Charlie Sheen was among the most popular actors in the 1980s and 90s. Born into a family of celebrated actors, including his father, Martin Sheen, and brother Emilio Estevez, Charlie has starred in some of the biggest movies and two hit TV sitcoms.
However, he is also an actor who has found himself in the limelight for his private life, hitting the headlines for his string of romantic entanglements, sex scandals, excessive alcohol and drug use, and a public mental health breakdown.
Born in 1965, Charlie Sheen began acting very early in his father's movie and TV projects. Growing up, he would accompany his father on exotic movie sets worldwide. This was where he was exposed to the wild Hollywood behind-the-scenes lifestyle heavily peppered with booze, drugs, prostitutes, and more at a very young age. He was also living with his father's alcoholism and anger issues. In high school, he was offered a baseball scholarship to the University of Kansas but lost the scholarship and was expelled a week before graduation because he was arrested for credit card fraud at 17.
This was when Charlie joined the movies. He starred in the cult classic "Red Dawn" which was followed by bigger roles in critically acclaimed films such as the war drama "Platoon," and "Wall Street" with his dad Martin, "Young Guns" with brother Emilio Estevez, "Major League" and more.
In 2000, what was supposed to be a temporary guest spot in the sitcom "Spin City" became a starring role, and he won the 2002 Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy. In 2003, Charlie landed the lead in another sitcom, "Two and a Half Dads", to great financial success, earning a record 1.8 million dollars an episode.
But despite the success, Charlie has been struggling with alcohol and narcotics addiction from a very young age. His mental health issues manifested in one scandal after another. He was exposed as a frequent customer of Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss. He repeatedly checked himself into rehab but always fell off the wagon. He's also had tumultuous relationships with many women, falling in love, marrying rather quickly, and breaking up with them. He has also been accused of assault and abuse by some.
Things came to a head when in 2011, he was fired from his hit show because he ranted and raved and made derogatory remarks about Chuck Lorre, the show's creator. He would often be seen giving interviews and acting bizarrely, saying he had tiger blood and was a warlock. In 2015, he announced he was HIV positive, having been diagnosed in 2011. He had also paid about $10 million to extortionists to keep his HIV under wraps. He began to focus on his health, claiming sobriety in 2017.
Charlie's life is a cautionary tale on how family dysfunction, addiction, and drugs can negatively impact a life, especially in the spotlight. Here's hoping he will continue to heal and enjoy time with his kids.