Sheen was born Carlos Irwin Estevez in New York City in 1965, the youngest son and third of four children of actor Martin Sheen and artist Janet Templeton. His first movie appearance was at age nine in his father’s 1974 film The Execution of Private Slovik. Sheen attended Santa Monica High School in Santa Monica, California, where he was a star pitcher and shortstop for the baseball team. During his days at Santa Monica High School he showed an early interest in acting, making amateur Super-8 films with his brother Emilio and school friends Rob Lowe and Sean Penn, at the time still using his birth name. A few weeks before graduation, Sheen was expelled from the school for poor grades and bad attendance. Deciding to become an actor, Charlie took the same stage name as his father, who had adopted it in honor of the Catholic archbishop and theologian Fulton J. Sheen.
His character roles in films have included Chris Taylor in the 1986 Vietnam War drama Platoon, Jake Kesey in the 1986 film The Wraith, and Bud Fox in the 1987 film Wall Street. His career has also included more comedic films such as Major League, the Hot Shots! films, and Scary Movie 3 and 4. On television, Sheen is known for his roles on two sitcoms: as Charlie Crawford on Spin City and as Charlie Harper on Two and a Half Men. In 2010, Sheen was the highest paid actor on television, earning US$1.8 million per episode of Two and a Half Men. Sheen's personal life has also made headlines, including reports about marital problems, alcohol and drug abuse, as well as allegations of domestic violence.