* Sheen "appears to be very ill" termination letter says
* Sheen says "big day of gladness at Sober Valley Lodge"
* "Two and A Half Men" remains top-rated U.S. comedy
(Adds reasons for firing, note language in paragraph 7)
By Jill Serjeant
LOS ANGELES, March 7 Actor Charlie Sheen was
fired on Monday from his top-rated U.S. comedy "Two and A Half
Men" because of his "dangerously self-destructive conduct,"
difficulty at work and inflammatory comments to producers, TV
"After careful consideration, Warner Bros. Television has
terminated Charlie Sheen's services on 'Two and a Half Men'
effective immediately," program makers Warner Bros. Television
said in a statement.
Sheen, 45, is the highest-paid actor on U.S television and
"Two and A Half Men" is the most popular comedy for network CBS
which broadcasts the series.
But the remainder of the current season was canceled 10
days ago after Sheen called producer and co-creator Chuck Lorre
a "clown" and a "stupid, stupid little man."
The actor followed up with a week of rambling, sometimes
manic, TV and radio interviews boasting that he is "winning"
and has "tiger blood", while insisting he is drug-free and
sober after a period of rehabilitation in January.
Sheen, who had a contract through May 2012, shrugged off
Monday's firing with a mixture of nonchalance and jibes.
"It is a big day of gladness at the Sober Valley Lodge
because now I can take all of the bazillions, never have to
look at whatshiscock again and I never have to put on those
silly shirts for as long as this warlock exists in the
terrestrial dimension," Sheen said in a statement. His lawyers
said they planned to sue Warner Bros. Television.
A spokesman for Warner Bros. Television said no decision
had been made about the future of "Two and A Half Men." The
comedy, in which Sheen plays a womanizing bachelor, is a huge
generator of advertising revenue for CBS and makes millions in
syndication rights for Warner Bros. Television.
Warner Bros. and CBS could decide to bring it back for
another season, without Sheen.
In an 11-page letter, attorneys for Warner Bros. said Sheen
was being fired because in recent months he had been forgetting
lines, turning up late or missing rehearsals and made "comments
poisoning key working relationships."
TV executives believed Sheen's drug and alcohol abuse was
also "endangering his life". Despite repeated attempts,
including a personal appeal in January by CBS chief executive
Les Moonves, Sheen refused to enter a rehab facility for
treatment, the letter said.
"Let us state the obvious," began the letter, obtained by
TMZ.com. "Your client (Sheen) has been engaged in dangerously
self-destructive conduct and appears to be very ill."
Sheen's long-time publicist quit a week ago and Sheen's
fellow cast and crew have been largely silent in the face of
his bizarre tirades.
But the actor has found a huge popular following. He has
attracted a record 2 million-plus Twitter followers in less
than a week, and he hosted a live webcast on Saturday that
attracted more than 100,000 viewers.
The actor was involved in a series of drug and
alcohol-related incidents in 2010, and pleaded guilty in August
to an assault on his now ex-wife.
Production on "Two and A Half Men" was shut down in late
January after Sheen was hospitalized following a 36-hour
cocaine-fueled party. He agreed to a form of rehab at home, but
the Warner Bros. letter said he apparently fired his sobriety
coach after just two weeks.
Audiences for "Two and a Half Men" have remained strong
despite Sheen's rabble rousing. Original episodes attract about
14 million U.S. viewers a week, and some 10 million tune in to
(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Cynthia Osterman)
(For a factbox on celebrities whose comments have got them in
trouble click on [ID:nN07117641]