Charlie Sheen's acting career is defined by staggeringly steep ups and downs. He broke out in the '80s with roles in Red Dawn, Platoon, and Wall Street. But in the '90s the actor became more of a tabloid cover star than matinee idol. Successful TV gigs on Spin City and Two and a Half Men helped repair Sheen's image, before an almost year-long personal and professional meltdown left the actor unemployed and — in the eyes of many — unemployable. But against all odds and after many false rumors, Sheen is returning to TV in an adaptation of the 2003 Adam Sandler-Jack Nicholson film Anger Management. How did Sheen go from being the highest-paid actor on TV, to jobless and reviled, to booking this new gig? Here, a timeline:
September 22, 2003
Charlie Sheen makes his debut as Charlie Harper, "a self-satisfied ad man who sleeps around," on CBS' Two and a Half Men.
July 6, 2006
Sheen receives his first of four consecutive Emmy nominations for Two and a Half Men.
August 5, 2008
Taking home an estimated $825,000 an episode for his work on TV's highest-rated comedy, Sheen becomes television's highest-paid actor.
December 25, 2009
Police receive a 911 call at 8:34 a.m. on Christmas Day reporting domestic violence at an Aspen, Colo., home where Sheen is staying with his wife, Brooke Mueller. Sheen is arrested, and spends most of the day in jail before being released on $8,500 bond at around 7 p.m.
February 8, 2010
The actor is charged with, among other things, third degree assault related to the Christmas Day argument with Mueller. Two weeks later he voluntarily enters rehab as a "preventive measure." Production on Two and a Half Men is temporarily suspended with 18 episodes taped in a 24-episode season.
May 5, 2010
Sheen surrenders custody of his daughters Sam and Lola to ex-wife Denise Richards in the wake of his legal woes.
May 19, 2010
Dragging contract negotiations to the last minute, Sheen signs on for two more seasons of Two and a Half Men with a deal paying him $1.8 million an episode, including earnings from syndication.
August 2, 2010
Sheen pleads guilty to misdemeanor assault stemming from the Christmas Day incident. He is sentenced to 30 days in rehab, 30 days probation, and 36 hours of anger management counseling.
October 26, 2010
Just two months out of rehab, Sheen is hospitalized after being found naked and intoxicated in a trashed New York hotel room. A woman named Capri Anderson, allegedly a porn actress and escort, claims that Sheen owes her $12,000 from the drug-fueled night.
January 10, 2011
Sheen is spotted in Las Vegas on a weekend "bender" with three women, including a porn star and 23-year-old former nanny Bree Olson. The group would later be named Charlie Sheen's "goddesses." CBS executives worry he won't return to work as scheduled that Tuesday, but Sheen's rep later confirms that he did make it to the set on time.
January 27, 2011
Sheen is hospitalized for "abdominal pains," leading tabloids and bloggers to begin spreading rumors of an overdose. The next day he voluntarily checks himself into rehab, and production on Two and a Half Men is suspended again, for the second time in two years, with 16 episodes of the season are already completed.
February 14, 2011
In an interview on The Dan Patrick Show, Sheen blames CBS and Two and a Half Men executives for the production halt, saying he showed up ready to work and no one was there. He also says he is sober and feels great, elaborating that his sobriety is "off and on" because when he's not using or drinking he becomes "bored out of my tree."
February 15, 2011
Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre responds to Sheen by airing a title card after that Monday's show reading, "If Charlie Sheen outlives me, I'm gonna be really pissed."
February 24, 2011
Sheen takes aim at Lorre during an extended rant in a radio interview. He claims credit for all of Men's success, calls Lorre a "charlatan," and dismisses the idea of alcoholism. He takes an anti-Semitic swipe at Lorre, calling him "Chaim Levine," and concludes by calling himself the "new sheriff in town." Later that day, CBS ends production of Two and a Half Men for the rest of the season. Sheen's response to Lorre after the announcement: "I wish him nothing but pain in his silly travels especially if they wind up in my octagon. Clearly I have defeated this earthworm with my words — imagine what I would have done with my fire breathing fists."
February 25, 2011
Sheen says he would return to Two and a Half Men for a ninth season as long as Lorre is not involved. He also claims to be in talks with HBO to launch a new TV show called Sheen's Corner. He says the deal would earn him $5 million per episode. HBO quickly clarifies that there's no truth to the rumors.
March 1, 2011
Sheen gives Today and Good Morning America a tour of his house, complete with "goddesses." Later that day, a judge orders that Sheen's twin boys be removed from the home.
March 3, 2011
Sheen joins Twitter and sets a new Guinness World Record for reaching one million followers faster than any user in the history of the social networking site.
March 10, 2011
Sheen files a $100 million lawsuit against Lorre, his production company, and Warner Brothers, arguing that he's helped the studio generate "more than a billion dollars" by starring in Men, and demanding that the cast and crew get paid for the full 24-episode season. The suit argues that the only reason Sheen was fired was due to Lorre's bruised ego.
March 11, 2011
Sheen announces the My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Death Is Not an Option nationwide tour. He describes the tour as a question-and-answer session, but promises "laughter, screaming, truth, and mayhem" as well.
March 21, 2011
Radar reports that CBS has offered Sheen his job back on Two and a Half Men.
April 2, 2011
Sheen launches his Violent Torpedo of Truth tour, and the first stop goes disastrously. Audience members boo Sheen and walk out after finding the performance aimless, padded, disjointed, and without a point.
April 13, 2011
At another tour stop, Sheen tells a Boston radio host that there have been discussions of him returning to Two and a Half Men, but he's been "asked not to divulge anything." Warner Brothers TV promptly issues a letter to The Hollywood Reporter saying "there have been no discussions, there are no discussions, and there will be no discussions regarding [Charlie Sheen's] return."
May 11, 2011
Reports circulate that actor Hugh Grant was "deep into final negotiations" to replace Sheen on Two and a Half Men before discussions fell apart. Woody Harrelson and Jeremy Piven are reportedly also high on CBS' wish list.
May 12, 2011
Ashton Kutcher is confirmed to replace Sheen as the star of Two and a Half Men.
June 27, 2011
Radar reports that Sheen has signed a deal with Lionsgate Television to star in a new TV series, and networks are in a bidding war to secure rights to air the show. TBS is reported the frontrunner.
June 28, 2011
Reports begin to surface that the Two and a Half Men writers will deal with the disappearance of Sheen's character by killing him off in a car accident. The same day, TBS shoots down reports that it will pick up a new sitcom being developed by Charlie Sheen and Lionsgate.
July 6, 2011
Sheen drops hints to TMZ about what the sitcom he's developing would be like, saying it would be based on a film with the initials A.M. Bloggers immediately begin predicting that project would be an adaptation of Anger Management, the 2003 Adam Sandler-Jack Nicholson film.
July 18, 2011
Sheen and Lionsgate officially announce the actor's return to television with Anger Management, confirming that the project would be based on the Sandler film. Sheen will take on Sandler's role, "a mild-mannered, non-confrontational man who is ordered to group anger management sessions with a therapist who could use some anger management himself." Deadline reports that show is expected to receive a 10-episode order and a 90-episode pick up, depending on its ratings. The series, however, is still searching for a network, a showrunner, and brave co-stars.
Sources: Access Hollywood, Atlantic, AZ Central, Entertainment Weekly (2, 3, 4, 5), Fox News, Hollywood Reporter, Mashable, New York, NY Post, NY Times, People, Popeater (2), Slatest, TMZ, TV Guide (2, 3, 4), USA Today (2), Yahoo