Charlie Sheen

Also Credited As:

Carlos Estevez, Charles Sheen, Carlos Irwin Estevez
Charlie Sheen

Biography

Charlie Sheen's roles in Oliver Stone's gritty Vietnam War drama "Platoon" (1986) and Stone's bleak portrait of Reagan-era greed, "Wall Street" (1987), gave the actor his big break in Hollywood, but those films proved to be anomalies in a career later characterized by laughs - both on- and off-screen. During the 1990s, Sheen found a niche in light comedies that banked on his good looks and flair for deadpan comedy, though even blockbuster …
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Job Title

Actor, Producer, Music, Other

Born

Carlos Irwin Estevez on September 3, 1965 in New York City, New York, USA

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About

Charlie Sheen's roles in Oliver Stone's gritty Vietnam War drama "Platoon" (1986) and Stone's bleak portrait of Reagan-era greed, "Wall Street" (1987), gave the actor his big break in Hollywood, but those films proved to be anomalies in a career later characterized by laughs - both on- and off-screen. During the 1990s, Sheen found a niche in light comedies that banked on his good looks and flair for deadpan comedy, though even blockbuster spoofs like "Hot Shots" (1991) were overshadowed by Sheen's real-life penchant for prostitutes, cocaine and loquacious bravado. The notorious bad boy finally hit on a successful formula after a decade of being the butt of Hollywood jokes, when he began laughing at himself and his clichéd image. His own genuinely funny brand of comedy emerged and he went on to enjoy primetime acclaim; first with a Golden Globe-winning run on the sitcom "Spin City" (ABC, 1996-2002), where his character's shady past resonated for laughs, followed by a multiple Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated role as an unapologetic, swinging bachelor on "Two and a Half Men" (CBS, 2003- ). Sheen may never have recovered his early promise as a dramatic actor, but he miraculously overcame a negative public image to become a charming and well-regarded sitcom actor who, for a time, became the highest paid actor on television. However, Sheen's personal issues seemed to get the best of him yet again in 2010-11, when a series of emergency room visits, porn star parties and rumored drug binges during the program's eighth season helped publicly unravel not only the popular show, but the man as well.

Sheen was born Carlos Irwin Estevez on Sept. 3, 1965, the third son of actor Martin Sheen. Growing up in Malibu with brothers Emilio and Ramon and sister Renee, he made countless Super-8 movies and videos with childhood friends Sean and Chris Penn and Rob and Chad Lowe; his sights firmly set on following in his father's acting footsteps. He made his professional debut as an extra in the TV movie "The Execution of Private Slovik" (NBC, 1974), starring his father and also appeared as an extra in Francis Ford Coppola's landmark "Apocalypse Now" (1979), which also featured a landmark performance from the senior Sheen. But the troublemaking side of Sheen also surfaced early on, with arrests for marijuana possession and credit card forgery coming prior to his unceremonious expulsion from high school. Sheen did not look back, however, appearing in nine films in three years. He displayed some screen presence in John Milius' teens vs. Communists actioner "Red Dawn" (1984), and appeared in the TV movie "Silence of the Heart" (CBS, 1984) as the guilt-ridden friend of a suicide victim. He starred as a bored California teenager who embarks on a violent rampage in Penelope Spheeris' "The Boys Next Door" (1985), and attracted attention for his role as a sensitive high school jock opposite a young Corey Haim in "Lucas" (1986) before his next role put him over the top.

In "Platoon," Sheen gave a powerhouse performance as a young recruit shocked not only by the realities of Vietnam combat, but by the animalistic behavior of his fellow servicemen. The film earned an Academy Award for Best Picture, and the following year, Stone tapped Sheen again to play another eager young talent disenchanted by his senior role models in "Wall Street," set in the cutthroat world of the 1980s stock market. Sheen's street cred as a serious actor quickly dipped, though he proved effective in lighter male ensembles like the hip Western "Young Guns" (1988) and John Sayles' period baseball film, "Eight Men Out" (1988). Once known as a baseball star at Santa Monica High School, Sheen further demonstrated his aptitude for sports in the comedy "Major League" (1989) and fared well in buddy adventures like Clint Eastwood's "The Rookie" (1990) and "Navy SEALS" (1990). The same year, he teamed onscreen with first-time director and brother Emilio in "Men at Work" (1990), a popular low-brow comedy about a pair of garbage men who dream of owning a surfing shop. Sheen made the gossip pages that same year for his short-lived engagement with actress Kelly Preston, whom he accidentally shot in the arm prior to their break-up.

Sheen's starring turn in parody king Jim Abrahams' hit "Hot Shots!" (1991), a wacky spoof of "Top Gun" (1986) and its ilk, represented Sheen's his best work of the 1990s and led to the inevitable "Rambo" send-up "Hot Shots! Part Deux" (1993). Both showed Sheen's unsuspected talent as a deadpan comic and increased his reputation as a sex symbol, which was further enhanced by his dashing Aramis in the umpteenth remake of "The Three Musketeers" (1993), as well as his off-screen randiness which included relationships with at least two adult screen stars. His hedonistic lifestyle extended to a penchant for call girls, and during the investigation into notorious Hollywood Madame Heidi Fleiss, Sheen revealed under oath that he had spent more than $50,000 for trysts with her employees during a 15-month period. Displaying a remarkable ability to fit a lot into a day, Sheen's film releases continued unabated, with the actioner "Terminal Velocity" (1994) and his executive-producing debut "The Chase" (1994), where he gave a good show as a charming career criminal on the run.

In 1995, Sheen married Donna Peele, a model he met while filming a cigarette commercial in Japan, saying "She's an angel sent from Heaven to take me through the rest of the journey." When the marriage ended six months later, the always quotable Sheen then let slip the analogy, "You buy a car, it breaks down." His biggest cross to bear, however, was substance abuse, and that - not to mention a 1996 arrest for battery of girlfriend Brittany Ashland - was responsible for removing him from the Hollywood A-list. He attempted to alter his image in 1996, announcing he had "found God." He made a well-received guest appearance as a Naval officer romantically involved with Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) on the NBC sitcom "Friends" (NBC, 1994-2004), but also headlined box office bombs "The Arrival" (1996), a sci-fi epic about an astronomer obsessed with finding extra-terrestrials, and "Shadow Conspiracy" (1997) as a presidential aide who becomes targeted for assassination. Finally, he had a box-office hit when teamed with rising comic Chris Tucker in the comedy "Money Talks" (1997), where his stiff tabloid TV reporter contrasted well with Tucker's loose street con in a pairing deemed comparable to that of Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor.

On the heels of a Hollywood high came a new low - a cocaine overdose landed Sheen in the hospital in May 1998. He was subsequently sentenced to a detox clinic but emerged to form a production company with unlikely partner Bret Michaels, the former lead singer of Poison. Sheen branched out into screenwriting and he and Michaels' cop drama "No Code of Conduct," starring Sheen and his father Martin, was released to home video. Sticking close to family, he next co-starred with brother Emilio as real-life brothers Jim and Artie Mitchell, porn producers of "Behind the Green Door" (1972), in the Showtime biopic "Rated X" (2000). His career was further jump-started when he took over the lead from retiring Michael J. Fox in the politically themed sitcom "Spin City" in the fall of 2000. While there were naysayers who were not sure the unpredictable actor could pull off working in a weekly comedy series, he more than proved them wrong, developing a nice rapport with the cast, particularly Heather Locklear. In a case of life imitating art, it did not hurt that his character was something of a dissolute with a shady past who was trying hard to rehabilitate himself, and his invigorating performance earned the actor a Golden Globe award.

Having experienced positive reviews for shifting towards characters that played off his real life reputation, Sheen played a cocky, wealthy bachelor in the mildly amusing comedy "Good Advice" (2001), which led to a whirlwind courtship with co-star Denise Richards. The pair were married the following year, and after Richards took a recurring role alongside her hubby in "Spin City," the two appeared together in the horror spoof sequel "Scary Movie 3" (2003), playing a farmer and his wife in a parody of the lugubrious Mel Gibson crop circle thriller, "Signs" (2002). The same year marked the debut of the sitcom "Two and a Half Men" (CBS, 2003- ), where Sheen was well-cast as a hedonistic bachelor who takes in his newly divorced super-square brother (Jon Cryer) and 10-year-old nephew (Angus T. Jones). The show was an instant success, scoring among the top 15 rated series due to Sheen and Cryer's great comic repartee and the sometimes bawdy, sometimes dark bent to the humor. An extremely popular fixture within CBS' powerful comedy line-up, Sheen received consecutive Emmy nominations for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his role on "Two and a Half Men" from 2006 through 2010 and Golden Globe nominations in 2005 and 2006.

Sheen returned to the big screen in 2004, playing the enforcer for a Hawaiian development baron (Gary Sinise) in the meandering, Elmore Leonard-derived caper film "The Big Bounce." His off-screen life surfaced in the tabloid headlines the following year when Richards filed for divorce from Sheen while pregnant with the couple's second child. They reunited once more before she filed for divorce again (and a restraining order) the following spring, after which their acrimonious custody battle was made very public. Despite Richards' allegations of Sheen's drug use and porn habits, the latest bout of trouble barely dented his armor and he adapted well to the role of primetime comic actor, giving domestic life a third try when he married real estate developer Brooke Mueller in 2008 and became the father of twins the following year. Unaffected by his personal travails, Sheen's professional life continued to flourish when he received his fourth straight Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in 2009. Also that year, he earned another Screen Actors Guild Award nomination, his first since 2004.

But the joy of Sheen's award nominations was short lived. On Christmas Day 2009, he was again arrested on domestic violence charges, this time for allegedly assaulting Mueller at their Aspen, CO home. The actor was charged with second degree assault and menacing - both felonies - and criminal mischief, a misdemeanor. After a judge issued a mandatory restraining order, Sheen was released on an $8,500 bond amidst suspicions that the incident spelled certain doom for his career. Days later, prosecutors announced that they were delaying their decision whether or not to file charges until February 2010. Meanwhile, it became apparent that Sheen had threatened Mueller with a knife, with police confirming the allegation by releasing the 911 call made by his sobbing wife, who told the operator that she "thought [she] was going to die." Police also reported that both Sheen and his wife had been drinking, with Mueller registering a blood alcohol level of .13, well over the legal limit. Soon after details of the alleged incident became public knowledge, both Sheen and Mueller declared their intentions to seek counseling and Mueller appeared to backtrack on her story.

The following year continued to be a rollercoaster ride for Sheen. During the summer of 2010, he plead no contest to misdemeanor assault, serving 30 days in jail and agreeing to a 30-day stint in a Malibu rehab facility. The more serious felony charge of menacing, however, was dropped. After a brief suspension of production on "Two and a Half Men," Sheen was not only welcomed back to the hit sitcom, but managed to negotiate a two-year contract making him one of the highest paid television actors at the time. And yet, the antics of the troubled star were far from over for the year, when on Oct. 26, 2010, a naked "emotionally disturbed" Sheen was discovered in his suite with an unidentified woman - rumors immediately began to swirl that she was a prostitute - by hotel security responding to a disturbance call at New York's ritzy Plaza Hotel. Sheen had been in town with ex-wife Denise Richards and their two young daughters for a family vacation. Sheen was not arrested, but voluntarily accompanied police to a local hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. The following day, CBS flew Sheen back to Hollywood on a private jet, with his spokesman claiming the unfortunate incident was due to nothing more than an allergic reaction to an unspecified medication.

Coming on the heels of Sheen partying at a Las Vegas porn convention only weeks into the new year, on Jan. 27, 2011, Sheen was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills after complaining of severe abdominal pains. After being released, the actor voluntarily checked into an "at home" rehab, putting his sitcom on hold with only eight episodes left to shoot. A month into his treatment, Sheen took off for the Bahamas with his porn star "family" en tow, and once there, called into a radio show where he unleashed a tirade against "Men" creator, Chuck Lorre, sarcastically calling him by his Hebrew name of Haim Levine - which some said smacked of anti-Semitism - as well as Alcoholics Anonymous, claiming it was a "cult filled with losers" and that he had healed himself with his mind. That same day, the troubled actor further unloaded to TMZ, challenging Lorre to a fight while calling him "a stupid little man and a p*ssy punk that I never want to be like." Within hours of the second interview, CBS and Warner Bros. Television released a joint statement: "Based on the totality of Charlie Sheen's statements, conduct and condition, CBS and Warner Bros. Television have decided to discontinue production of 'Two and a Half Men' for the remainder of the season."

After a barrage of bizarre, manic interviews given to every conceivable media outlet over Oscar weekend 2011, Sheen became something of a folk hero to some; an even bigger joke to others. After continuing to verbally assault Lorre, CBS and Warner Brothers, as well as his ex-wives and anyone else who crossed him in the press, Sheen was banned from the Warner Brothers lot. He started a Twitter account for profit and broke the single-day followers record, amassing a million strong within 24 hours. However, despite all his talk of "winning" at every turn - as witnessed by his two live-in girlfriends/former porn stars and bikini models whom he coined his "goddesses" - his twin sons were removed from his home after Mueller filed a restraining order against him. Amidst whispers of replacing him, Sheen insisted he was ready and willing to return to work and his employers were in breach of his contract. Ultimately CBS and WB were not amused. After over a week of Sheen rants and cheap shots, the studio released a statement on March 7, 2011: "After careful consideration, Warner Bros. Television has terminated Charlie Sheen's services on "Two and a Half Men" effective immediately." Unsurprisingly, Sheen shot back with legal threats and a typically bizarre statement, telling TMZ, "This is very good news. They continue to be in breach, like so many whales...now I can take all of the bazillions, never have to look at whats-his-c*ck again, and I never have to put on those silly shirts for as long as this warlock exists in the terrestrial dimension." Only days later, Sheen filed a $100 million lawsuit against Lorre and the studio on behalf of himself and the cast and crew, demanding payment for the eight canceled episodes of the hit sitcom as well as millions in punitive damages. That same evening, LAPD raided Sheen's home in search of firearms, after being tipped off that the actor had a gun and was allegedly threatening to harm himself. Police left without locating weapons or drugs.

A month later, Sheen began his haphazard "The Torpedo of Truth: Defeat is Not an Option" tour in Detroit, MI. The disorganized show was a major bust, with the audience simultaneously booing and walking out on opening night. He changed up the format and was greeted warmly by a more forgiving audience the following night in Chicago, IL, but it was clear the Sheen "winning" streak was coming to an end. After being in the news non-stop for weeks, by the onset of summer, Sheen was all but MIA after losing a chance for custody of his twin boys despite their mother's ongoing drug struggles, selling his Hollywood Hills home, losing both "goddesses," and watching Ashton Kutcher be named as his replacement on "Two and a Half Men."