Previous TIME 100 appearances: 0
Charlie Sheen may still be respected by some film critics for his performances in the likes of Platoon and Wall Street, but those movies are now more than 20 years old; to a new generation, he's known chiefly as the co-star of a Monday-evening sitcom. At least that was the case before January, when a reported 36-hour drug-fueled bender ended with the star in rehab, his Two and a Half Men season prematurely canceled and a public war of words ensuing that had Sheen taking to radio, TV and live Web stream to trash the series' producers, who eventually fired him from the show for good. Sheen wasted no time in pulverizing the lemons into lemonade, racking up millions of Twitter followers overnight (and setting a world record in the process), launching #winning as one of the year's most instantly recognizable Twitter hashtags and cultural catchphrases and embarking on a national live tour that began in Detroit on April 2. Rather than reforming and apologizing, Sheen embraced his pampered sense of entitlement as if it were performance art, boasting of his "Adonis DNA" and "tiger blood," attracting a global audience of wide-eyed followers and filing a $100 million lawsuit against WB Studio Enterprises (which has the same parent company as TIME). But eyeballs are eyeballs and influence is influence, even if the actor we once respected has devolved into a train wreck we can't avoid.
Next Newt Gingrich