He never encouraged it, but Dayton-area attorney Charles “Chuck” Lowe sort of hoped one of his sons would follow him into the legal arena.
He is getting his wish… sort of.
Rob Lowe plays Dean Sanderson in the “The Grinder,” a Fox comedy set to a premiere Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m.
It is not the first time Rob Lowe has played a lawyer. His character on “The West Wing” — on which he starred alongside fellow Daytonians Martin Sheen and Allison Janney — was law school grad. But the law is at the core of “The Grinder.”
The superstar Lowe gave Dayton and his father a shout-out during an appearance Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“It is sort of in my veins a little bit,” Rob Lowe said after mentioning his dad practices law in Dayton.
The show centers around two brothers. One’s a lawyer, and the other plays one on TV.
Lowe’s character Dean played an ace lawyer on a TV show.
When the show is canceled, he heads to his all-American hometown of Boise, Idaho, where his younger brother Stewart (Fred Savage) is a real, actual lawyer.
Dean chucks life in Hollywood and — despite not having a law degree — joins the family’s law firm as a “partner.” William Devane plays the head of the law firm and family patriarch in “The Grinder.” Lowe’s youngest son John Owen Lowe has a guest role.
Local attorney and Rob’s father Chuck Lowe knows all about life in the real courtroom.
Rob, his oldest, was born during his last year of law school at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.
The family moved to Dayton when Rob was just three months old, raising him in the city and surrounding areas.
He attended Longfellow School in Dayton as well as Oakwood Junior High School before moving to Malibu, Calif., with his mother and brother, actor and director Chad Lowe.
Chuck Lowe said he’s given his son a few storyline suggestions for the show including one involving advertising your law firm.
“When I started, it was prohibited and you would lose your license,” the lawyer of 51 years said. “It was an ethical violation to solicit business.”
Chuck said he’s never wanted to be an actor, but sees parallels between his work and what his famous sons do.
“You have to present well and you have to use words well. You hope to convince your audience — in this case a jury,” he said. Actors have to convince their audience.”
He joked that he wouldn’t mind a cameo in “The Grinder.”
“I thought being a lawyer, he would want me to appear in the show,” he said.
Here are a few other tidbits from the man who brought us Rob and Chad Lowe:
On Rob’s undeniable sexiness…
Chuck pointed out that Rob was named one of People magazine’s 101 Sexiest Men Alive.
“All I wanted to be was the 17th (sexiest) in Anderson, Indiana,” he said.
He said he was an average guy growing up in Anderson.
On Rob’s face
Dayton-raised actor Rob Lowe (left) with his father, Chuck Lowe. (Contributed photos from Chuck Lowe)
Rob Lowe often gets questions about his seemingly timeless face. He just launched a skincare line called Profile.
Chuck said he is an open book and doesn’t mind answering those questions either.
“I think he has a little bit of my genes, and he is channeling Paul Newman. His mother (now deceased Ohio native Barbara Lynn Hepler) was very attractive, too.”
He said his son Rob, a working actor since age 12, has always been popular with the ladies. He recalled leaving Rob to baby-sit for a younger brother.
“As soon as we would leave, the girls would be at our house,” he said.
On his grandchildren
Chuck is not only a proud papa; he is a proud grandfather.
He was recently with Rob and his family for his grandson Matthew’s birthday. They went to a Duke University football game in Durham, N.C.
Matthew Lowe is set to graduate from Duke this spring and plans to be a lawyer like his grandfather. Rob’s younger son is a sophomore at Stanford. His grandfather bragged about his 4.0 grade-point average.
“I am amazed at how grounded that they are,” he said.
Chuck, a Washington Twp. resident, said Rob and his wife Sheryl Berkoff worked hard to make sure that their children didn’t become the stereotypical children of celebrities who are not accountable for their actions.
“They had dinner together every night,” Chuck said.
On Dayton’s other actors — the Sheens and Allison Janney
Chuck said Rob did not know Martin Sheen’s sons Charlie Sheen and Emilo Estevez in Dayton, but went to school with them in Malibu and Santa Monica High School.
“Before any of them were known, they played together and hung out,” he said.
Chuck met Jervis Janney, seven time Emmy-award winner Allison Janney’s father, several years ago through tennis. Jervis Janney lives in Dayton.
On the perks of being a celebrity’s dad
Chuck said he’s met many heroes and celebrities due to his son’s career — everyone from Oprah to Snoop Dog to Kirk Douglas to Tom Cruise and others in the classic movie “The Outsiders.”
“I knew Patrick Swayze very well,” he said.
He marveled at the fact that Douglas stood up to shake his hand.
Chuck said he’s enjoyed the ride.
“If the conversation is dragging, I can always name drop,” he joked.
Dayton attorney Chuck Lowe. ( Photo by Amelia Robinson)