Rob Lowe's career has captured the growing pains and embarrassing moments of his personal life.
A star by the time he was a teenager, Lowe became a heartthrob playing spoiled yet ambitious characters. He also got early attention for his acting chops, getting his first Golden Globe nomination in 1983 for playing a high school baseball star in the TV movie "Thursday's Child."
As a member of a group of young actors, later labeled the "Brat Pack" in a New York Magazine article, Lowe played alongside his peers in several influential 1980s films. He starred in "Oxford Blues" with Ally Sheedy in 1984 and went on to join Sheedy, Demi Moore and Emilio Estevez in "St. Elmo's Fire" the next year. In 1986, he starred again with Moore in "About Last Night."
More recently, Lowe took the latest in a string of television roles that have made him a go-to choice on the small screen. As a star of "The Grinder" sitcom on Fox, Lowe plays an actor who used to play a lawyer on TV who is now trying to practice law in real life.
"I think that he's just been such an icon in all our lives for so long," said actor Fred Savage, who stars in the show with Lowe. "And yes, he is that handsome in real life."
Like others in the Brat Pack, Lowe has had bumps in his career. He was involved in a sex tape scandal in 1988 where he was caught on tape with a 22-year-old woman and a 16-year-old girl whom he had met at a nightclub. The attention led to a lull in his career that let him take some time out of the public eye.
He took another stumble during his opening performance of the 1989 Academy Awards show. Lowe struggled to hit his steps and notes throughout his duet of "Proud Mary" with actress Eileen Bowman, who performed as Snow White. The performance would be remembered among the worst in Oscar history.
Younger audiences know Lowe for his work on TV, which has been a return to his acting roots. He said he was drawn to his role as Sam Seaborn in the television series "The West Wing" because of his love of politics and longstanding friendship with co-star Martin Sheen, who played President Josiah Bartlet. His performance garnered Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, and he also was nominated three times for the Screen Actors Guild award, winning twice.
Lowe also starred in the NBC comedy series "Parks and Recreation" and the ABC series "Brothers & Sisters."
"When my cheese-meter is going off, that's when I know I'm in the zone," Lowe, now 51, joked in an interview with The Times.
— Jerome Campbell for the Los Angeles Times