Charlie Sheen Highest-Paid Actor on TV, Says Forbes

For the period May 2010-11, Sheen raked in $40 million, despite his public meltdown

It was one of the most volatile periods of his career and personal life, but Charlie Sheen still cashed $40 million worth of checks from May 2010 to May 2011, making him the highest paid actor on TV during that time, reports Forbes.com.

Despite being fired from his "Two and a Half Men" job last March, he still earned $40 million from his work on the CBS sitcom.

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As Forbes notes, Sheen's future earnings are up in the air. He won a $25 million settlement after filing a lawsuit against Warner Bros. and "Men" creator Chuck Lorre, and he'll continue to receive profits from "Two and a Half Men" syndication airings. But his upcoming project, a sitcom adaptation of the Adam Sandler/Jack Nicholson movie "Anger Management," has yet to find a network home.

The Forbes figures were compiled via discussions with producers, agents and attorneys, as well as other Hollywood insiders. The final figures include TV series salaries, as well as money earned via syndicates shows, movies and endorsements. They do not reflect taxes or agent and manager fees.

Five of Forbes' top 10 TV earners are no longer regularly employed on TV.

Ray Romano is number two on the list, earning $20 million for the time period, but his TNT dramedy, "Men of a Certain Age," was canceled after its second season. Romano continues to earn money from "Everybody Loves Raymond" in syndication.

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Third on the list: Former "The Office" star Steve Carell, with $15 million. He was followed by "NCIS" star Mark Harmon, who earned $13 million.

"Two and a Half Men" co-star Jon Cryer and former "CSI" star Laurence Fishburne tied for fifth place on the list with $11 million each, followed by "Grey's Anatomy" star Patrick Dempsey, who earned $10 million; "The Mentalist" star Simon Baker with $9 million; and "House" star Hugh Laurie and former "Law & Order: SVU" star Chris Meloni, who tied with $9 million each.

In case you're wondering how the salary of Sheen's replacement, Ashton Kutcher, stacks up against Sheen's: In its annual "Who Earns What" issue in August, TV Guide reported Kutcher will earn $16.8 million for his first season on "Two and a Half Men."

That means he'll make at least $500,000 less — per episode — than Sheen.