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Emilio Estevez Says Laurence Fishburne Saved Him From Drowning at 14: “We Were Bonded Ever Since”


Laurence Fishburne saved Emilio Estevez from drowning in quicksand when they were both 14 years old.

The actors were on location in the Philippines Apocalypse now. Estevez wasn’t in the movie, but his father, Martin Sheen, was. Back then, Sheen traveled with his family to faraway places for long shoots so they could stay close — physically and emotionally.

“We’d only known each other for a few days,” Estevez said of Fishburne on The Jennifer Hudson Show Tuesday, where he appeared next to his father. “He says, ‘Hey, there’s a boat, let’s go on it.’ I said, “Of course.” We were both 14 at the time, so we were on this boat together and we started getting too close to shore, and I said, ‘Well, let me jump out, I’ll push us to shore.’ I jumped out and it was like quicksand.

He continued, “I was just sinking, and I just saw Fishburne look at me and say, ‘Grab my hand!’ and he pulled me back on the boat, and we have been attached ever since.”

Sheen told the daytime talk show host that he didn’t learn about the near-death incident that happened near the set of one of his movies until decades later, when he read about it in his and Estevez’s memoirs. On the road: the journey of a father and son.

When he found out, Sheen contacted Fishburne directly: “I called Mr. Fishburne to thank him for saving my son’s life.”

Fishburne was only 14 when he started working on Apocalypse now in 1976, the young actor had lied about his age to get the role. Director Francis Ford Coppola assumed Fishburne was 16, even though his character, Clean, was 18 years old in the script.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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