He can’t sign up for a Facebook account.
He books hotel rooms, but when he shows up, no reservation exists because the workers think it’s a joke.
Even DeseretNews.com flagged his registration for an account to comment on stories as a potential fake.
Because his name is Charlie Sheen.
No, it’s not the notorious actor Charlie Sheen who starred in "Platoon," "Major League" and TV's "Two and a Half Men" and has made headlines over the years with his partying lifestyle. It’s the Charlie Sheen from Boyle, Alberta, Canada, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“My real name is Charlie Sheen,” he explained in an email to the Deseret News. “I am older than the other guy, therefore, I had the name first. I have never been to rehab, never been arrested and I am better looking — just ask me.”
This 63-year-old father of five sons has received a lot of comments and questions about his name in recent years, but his life experiences have taught him to push forward with a smile.
Sheen first felt the ramifications of sharing a name with someone famous in the early 1990s. He and his wife, Leanne, enjoy going on road trips. A stop on their way to Vancouver Island provided an early sign of things to come. They showed up to the hotel where they made a reservation. The hotel clerk had thought it was a joke — even though he had taken Sheen's credit card number and phone number.
Then there was the time Sheen tried to buy a washing machine from a store in a nearby town. Thinking he had previously set up the purchase of the machine, he called to coordinate a time to pick it up — only to find out it had never been ordered.
Once again, the employee had assumed an order for a washing machine from a Charlie Sheen was a prank.
“He can laugh it off, but other times he just has to walk away,” Leanne Sheen explained. “He’s almost come to where he just expects it.”
His wife is a big help for being able to just laugh it off: “I think I have a sense of humor, but my wife has a better one,” he said.
Now whenever the Sheens want to order something or reserve a hotel room, Leanne Sheen is the one to do it. Or else, he will preface his request with “You might laugh, but my name is Charlie Sheen."
Going by Charles, however, does not seem to be a solution for him.
“My whole life since I was born I’ve been Charlie,” Sheen said. “My school records call me Charlie, my college records call me Charlie. The only time I’ve ever heard my real name is when my mom or dad got mad at me.”
His life may not have always been perfect, but Sheen has triumphed to fulfill his dreams. He said when he was growing up he only wanted to be two things: an electrician and a cowboy.
He became an electrician right out of high school — a skill that he still uses on the side to help family and friends.
His second dream was fulfilled when he got a job in the early '80s at Knight Ranch in Alberta, Canada, wiring all the buildings. After about a year and a half, the job was done and the ranch hands asked him if he wanted to stay and be a cowboy, which he willingly did for 10 years.
“I’d still be there if my legs had held up,” he said.
Sheen has learned a lot through the years, and Leanne Sheen describes her husband as generous, caring, thoughtful and sensitive through the ups and downs.
“He likes to joke and have fun, but he can also take a joke,” she said. “If someone can get a good one on him, he will be the first and the loudest laughing.”
Sheen currently serves as technology specialist in the Edmonton Alberta North Stake and a ward clerk in the Athabasca Branch where even his branch president takes advantage of the opportunity to make a good joke about his name.
“When someone new comes into the branch, the president will tell them Brother Charlie Sheen is going to come get their info and he says, ‘We have one. He’s real, and he’s not the actor,’” Sheen explained.
The couple now spend their time riding their motorbikes and visiting their grandchildren. With children and grandchildren spread across Canada, the Sheens put close to 30,000 miles a year on their car as they travel across the country to see them.
“That’s what life is about is the grandkids,” he said. “Family, but mostly the grandkids.”
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: WhitneyButters