All You Need to Know About Charlie Sheen Nemesis Chuck Lorre

Fascinating facts about the man Sheen has been publicly attacking for the past week

By Marianne Garvey Mar 01, 2011 10:42 PMTags
Chuck Lorre, Charlie SheenMathew Imaging/WireImage

While Charlie Sheen has been busy with Meltdown Tour 2011, Chuck Lorre, the man Sheen has publicly called a "Nazi" and a "retarded zombie" has been staying (mostly) silent save for a few of his famous sitcom vanity cards with cryptic jabs at Sheen.

Sheen's main beef? He claims Lorre won't let Sheen live his private life with his "goddesses and victories" and off-the-hook parties.

But who is the man who has sent Sheen over the edge? Who has instilled such rage in the Two and a Half Men star that he has gone and declared war? We dug up all you need to know about Sheen's Kryptonite...

• Lorre, 58, started in showbiz playing music in the '70s. He dropped out of SUNY Potsdam after two years to tour the country as a guitarist for hire. He spent 10 years playing and making money as a songwriter, penning hundreds of tunes, his most famous being Debbie Harry's radio hit "French Kissin' in the USA," which hit the Top 40 in 1986. Or his biggest hit could be the theme song for The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, which he wrote in 1987. Turtle power!

• He used to be married to a Playboy Playmate of the Month. Karen Witter, now an actress and Lorre's ex-wife, was featured in the March 1982 issue and again later in 1991. She successfully transitioned into acting, with small roles on Malcolm in the Middle and The X-Files.

• He changed his name from Charles Michael Levine to Chuck Lorre when he was 28. Perhaps he wanted to distance himself from his unhappy childhood in Plainview, N.Y., where he grew up working at his father's luncheonette. In a 2007 Entertainment Weekly profile, Lorre says his well-known rage issues stem from his miserable childhood. ''My dad struggled, and it hurt her [my mom] very much. Anger was a big part of who she was,'" he revealed. Both of his parents have since passed away.

• He's worked on and created a number of shows, but his big break came when he was named supervising producer for Roseanne in 1990. Prior to that, with no formal script-writing training, Lorre penned some animated shows before landing a freelance gig on Charles in Charge. He eventually went on to create Grace Under Fire, Dharma & Greg, CybillTwo and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory. In 2009 he was rewarded for his work with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

• He suffers from colitis. In the mid-70s, Lorre began experiencing pains in his stomach. He checked into a Los Angeles hospital, where he was diagnosed with the ulcerative disease. He has mentioned that it became unbearable around the time Roseanne was a hit.

• Like Charlie, he admits to drinking and drugging. He said that during his two years at college he ''majored in rock 'n' roll and pot and minored in LSD." He also admits to drinking in his past, telling EW, ''I led a dissolute youth until 47.'' He now is in recovery.

• He knows he's cranky. The troublemaking Sheen's not his only target. "Put me in paradise and I will focus on the one thing that will make me angry," he once said. Wait, isn't that happening right now? Paradise being a hit show and tons of money and a solid audience? And we all know what he's focused on. As he told EW: "I am wired on some deep level to seek out something to be worried and obsess about."