Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography

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A wryly funny and surprisingly moving account of an extraordinary life lived almost entirely in the public eye

A teen idol at fifteen, an international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at twenty, and one of Hollywood's top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences as a painfully misunderstood child actor in Ohio uprooted to the wild counterculture of mid-seventies Malibu, where he embarked on his unrelenting pursuit of a career in...

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A wryly funny and surprisingly moving account of an extraordinary life lived almost entirely in the public eye

A teen idol at fifteen, an international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at twenty, and one of Hollywood's top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences as a painfully misunderstood child actor in Ohio uprooted to the wild counterculture of mid-seventies Malibu, where he embarked on his unrelenting pursuit of a career in Hollywood.

The Outsiders placed Lowe at the birth of the modern youth movement in the entertainment industry. During his time on The West Wing, he witnessed the surreal nexus of show business and politics both on the set and in the actual White House. And in between are deft and humorous stories of the wild excesses that marked the eighties, leading to his quest for family and sobriety.

Never mean-spirited or salacious, Lowe delivers unexpected glimpses into his successes, disappointments, relationships, and one-of-a-kind encounters with people who shaped our world over the last twenty-five years. These stories are as entertaining as they are unforgettable.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Actor Rob Lowe was a world famous heartthrob when he was just a baby-faced teenager. Now forty-seven, he can reflect on an already long, astonishing career that has included Brat Pack fame; film triumphs; TV shows flops and controversies; West Wing brouhahas; scandals; well-publicized relationships; a battle with alcoholism; and an unexpected comeback. Like its title, Lowe's Stories I Only Tell My Friend possesses a light confessional tone, making it an engaging read for his many fans (and perhaps a cautionary read for Justin Bieber).

Janet Maslin
Throughout this book Mr. Lowe emerges as a canny observer of both himself and others, and as someone whose instincts have grown increasingly sharp over time.
—The New York Times
Gerald Bartell
…most of the stories [Lowe] only tells his friends in this appealing and attitude-free autobiography are shot through with pain, anxiety and unhappiness…his attitude is so straightforward and vulnerable that many readers, appreciating his cautionary tale, might want to shake his hand.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Lowe, actor and 1980s teen idol, delivers a keen and insightful look at how the movie industry packages a celebrity, the phenomenon of "objectification," and being "The Next Big Thing." His astute look into a Midwest childhood, as well as counterculture Malibu as a young adult, raises lifelong issues of isolation and detachment for him as he adapted the persona of "a people pleaser with very few personal boundaries." Lowe vividly records the making of Coppola's The Outsiders, witnessing the emergence of Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, Emilio Estevez, and Patrick Swayze alongside his own career launch. He offers insightful anecdotes about people he knew throughout his career, such as Jodie Foster, Andy Warhol, Roman Polanski, Jane Fonda, Michael Dukakis, and Princess Stephanie of Monaco. In an era that he describes as self-indulgent, he discusses his alcoholism, his video escapade, and his life as defined by the term "Brat Pack." In the end of this honest memoir, Lowe tells of his reformed life, in which he got married, had a family, and landed a career-defining role in The West Wing. (May)
From the Publisher

Praise for the audio edition of Stories I Only Tell My Friends

"Read by the author, who does killer imitations of every star he's met, this memoir is pure delight." - People

"Lowe's narration is personal, warm and skilled…His brief vocal characterizations of well-known figures such as Bill Clinton, Cary Grant, and entertainment impresario Bernie Brillstein are remarkable. This audiobook is much like a good film: absorbing as well as entertaining." - AudioFile Magazine, winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

"Lowe not only has great timing, but proves a skilled mimic of well-known figures ranging from the spacy-sounding Coppola to fast-talking superagent Bernie Brillstein. Which makes the book not only fascinating, but a joy to listen to." - The Providence Journal

"It's one thing to read Rob Lowe's memoir, intriguing as it is. However, it is quite another to hear his life recounted in his own voice. Hearing his words in his engaging, expressive voice seems to actually bring the listener into his world, much as if one were sitting across the table from him…Many of us may remember him primarily for his iconic role on 'The West Wing,' but after listening to history we're sure there's a great deal more to come." - Beauty by the Books

"This book truly surprised me. I knew I'd enjoy it, but I wasn't counting on how much." - 5 Minutes for Books

Vanity Fair

A lovely autobiography, equal parts dish and pathos.
The New York Times

[Lowe] writes viscerally and insightfully...He looks back at the aberrant highs of his heart-throb days, the changing nature of stardom in Hollywood, the trade-off he has made between high life and home life, and the step-by-step effort behind his show business survival. He looked like the callowest kid in the "Outsiders" crew. Now he looks like the sturdiest of them all
Time Magazine

I really enjoyed it...Thoroughly entertaining: the Brat Pack years, the Wayne's World years, the Alcoholic Obscurity, the Glamorous Romances (Princess Stephanie of Monaco!), the Inevitable Rehab, and the Triumphant Comeback on The West Wing.

[Lowe's] charming, honest, even affectionate memoir is the story of strong guts behind a strikingly handsome face...A book to recommend widely.
People Magazine

A fresh pop-culture history of Hollywood in the '70s and '80s from the point of view of the man who lived it…[Lowe] is as funny as he is thoughtful. This is the best type of celeb memoir, because its author is as interested in the world as the world is interested in him.

The world would be a better place if more stars' memoirs were like Lowe's--chatty, dishy, and with celebrity walk-ons (Tom Cruise! Sarah Jessica Parker! Princess Stephanie of Monaco! Martin Sheen!) galore. As entertaining as a Brat Pack film festival.
Kirkus Reviews

Lowe presents a well-modulated actor's memoir.

Whatever readers' impressions of the actor, he understands them: "There is just no way anyone is likely to take a nineteen-year-old as pretty as I was seriously," he writes. "Even I wouldn't...People looked at me and made a judgment. It's the way of the world. I do it too, sometimes." Lowe doesn't strain to be taken seriously here, though neither does he follow the kiss-and-tell conventions of the actor's memoir nor the descent into hell of the recovering alcoholic's. Instead, Lowe presents himself as a Midwestern guy very much aware that he won the genetic lottery; who became obsessed with acting at a young age as an escape from his dysfunctional family; enjoyed (mainly) the perks that came with his emergence as a teenage pinup; suffered career reversals that let him (and the reader) know just how little control an actor sometimes has; and ultimately found serenity as a devoted husband and father: "(I'm) like most American men. In love with my wife, living in a normal town, and blessed beyond imagining with two precious, beautiful, and inspiring babies." The author goes into great detail about the making ofThe Outsiders, St. Elmo's Fire, About Last Nightand The West Wing,reinforcing the impression that his acting credits don't come close to matching the level of his celebrity. Lowe is discrete about his romantic relationships and the extent of his partying with what would be dubbed the "Brat Pack," opting instead for understatement (e.g., "Charlie Sheen is also one of a kind") or general appreciation ("Jodie Foster should be any actor's role model. She is certainly mine"). He treats the infamous sex tape that all but derailed his career so obliquely that the rare reader not aware of it will have little idea what he's talking about.

Lowe writes, "I...genuinely like people." His memoir will make readers believe him—and like him back.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780594234562
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/26/2011
  • Pages: 308
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Rob Lowe

Rob Lowe is a film, television, and theater actor, a producer, and an entrepreneur. He also is involved in politics. He lives with his wife and two sons in California.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

I had always had an affinity for him, an admiration for his easy grace, his natural charisma, despite the fact that for the better part of a decade my then girlfriend kept a picture of him running shirtless through Central Park on her refrigerator door. Maybe my lack of jealousy toward this particular pin-up was tamped down by empathy for his loss of his father and an appreciation for how complicated it is to be the subject of curiosity and objectification from a very young age. That said, when my girlfriend and others would constantly swoon over him, when I would see him continually splashed across the newspapers, resplendent like an American prince, I wasn't above the occasional male thought of: Screw that guy.

As a person navigating the waters of public scrutiny, you are often unable to hold on to personal heroes or villains. Inevitably you will meet your hero, and he may turn out to be less than impressive, while your villain turns out to be the coolest cat you've ever met. You never can tell, so you eventually learn to live without a rooting interest in the parade of stars, musicians, sports champions, and politicians. And you lose the ability to participate in the real American pastime: beating up on people you don't like and glorifying people you do.

I had not yet learned that truism when he and I first met. I was at a point where I was deeply unhappy with my personal life, increasingly frustrated about where my career seemed to be going—although from the outside it would probably appear to anyone observing that I was among the most blessed twenty-four-year-olds on the planet. In an effort to find substance, meaning, and excitement, I had become deeply involved in the world of politics.

It was at one of these political events, the kind where movie stars mix with political stars, each trading in the other's reflective glory, both looking to have the other fill something missing inside them, that we were introduced. "Rob Lowe, I'd like you to meet John Kennedy Jr.," someone said. "Hey, man, good to meet you," I said. He smiled. We shook hands and I was relieved that my by then ex-girlfriend wasn't there to notice that he was slightly taller than I was, or to comment on who had better-looking hair. We made some small talk, and I remember thinking, How does he do it? How does he carry the scrutiny? How does he attempt a normal life? Is it even possible? Is it even worth trying?

He was charming and gracious and didn't seem to be unnerved by the multitudes of eyeballs stealing glances as we spoke. Eventually, as we were both single guys in our twenties, the talk turned to girls. "Maybe we should get outta here, go find where the action is," he said. I looked at him. "Dude. You're fucking JFK Jr.! All right?! You don't need to go anywhere!" He looked at me and laughed, and as he did I saw a glimpse of his father and was reminded of his family's legacy of sacrifice and tragedy, and was glad that he was carrying the mantle so well and with so much promise for the future.

Eventually we went our separate ways, never teaming up to hunt down any fun that night (although I later wrestled open a wet bar at 2:00 a.m. with a vice presidential short-list candidate). Over the years I watched him navigate the currents of fame, dating, and career ups and downs, curious to see how his life would play out. Sometimes he and I would both appear on those shameful lists of "Hunks." (Could there be a more degrading or, frankly, gross word than "hunk"? Hunk of what? Hunk of wood? Hunk of cheese? Yikes!) There may have even been a girl or two whom we both coveted, but that was the extent of my contact with him.

In the late '90s my wife, Sheryl, and I were on a romantic ski vacation in Sun Valley, Idaho. We still felt like newlyweds, in spite of having two beautiful baby boys from whom we'd escaped for a rare evening out. Sun Valley is one of my favorite spots. It's old school (as the site of North America's first chair lift) and glamorous (the home of Hemingway and early Hollywood royalty), and boasts one of the greatest ski mountains in the country. I had been going there since the mid-'80s and always liked the mix of people you might encounter at any given time. One evening at a big holiday party, I felt a tap on the shoulder. It was John Jr. "How've you been, man?" he asked with a smile. I introduced him to Sheryl. He congratulated us on our marriage. After a while Sheryl went off on her own, leaving the two of us alone in the corner watching the party move on around us. Even in this more rarefied crowd, you could feel the occasional glare of curious observation. A ski instructor passed by, a movie star; a local ski bunny brushed by John and flipped her hair. "How did you do it?" he asked, so low against the buzz of the party that I couldn't quite hear.

"I'm sorry?"

"How did you do it?" he repeated. "I mean how did you settle down? You of all people."

I looked at him and he was smiling, almost laughing, as if covering something else, some other emotion, something I couldn't quite discern. At first I thought he might be gently poking fun at me; up until my marriage, my life had been publicly marked by a fair number of romances, some covered with great interest in the papers. But I saw that his question was real, and that he seemed to be grappling with a sort of puzzle he could not solve. I realized he was looking across the room to a willowy blonde. She had fantastic blue eyes, and the kind of beauty and magnetism that was usually reserved for film stars. She was standing next to my wife, Sheryl, also a blue-eyed blonde with a beauty and presence that made her seem as if a spotlight and wind machine were constantly trained on her.

I put two and two together. "Looks like you have a great girl. That's half the battle right there. She's obviously amazing and if she's your best friend, marry her. You can do it. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't, that you're not ready, or not capable. Come on in, man, the water's warm. I'm here to tell you it is; if she's your friend in addition to all of the other stuff, pull the trigger, don't let her get away. You never know what life will bring."

I think he was a little taken aback at the passion of my response. I'm not at all sure what he had expected me to say. But he asked, so what the hell. John nodded and we went on to other topics. The next day, we met to ski on the mountain he snowboarded, ripping down the face, fast and free. But the weather was turning and a white-out was upon us. In the snow and the speed and the wind, we were separated. I looked up over a ridge and he was gone, lost in the clouds.

John did marry his blonde, his Carolyn. I was glad for him and thought about sending him a note, but somehow I didn't (of all my character flaws—and there are a number of them—procrastination is one of the most distinctive). Instead I wished him luck, children, and longevity of love with one of my nonalcoholic beers as I watched the coverage on Entertainment Tonight. As a political junkie and unashamed admirer of our country, I was a huge fan of his brainchild, George magazine. When someone finally stopped asking celebrities appearing on its cover to pose in those George Washington wigs I thought: Okay, they're rollin' now!

The end of the century approached. The '90s were a time of building for me. Building a life that was sober, drained of harmful, wasteful excess and manufacturing in its place a family of my own. This was my priority through the decade and that work continues to pay off today with the love of my sons, Matthew and Johnowen, and the constant gift of the love of my wife, Sheryl. Whereas the '80s had been about building a career, the '90s ended with my having built a life.

At the end of the decade, my career was very much in flux, just as it had been at the end of the previous one. I had had some successes in the '90s, always made money, but the truth was I was like a man pushing a boulder up a hill. A huge, heavy, difficult boulder made up of some career mistakes, projects that didn't meet expectations, and twenty years of being a known quantity. And not only not being the new sensation, but worse, being someone people in Hollywood took for granted, someone with no surprises left in him. For example, the ability to appear on the cover of magazines is critical for any major actor. It's just a fact of the business end of show business. And I hadn't been on the cover of a magazine in almost ten years. To have the kind of career one aspires to, comprising good, major work over the course of a lifetime, it was critical that I find two things: the breakout, watershed project to remind people what I could accomplish as an actor, and that first magazine cover and profile to publicize it. It was June of 1999 and John Kennedy Jr. was about to help me get both.

My longtime publicist Alan Nierob was on the line. "Apparently JFK Jr. stood up in today's staff meeting and said he had just seen a pilot for a new TV series that was the embodiment of everything he founded George magazine to be. He was emotional about it, very moved by the show and inspired to help people hear about it. He thinks The West Wing can be one of those once-in-a-lifetime shows that can change people's lives. Your character of Sam Seaborn was his favorite and he wants to put you on George's September cover."

Although the advance copy of The West Wing had been receiving freakishly unanimous raves, I was ecstatic and humbled by this particular endorsement. It's impossible to imagine living JFK Jr.'s life and then watching a show whose central theme was the heart and soul of the American presidency. His whole world has been shaped by the office, the service to it, and the tragic sacrifice in its name. The West Wing was going to be about "the best and the brightest." His father's administration all but coined the phrase.

"Um, Alan, does John realize that there is no guarantee that the show will last through the fall?" I knew that George was in serious financial trouble and could ill-afford to feature a show with the high likelihood of attaining the ultimate creative Pyrrhic victory: worshipped by critics, ignored by the public. If the show was quickly canceled (and quite a few thought it would be) it would be a financial disaster for John and, possibly, could be the end of the magazine. "Rob," Alan said, "John is putting you on the cover. He couldn't care less."

The politics of the workplace can be complicated, Machiavellian, self-serving, and just downright stupid no matter where you work. My grandpa ran a restaurant in Ohio for fifty years. I'm sure every now and then he would get nervous when his most popular carhop got uppity and started wanting better hours. My father practices law to this day and deals with those who smile to his face, then wish he would step on a limpet mine in the middle of Ludlow Street. That's the way it is in the world. It's just worse in Hollywood.

Someone, somewhere, got it into their heads that it would be a bad thing for the launch of our new show if I was on the cover of George. It was made very clear to me that I had no right to be on this cover and that John should rescind the offer. When pushed for a reason as to why it would be a bad thing for a show no one had ever heard of to get this kind of recognition, the response was: "Everyone should be on the cover. Not you." I understood that there was no single "star" of the show, but still thought it was a great opportunity for all concerned. The higher-ups remained adamant and they asked John to take me off the cover. He refused.

As I puzzled over (and was hurt by) this disconnect between me and my new bosses on The West Wing, John was in New York planning the cover shoot. He chose Platon, one of the great photographers, and lined up the journalist for the profile. After it was clear that John made his own choices on his covers, and could not be pushed around, the folks at The West Wing backed down and allowed an on-set visit and an additional article about the show, cast, and writers to be written. John wanted to throw a party for me in New York to coincide with the magazine's release and the premiere of the show. I made plans to attend and to thank him for supporting me at a time when no one else had. I picked up the phone and called his offices, and got an assistant. "He just came out of the last meeting on your cover issue and is running late for the airport. Can he call you Monday?"

"No problem," I said, "we'll talk then."

I hung up and started preparing for Monday's table reading of the first episode of The West Wing. John hopped into his car. He was rushing to meet Carolyn and her sister Lauren, eager to get to the airport to fly them to his cousin Rory's wedding. It was a hazy summer evening, the kind we remember from childhood. He was probably excited. He was going back to his family. He was going home.

It's been my experience that when a phone call wakes you, it's never good news. I had taken a small cottage in Burbank, a few blocks from the studio for late nights and I was asleep when I got the call. It was Sheryl and I could tell she was upset. She wanted me to turn on the news.

At first it seemed like it couldn't possibly be happening. Clearly these reporters had it wrong. John, his beloved wife, and her sister would surely be found in an embarrassing mix-up or miscommunication. They could not be gone. No one is that cruel. No God can ask that of a family. No one would so much as imagine the possibility of the horrific and arbitrary sudden nature of fate. Search teams scrambled and, like most Americans, I said a prayer of hope.

Monday came. The search for John, Carolyn, and Lauren continued. At the studio the cast and producers gathered for the very first table reading of The West Wing. I stood and told the group how much John admired the show and asked that we pray for him and work with his inspiration. It was very quiet. People were numb.

Later there was talk of canceling the cover shoot, now just days away. I was devastated and in no mood for it. But John's editors insisted, pointing out that John's last editorial decision was to make this happen. It was what he wanted. By Tuesday the worst had been confirmed. The plane had been found. There were no survivors. John, Carolyn, and Lauren were gone. I heard the news on my way to the photo session.

Being on the Oval Office set is very moving. It is an exact replica of the Clinton version, down to the artwork on the walls and the fabrics on the couches. (It was designed by the amazing movie production designer Jon Hutman, who does all of Robert Redford's movies and whom I've known since he was Jodie Foster's roommate at Yale.) It is so realistic that when I later found myself in the actual Oval Office, I felt as if it was just "another day at the office." I was, however, fascinated with the one thing the real Oval Office has that ours did not, and that was a ceiling. I stood looking up at it, staring like an idiot while everyone else oohed and aahed at all the amazing historical pieces that fill the room. However, it's not authenticity that takes your breath away when you step onto that soundstage at Warner Bros. Studios. It is the solemnity of history, of destiny, and of fate; you are certain that you are actually in the room where power, patriotism, faith, the ability to change the world, and the specter of both success and tragedy flow like tangible, unbridled currents. You feel the presence of the men who navigated them as they created our collective American history, and you fully realize that they were not disembodied images on the nightly news or unknowable titans or partisan figureheads to be applauded or ridiculed. It feels as if you are standing where they stood, you can open their desk drawers, sit in their seat, and dial their phone. They are somehow more real to you now, they are not the sum of their successes or failures, they are human beings.

Presidents get to redesign the Oval Office to their own tastes and they have the National Gallery, Smithsonian, and National Archives warehouses of priceless pieces to choose from. John Jr.'s mother knew her way around a swatch or two, so she made sure her husband's Oval Office was simple and chic (but with enough plausible deniability if called out for it) and with the proper nod to history. For the president's desk she chose the "Resolute" desk, fashioned from the timbers of the HMS Resolute, found abandoned by an American vessel and returned to England, where Queen Victoria later had the timbers made into a desk and sent to President Rutherford Hayes as a goodwill gesture. FDR also loved the desk, but insisted that a modesty panel be installed to swing closed at the front in order to prevent people from seeing his leg braces as he sat. Years later, as JFK attended to the nation's business, tiny John Jr. would be famously photographed impishly peeking out from being the desk's panel.

I am leaning against a replica of that desk now, the flash of the photographer's strobe jolting me, illuminating the darkened soundstage, cutting the tension and sadness of the George cover shoot. A number of staff have flown in from New York. John was more than a boss to them, obviously, and they are devastated. They share stories of John's life. Some cry, but all soldier on through this melancholy and bizarre photo shoot on the Oval Office set.

Platon wants me to embody strength, dignity, and power. He is asking me to focus in on his lens, to bring the sparkle that sells magazines. But my thoughts are elsewhere. I'm thinking of how unexpected yet oddly preordained life can be. Events are upon you in an instant, unforeseen and without warning, and oftentimes marked by disappointment and tragedy but equally often leading to a better understanding of the bittersweet truth of life. A father is taken from his son, a promise is unfulfilled, and then the son is reunited with him, also in an instant and under the cover of sadness. A theme continues in that unique, awful beauty that marks our human experience.

The flash explodes in my face again. I put on a smile (none of these shots will ever be used) and remind myself that John's journey is over and, with some thanks to him, a new journey for me is ahead. I never knew him well. Many Americans also felt a connection to him without knowing him at all. In some ways, he was America's son. But I will always be moved by John Kennedy Jr.'s steadiness in the harsh, unrelenting spotlight, his quest for personal identity and substance, for going his own way and building a life of his choosing. I will always remember his support and kindness to me and be grateful to him for being among the first to recognize that with my next project, The West Wing, I just might be a part of something great.

Excerpted from Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe

Copyright 2011 by Rob Lowe

Published in 2011 by Henry Holt and Company

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 517 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 522 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2011

    Recommend but where are the pictures?

    I really enjoyed reading Rob's book! What a wonderful adventure he led us through. However, I purchased the book on Nook and the pictures that are in the hardback version are not in the Nook version. Why? If I had known this before I bought the book I would have not purchased it on Nook.

    48 out of 48 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2011

    No pics

    Did not get any pictures in my color nook from this book. :(

    30 out of 38 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 18, 2011

    Pictures not included.

    Book was good read. Was upset pictures was not included with down load on my nook. Had to go into store to look at book in order to see them. Like pictures to be included if they come with book you buy off shelf.

    26 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Enjoyable, Insightful Read

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Being a child of the 80s and a fan of Lowe's for years, I couldn't wait to pick it up. I was not disappointed. His stories are very telling, funny, and sometimes heartbreaking. His opening chapter referencing JFK Jr immediately sets the tone of this book. Lowe has clearly poured his heart into this book without holding anything back. Yes, there are lots of name dropping, but what would be the point of sharing the stories if they didn't have that "ah ha moment" or "wow effect". I now have a whole new outlook of the person, not just the actor, that Lowe has become. I also highly recommend this to anyone looking for a real glimpse into the Hollywood process and how a once teen heartthrob was able to jump the gauntlet to serious adult actor.

    18 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 4, 2011

    Interesting and enjoyable

    I'm an old hand at Hollywood Autobiographys - I started with David Niven and have read just about everything out there - the good - not nearly enough, the bad way too many to count and the ugly some of which were too awful to even finish.

    Rob Lowe has done a pretty decent job of walking the fine line of classy not trashy. I've admired his acting skill - never more so than as Sam Seaborn in The West Wing, but his comedy turns in Wayne's World and Austin Powers are so joyfully unexpected that they completely changed my concept of what kind of an actor he was. But to hear the back stories and to understand the journey that got him to those roles makes me appreciate him even more.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 18, 2011

    He has a story for everything!!

    I enjoyed this book thoroughly. He is a surprisingly good writer. He has stories about some big names and big places. I highly recommend.
    But better buy the hardcover for the pics. No pics on the Nook??!!!

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2011

    liked it and knew i would

    i enjoyed getting a glimpse of the real rob lowe. there's so much more to him than a pretty face and he told his story well. this book is filled with a lot of little surprises that make you appreciate the authentic actor, activist and family man he is.

    read this book even if you're not a r-lowe fan. his movie and tv making stories will remind you of the value of friendship, family and being true to yourself...and make you thankful for your "regular" job at the office.

    good job lowe and crew.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2011

    Great Book!

    I have been a fan for years but wasn't really interested in reading his autobiography til I saw the interview with Oprah. So glad I caught that. Rob Lowe is an excellent writer. Great book - I highly recommend reading it!

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2011

    A page turner - great read.

    Great book - impressive writer - his life story is fascinating!

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2012

    I still love Rob Lowe, But...

    I am a huge Rob Lowe fan and I was very excited for his book to come out. I really enjoyed finding out about his childhood and reading all of the stories from his childhood that seem almost too good to be true (growing up with the Sheens and the Penns, meeting Sarah Jessica Parker, Darryl Hannah, Janet Jackson, etc before they were famous, being friendly with JFK Jr, and having an affair with Princess Stephanie to name a few).

    However, I am disappointed in his skipping over of certain things and I was left feeling as though this wasn't really an autobiography, but rather a re-telling of his life, only including the good parts. Melissa Gilbert, a huge part of his life, was addressed as his "on and off girlfriend". He barely mentions the sex tape scandal, other than a few lines. Had you not known about it, the few phrases thrown into the book would've been confusing.

    And my biggest disappointment was the way that he handled the West Wing story. As one of my favorite shows (and how I was introduced to Rob Lowe), I was very disappointed in the lack of material written about it AND the way that he addressed the cast and crew. You can see clearly that this is the show the restarted his career and that the production team said from the start that they did not want a star and he was willing to do whatever it took to get onto the cast, including taking a lot less than what he felt he was worth, monetarily. He complains that he wasn't included in anything with his cast, but even in his book he refuses to acknowledge them, never once naming members of the cast other then John Spencer and Martin Sheen. Alison Janey and Dule Hill each merit ONE mention. Not only that, but he gets many facts wrong. Now I will admit to being freakishly obsessed with the show, but even just a casual watcher will realize some of his mistakes. I mean, c'mon Rob, it was YOUR show and you didn't get the season correct for one of the biggest plot lines??
    (It should be worth mentioning that he got other facts wrong throughout the book, facts that are easily google-able before publication, like what color Sarah Jessica Parker's eyes are.)

    All in all, the book is fantastically entertaining and I read it in one day. I definitely recommend it. I still love Rob, but I'm disappointed in the way he handled some of the things that happened in his life.

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2011

    Great book!

    I have been a Rob Lowe fan for years, since his Outsiders days. It was a great read and interesting to know how he got his start and turned his life around. I couldn't put my nook down!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2012

    A really enjoyable read. He is entertaining and still sooo good

    A really enjoyable read. He is entertaining and still sooo good looking. For anyone who enjoyed his movies in the 80's, this will be an entertaining way to spend some time. I hope that he writes another.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 31, 2011

    Loved reading Rob's life story up to this point

    Interesting, entertaining, amusing,being a gentlemen in NOT describing the "close encounters" with the women he romanced, but honest about his prowness.
    I read this in 2 afternoon's on my Nook, enjoyed it greatly and wish books weren't so expensive on the Nook, I would buy one every week if not more.
    Thank Rob for you honesty and not sugar coating your upbringing, your struggles and I, for one, am soooo happy you have such great sons and a good marriage.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 17, 2011

    So Interesting...A Must Read

    I've loved his acting and now I love his writing. I loved the stories about the Behind the Scenes of the Outsiders movie. Stories from the Celebrity Bus Environmental protestors. Childhood stories of him and Chad and growing up with Sheens. It's well rounded and very interesting. It's a great story about his life. Not just celeb life, but life in general. I highly recommend it. I couldn't put it down.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2011


    "Stories I only tell my friends" is Rob Lowe's memoir chronicling his years to stardom, his time with the brat pack (fellow young Hollywood stars like Charlie Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Sean Penn, etc.), behind-the-scenes look at his participation in hit movies like "The Outsiders" (starring young Patrick Swayze, Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, etc. and directed by Francis Ford Coppola), as well as hit shows like "The West Wing" (starring Charlie Sheen's father as the president of the United States).

    The memoir begins with his time growing up In Ohio, the separation of his parents, and the move with his mother and brother to California. Lowe showed a love for theater since young age, and had shorts stints on commercials and an unsuccessful TV show. He considers quitting showbiz altogether, until his successful casting in "The Outsiders" comes along. As he launches his acting career, Lowe meets fellow wannabe's who are about to become stars themselves, people he refers to as Janet (Jackson), Sarah (Jessica Parker), and Demi (Moore), among many others. Also notable is his acquaintance with John Kennedy Jr., who wonders at Lowe's ability to settle down with his wife, and later puts Lowe on the cover of "George" magazine despite many naysayers (most prominently the "invisible forces" on Lowe's then-show "The West Wing" who lead Lowe to ultimately quit the show).

    As his acting career goes through success to troubles to somewhere in between, Lowe copes with a lack of a father figure, his mother's mental problems, and his various relationships which range from "Little house on the prairie" actress Melissa Gilbert, to Princess Stephanie of Monaco (Grace Kelly's daughter), and ultimately his wife, make-up artist Sheryl (with various flings and scandals in between). I found this book pretty entertaining and a suitable beach read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2011

    Rob Lowe is Forrest Gump......

    You may be asking yourself why I say that, well by page 55 I decided Rob is my generations Forrest Gump.

    I may be a little bias I'm from Beavercreek, Ohio so I give him props for his Midwestern "ways", but the kid had "it" from the get go he decided on what he wanted and went for it.

    The Forrest Gump part well you decide for yourself, get as far as page 55 and see if you don't say " My God Rob Lowe is Forrest Gump" :-) this can't be REAL.. but it is all of it .. I will say no more except that I found the book to be very honest, Rob may be extremely handsome but he is also a thinker, and has no problems admitting where he himself has made some mistakes ( as we all have at times in life), overall a very good read .

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 30, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Great read!

    Great read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2014

    Not an authentic guy

    He somehow forgets to mention that he was engaged to Melissal Gilbert for 5 years. It's like he went from famous to the only woman he was engaged to and married. I had forgotten until I ran across it. Also, not honest about his feelings on money on the west wing so it makes you wonder what else he is not honest about or has left out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2014


    I read this quickly as I couldnt put it down. Fun to read stories about him and the brat pack. He wasn't afraid to tell the truth. Although some of it was egocentric I enjoyed it.

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  • Posted May 2, 2014

    Funny and interesting!

    This book was a fun read. It mixes humor and real life, as well as some interesting tidbits about acting and the good and bad that go along with it. I'm looking forward to reading his new book - the sequel to this - to see how things changes as he settled down and became a dad.

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