» MORE DAYTON CELEBRITIES: ‘I find all my own parts’: How Rob Lowe’s path to stardom started with a Wright State play at age 12

And, we should say, there’s a correction to make 60 years later. In the first full-length feature on Sheen, we spelled his name “Shean.”

“Ramon Estevez washed dishes and scrubbed floors, while (Martin Sheen) made the rounds looking for any kind of acting job,” he said in the story noting that, as of its writing, he had a 3-month-old son named Emilio.

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A Dayton Daily News story featuring Martin Sheen on Aug. 20, 1962.

A Dayton Daily News story featuring Martin Sheen on Aug. 20, 1962.

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A Dayton Daily News story featuring Martin Sheen on Aug. 20, 1962.

By 1964, when he was featured again in the Dayton Daily News, he was the star of surprise Broadway hit “The Subject was Roses.”

He said his most notable break in Dayton came in 1958 when he appeared on the local show “The Rising Generation.”

“I tried to tell people, ‘Look, I don’t sing, I don’t dance. What am I gonna do? So I decided to reach some passages from the Bible,” he told the reporter in 1964.

“But there was a wonderful man sponsoring that show: Calvin Mayne, who put on the program for his Dorothy Lane supermarket,” he said. “Out of the show, and through him, I won an audition for CBS in New York.”

He got his break in 1960 with a part in “The Connection,” an off-Broadway show. He then got a series of television roles in 1961 that got him moving.

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A Dayton Daily News story featuring Martin Sheen on Aug. 23, 1964.

A Dayton Daily News story featuring Martin Sheen on Aug. 23, 1964.

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A Dayton Daily News story featuring Martin Sheen on Aug. 23, 1964.

By 1979, a feature on Sheen was headlined “Actor Sheen comes home a star.” It covered his appearance at a three-day theater workshop at the University of Dayton.

The biggest revelation from that appearance was that Sheen said he purposely failed his college entrance exam so he could take the trip to New York to try to start his acting career.

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A Dayton Daily News story featuring Martin Sheen on Oct. 4, 1979.

A Dayton Daily News story featuring Martin Sheen on Oct. 4, 1979.

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A Dayton Daily News story featuring Martin Sheen on Oct. 4, 1979.

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