American actor Rob Lowe was born on March 17, 1964 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The son of a lawyer and a teacher, his parents divorced when he was young, though they remarried later on. He is also the brother of actor Chad Lowe, and while his grandparents were Methodist Protestants, he was baptized as an Episcopalian. He attended Santa Monica High School alongside fellow actor Emilio Estevez, and was voted “most spirited.” As he pursued his acting career, he became a member of the famed Brat Pack in the 1980s which appeared in teen-oriented movies, among them The Outsiders, The Breakfast Club, About Last Night…, and St. Elmo’s Fire.
Samuel Norman ‘Sam’ Seaborn is portrayed by Rob Lowe in the Emmy Award-winning political television drama The West Wing. A native of Laguna Beach in California and a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University, he works as the White House’s Deputy Communications Director in the administration of President Josiah Bartlet. He is particularly proud of his alma mater, constantly making references to it, and was also the recording secretary of the Princeton Gilbert and Sullivan Society. He also attended Duke Law School and worked previously at a major law firm in New York City.
(Photo courtesy of David Rose)
American actor Rob Lowe was born on March 17, 1964 in Charlottesville, Virginia. He moved to California after his mother went through a second divorce; it was here when he met, while studying in high school, his future Brat Pack partner Emilio Estevez. The two, together with Estevez’ brother Charlie, and Sean and Chris Penn, helped each other rise to stardom.
Lowe made his screen debut in the Emmy-nominated but short-lived comedy series A New Kind of Family in 1979. He made his film debut four years later, appearing in the crime thriller The Outsiders opposite Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze and Estevez. He also appeared in the films Class and Oxford Blues, released in 1983 and 1984 respectively. A year later, he and Estevez reunited and starred in the coming-of-age film, St. Elmo’s Fire, where he plays the group’s “frat boy” Billy Hicks. The film is recognized as one of the defining films of the Brat Pack genre—it includes other recognized Brat Pack members as Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy—although ironically Lowe earned a Razzie Award for worst supporting actor.
Lowe’s career throughout the 1990s was concentrated towards films, appearing in releases such as Wayne’s World, Fox Hunt, Contact, Hostile Intent and the second and third Austin Powers films. He made his return to television in 1999, when he joined the cast of the political drama The West Wing. Although the pilot originally had him play the lead—as White House communications officer Sam Seaborn—he later became a supporting character after the cast of the show took shape, which included luminaries such as Martin Sheen and Stockard Channing. Nevertheless, he stayed as a regular character until 2003, when he left the series because network executives meddled with his character, foreshadowing the departure of series creator Aaron Sorkin and executive producer Thomas Schlamme. He returned to the show’s final two episodes as a guest.
Lowe then had roles in two short-lived series: the legal drama Lyon’s Den, which he also produced, and the drama Dr. Vegas. He also starred in the 2004 miniseries ‘Salem’s Lot, as well as in several movies. In 2006, he joined the cast of the ensemble drama Brothers & Sisters, playing United States senator Robert McAllister, the husband of Kitty Walker (Calista Flockhart).