Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage; Matt Baron/BEImages
Laura Hahn
October 02, 2007 08:20 AM

Although Charlie Sheen and fiancée Brooke Mueller try to stay optimistic, his custody battle with ex-wife Denise Richards is taking its toll, Sheen’s costar Holland Taylor told PEOPLE.

“He’s suffering. He misses his children,” said Taylor, who plays Sheen’s mother Evelyn Harper in the hit CBS comedy Two and a Half Men.

“He feels it’s unfair that he doesn’t have them 50 percent of the time, as he should,” she said of the actor’s two daughters Sam, 3, and Lola, 2. “He has to use Denise’s nanny. … This is a ridiculous court ruling.”

Taylor, who has become a “very good friend” of her costar since they started filming in 2003 says that Sheen, 41, shares how much he misses his girls.

“He’s a pretty private guy, but he says it’s hard,” Holland told PEOPLE at the first annual Heart On! Gala for Events of the Heart, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and money to combat heart disease in women.

Sheen is a “very thoughtful and aware” individual, the veteran actress told reporters at the event, held at Jazz at Lincoln Center in Manhattan.

“He is the most gentlemanly actor I’ve ever worked with,” Holland said. “He lives a totally quiet life. He lives to see his two children. He is not at all the person he once was, and we should all be allowed to grow into who we are.”

So what kind of father is he?

“Loving, doting, fascinated, obsessed. He can’t wait to be with them. He’s a sweet dad,” Taylor said.

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