Despite having initially found fame after various films and television series, Charlie Sheen is perhaps best known for his pop culture status as "The Machine", a seasoned party animal with a penchant for drugs, escorts and bad-boy behaviour.
Christened Carlos Irwin Estevez, Charlie Sheen took up his dad's stage name when he began acting.
His father, Martin Sheen, was an aspiring actor who was beginning to make a name for himself on the Broadway stage whilst his mother, Janet Templeton, was a former New York art student.
Charlie was born in New York City in 1965 and almost died at birth. In a gesture of gratitude, his parents decided to name their new baby 'Irwin' after the doctor who saved his life.
Two brothers, Emilio and Ramon, as well as a sister, Renee, who are all actors, make up the remainder of the family.
The youngster took an eager interest in acting from an early age, and at nine years old he was given a tiny part in a movie his father was acting in, called The Execution of Private Slovik
He attended high school in California but wasn't a keen scholar and realised his interests lay elsewhere, in baseball and acting.
Whilst in school, he made friends with future fellow actors Sean Penn and Rob Lowe and together they produced and acted in several amateur movies.
He was also a star pitcher and short-stop on the school baseball team and his passion for baseball has undoubtedly influenced some of his later movie roles.
However, his extra-curricular activities created friction with his school work, and he was expelled on the grounds of poor attendance and sub-standard grades.
He then turned his full attention to acting and pursuing his dream of becoming a movie star.
He landed his first major role when he was chosen to play a high school student in the film Red Dawn
in 1984. He followed this with a string of bit parts in television movies until he received his big break in 1986.
This came when Hollywood director Oliver Stone picked him to act in his Oscar-winning epic, Platoon
. The film was a huge critical success and Charlie garnered international acclaim for his performance as a young solider who finds himself at the centre of a major crisis during the Vietnam War.
This then inspired Oliver Stone to cast him for a follow-up lead role in his next movie, Wall Street
in 1987, where Charlie acted alongside his father and Michael Douglas.
He was now firmly established as a leading Hollywood actor and during the late 1980's and early 1999's he continued to be a leading-box office performer, acting in a string of hit movies including Young Guns
, Major League
and Hot Shots
It was in television however where, he eventually found longevity, first with Spin City
in 2000 and most recently as the star of the long-running sitcom Two and a Half Men,
which began in 2003.
The latter series made him the highest paid actor in television in 2010 when he was earning $2 million per episode. He also won a Golden Globe award for his role which was based loosely on his bad boy image.
But in February 2011, CBS announced that they were stopping production
of the show - which was in its eighth series - citing the star's highly-publicised controversial behaviour. It was also alleged that Charlie had made anti-Semitic remarks about the programme's creator Chuck Lorre. He was later fired from the series.
Despite wanting to "be known more for my work than for anything else", his behaviour has made Charlie just as – if not more – famous than his acting.
He has made headlines with reports of marital problems, alcohol and drug abuse, as well as allegations of domestic violence.
Charlie's love life has been colourful and eventful. He is known for having dated a number of actresses best known for making "adult" films, including Ginger Lynn and Heather Hunter.
He has been married three times and has five children. His relationship with former high-school girlfriend, Paula Profit, resulted in his first child.
He became engaged to Kelly Preston - now the wife of John Travolta - in 1990, but the engagement was broken off after an accident with a firearm.
He then married first wife Donna Peele in 1995, but their commitment was brief and only one year later, they were divorced.
In 2002 Charlie tied the knot with actress Denise Richards. They have two daughters, Sam and Lola. In 2005, while pregnant with Lola, Denise filed for divorce, citing his drinking, drug abuse and threatening behaviour. The couple fought an acrimonious custody battle.
Three years later, he married Brooke Mueller, who gave birth to their twin sons, Bob and Max.
In 2009 Charlie was arrested for felony charges relating to alleged domestic violence. The victim was widely believed to be Brooke, but Charlie and his spokesperson denied this.
Brooke and Charlie divorced in November 2010.
As of March 1 2011, he lives with both pornstar Bree Olson and model and graphic designer Natalie Kenly, his "goddesses".
Charlie has had three stints in rehab due to his self-acknowledged personal struggles with drug abuse. He overdosed in 1998 which marked his first stay in a rehabilitation centre.
He now publicly claims to be "clean", stating "I am on a drug. It's called Charlie Sheen."
Away from the controversy which surrounds his personal life, Charlie is a major donor and supporters of the charity Aid for Aids. He was honoured with an AFA Angel Award at the non-profit's 25th Silver Anniversary Reception in 2009.
He was also the 2004 spokesperson for the Lee National Denim Day breast cancer fundraiser that raised millions of dollars for research and education regarding the disease.