Martin Sheen

The son of immigrant parents -- his mother Irish and his father a Spaniard who reached America via Cuba -- Martin Sheen became an actor despite his father's resounding disapproval. Born Ramon Estevez in Dayton, Ohio, on Aug. 3, 1940, he took his stage surname from a man he deeply respected: the Rev. Fulton J. Sheen.

The young thespian worked in daytime drama and theater before making his big-screen debut; he gained notoriety for his performance in the 1968 film The Subject Was Roses. Sheen's other impressive movie credits include Catch-22 (1970), Badlands (1973), Apocalypse Now (1979), Wall Street (1987) and The American President (1995). Along with several Emmy nods, Sheen copped a Golden Globe Award (in 2001) for his leading role as the president in the television series "The West Wing."

An activist for progressive causes, he's the father of actors Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez.