The Best of Rob Lowe: Movies and TV Shows

The Best of Rob Lowe: Movies and TV Shows

When you think of Rob Lowe, what do you think of? Accomplished actor? Charisma? A versatile and successful career spanning multiple decades? All of those things are true, so it’s no surprise that many fan-favorite movies and TV shows feature him in some way or another. This post will give you an inside look into some of the best Rob Lowe movie and TV show performances, all the way from the days of the “Brat Pack” to today.

What is Rob Lowe Known For?

Lowe rose to fame in the 1980s as a member of the “Brat Pack,” many members of which are still seen on our screens today. His breakout role came in the classic film The Outsiders (1983), followed by memorable performances in St. Elmo’s Fire (1985) and About Last Night (1986).

While not an easy thing to do, Lowe has seemingly effortlessly taken his career from the big screen to the small one and back again over the course of his varied career. He’s especially celebrated for his portrayal of Sam Seaborn in the critically acclaimed television series, The West Wing, earning him multiple award nominations.

With a career marked by both dramatic and comedic roles, Lowe has also left his mark in popular TV shows like Parks and Recreation and The Grinder. His talent and charm have solidified his status as a respected and beloved figure in the entertainment industry.

Now, let’s dig into some of his best and most remembered roles.

Top Movie Performances

First up, Rob Lowe on the big screen.

St Elmo's Fire Movie Poster‘St. Elmo’s Fire’ (1985)

St. Elmo’s Fire might be from 1985, but the story and themes are as relevant today as they were back then. Lowe plays Billy Hicks, a recent college graduate living in D.C. with his friends, whose main goals in life are to meet women and not take life too seriously.

This coming-of-age story explores both the excitement and the challenges of self-discovery, growing up and finding the people that will help you along the way. Not to mention, the movie features other members of the “Brat Pack” at the beginning of their careers like Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez and more. What’s not to like? 

‘Wayne’s World’ (1992)

Wayne's World Movie Poster

 A more comedic role for Lowe, he plays Benjamin Kane, a suave TV executive aiming to catapult Wayne and Garth, two aspiring musicians and hosts of a public-access TV show, into the limelight.

Adapted from a recurring sketch on Saturday Night Live, the film broadens the satirical humor surrounding the entertainment industry, offering Lowe an opportunity to showcase his comedic prowess in a memorable and entertaining way. The film is one of the first, but certainly not the last times Lowe has worked with the iconic Mike Myers.

  ‘Behind the Candelabra’ (2013)

Behind_the_Candelabra_posterThis music drama biopic follows the life and romantic relationship of pianist and musical icon, Władziu Valentino Liberace and Scott Thorson. Scott, who was much younger and less powerful than Liberace, becomes quickly entangled in the life of the eccentric yet deeply closeted musician.

While not one of the main characters of the film, Rob Lowe plays plastic surgeon, Dr. Jack Startz, an essential part of the growing conflict throughout the film. As Liberace starts controlling more of Thorson’s life, including submitting him to extreme makeovers and plastic surgery (done by Dr. Startz), what began as a fairytale quickly becomes more than Thorson bargained for.

Top TV Show Performances

And now, let’s take a look at Rob Lowe’s performances on the small screen.

‘A New Kind of Family’ (1979-1980)

A New Kind of Family was a short-lasting sitcom about two single mothers who decided to move in together, integrating their two families together under the same roof. While the show didn’t last long, Lowe’s performance as Tony Flanagan, helped push him into stardom for what has become a very long-lasting, and successful, career.

‘The West Wing’ (1999-2006)

Often regarded as one of the greatest TV series of all time, The West Wing set the standard for the political dramas of the 21st century. As Sam Seaborn, a Deputy Comms Director and eventually Deputy Chief of Staff, Rob Lowe impeccably portrayed a passionate and idealistic speechwriter eager to make his mark on American politics.

While Lowe left the show at the end of its fourth season, he was an essential part of the cast that helped to lift the show off the ground for it to become the iconic series it still is today.

‘Parks and Recreation’ (2009-2015)

Parks and Recreation will go down in history as one of the great mockumentary sitcoms of all time, and Rob Lowe’s portrayal of state auditor, Chris Traeger, is one of many factors that contributed to its success. Extremely positive and obsessed with fitness and health, Lowe does a fantastic job of balancing the slightly unhinged nature of Chris with his desire to help the town of Pawnee.

Lowe’s character was a later edition to the cast along with Adam Scott, which doesn’t always work out for shows, but it certainly did here. Lowe and Scott’s characters brought a new dynamic to the show we didn’t know it needed, but once it was there, they quickly became fan favorites.

‘Unstable’ (2023-Present)

Created by Rob Lowe and his son, John Owen Lowe, Unstable is another workplace comedy series, but it’s nothing like Pawnee, Indiana. Instead, the story follows shy Jackson as he starts working for his dad at a high-tech bio research facility.

Playing the father, you could say that Lowe embodies the title of the show. His character, while eccentric and successful like Chris Traeger, airs on the side of narcissism and self-absorption, making him difficult to work with, and even more difficult to have as a father.

Watch Rob Lowe on DIRECTV

If these top movies and TV shows starring Rob Lowe got you excited, just you wait! Lowe is featured in countless more TV shows and movies, and that’s not even including the content he has produced and written.

And with over 90,000 TV shows and movies available on DIRECTV On Demand, you’ll never run out of great content to watch. So, get started today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Rob Lowe best known for?

Rob Lowe's career has spanned decades and is most well-known for a variety of roles including 'St. Elmo's Fire,' 'The West Wing,' 'Parks and Recreation' and 'Behind the Candelabra.'

What is Rob Lowe doing in 2024?

Apart from working on season 2 of his new Netflix show, 'Unstable,' Rob Lowe is hosting the DIRECTV Streaming with the Stars exclusive Oscars viewing party on Sunday, March 10.

How old is Rob Lowe?

Rob Lowe turns 60 years old in March of 2024.

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