'Who Do You Think You Are': Martin Sheen Learns About His Ancestry (VIDEO)

02/02/2012 05:27 pm ET | Updated Feb 03, 2012

Martin Sheen, who has been both honored and arrested protesting on behalf of humanitarian causes, found out where his passionate sense of social justice came from in the Season 3 premiere of "Who Do You Think You Are?" Thursday on "Good Day LA" (weekdays, 9 a.m. PST on Fox), Sheen talked about the insights he gained about his ancestry from participating in the show.

Sheen told host Steve Edwards about an uncle from his Irish mother's side of the family who fought for Ireland's independence and later in the country's civil war. He also discovered a Spanish uncle from his father's side who opposed the dictator Francisco Franco and was sentenced to life in prison in Pamplona, Spain. "I had no idea from whence I came," Sheen said. "I don't think my father knew a lot of the history I discovered doing "Who Do You Think You Are?"

The search four generations back on the Spanish side of his family led Sheen to a relative named Don Diego Francisco-Suarez, who was a judge, but also a "Don Juan" who had two families in separate villages. Sheen laughed and noted, "He was a rascal." This may explain where his son Charlie gets it.

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