Robert Hepler "Rob" Lowe (pronounced /ˈrɒb ˈloʊ/; born March 17, 1964) is an American actor. Lowe came to prominence after appearing in films such as The Outsiders, Oxford Blues, About Last Night..., and St. Elmo's Fire. On Television, Lowe is known for his role as Sam Seaborn on The West Wing and his role as Senator Robert McCallister on Brothers & Sisters. He currently appears as a main cast member of Parks and Recreation in the role of Chris Traeger.
Lowe was born in Charlottesville, Virginia, the son of Barbara K. (née Hepler), a teacher, and Charles D. Lowe, a trial lawyer; his parents divorced when Lowe was young. He has a brother, actor Chad Lowe, and two step-siblings. Because of a virus during infancy, he is deaf in his right ear (he later played a deaf character in The Stand). Lowe was baptized into the Episcopal church, though his maternal grandparents were Methodists. He was raised in a "traditional midwestern setting" in Dayton, Ohio, attending Oakwood Junior High School, before moving to the Westside of Los Angeles with his mother and brother. He attended Santa Monica High School, the same high school as fellow actors Emilio Estevez, Charlie Sheen, Sean Penn, Chris Penn and Robert Downey Jr.
One of Lowe's earliest roles came in the 1983 TV movie Thursday's Child, for which he received his first Golden Globe nomination for "Best Actor in a TV Movie/Miniseries". Lowe made his film debut in Schoolboy Father, followed by Class. His breakthrough came in 1983, when he and Estevez were cast in The Outsiders, which remains one of his most famous roles. Lowe played the role of Sodapop, the brother of the main character Ponyboy (C. Thomas Howell) in the movie. Lowe and Estevez reunited in St. Elmo's Fire, making them the two more popular boys of the Brat Pack. He followed it up with About Last Night. He also received a second Golden Globe nomination for "Best Supporting Actor" for his role as the mentally disabled Rory in Square Dance (1987).