Rob Lowe was a player until he met the woman who changed his life and saved him when he hit rock bottom. The pair recently celebrated another anniversary, prompting curiosity about the secret behind their long-lived relationship.
Rob Lowe is happily married, but long before he met the woman of his dreams, he was with Melissa Gilbert. She was 17 when they started dating and fell "hopelessly and stupidly" in love with him on their first date.
The pair became a couple from that first date, and Lowe became the center of her universe. But unfortunately, the affair was not meant to be because Gilbert was not his soulmate.
Melissa Gilbert with Rob Lowe backstage; circa 1970; New York. | Source: Getty Images
Lowe popped the big question to her in 1986, even though they were both unfaithful to each other. She realized she was having a baby, and everything ended. Lowe had not taken the news well and had told her he was not prepared to become a father or a husband.
HE WAS A WILD ONE
Actor Rob Lowe attends the "Killing Kennedy" Los Angeles premiere at the Saban Theatre on November 4, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images
Lowe was a wild card in his young days. He was known as a party guy, and the actor once admitted that he lived a "wild" and "fun" life in his twenties. He hit rock bottom at age 26 when he returned home late after a night of wild partying to meet a message from his grandmother on his answering machine.
It said his grandfather had heart complications and begged him to pick up or call back. When Lowe met Sheryl, she was a renowned makeup artist, and she made him feel seen for the first time in his life.
Before her, he had been unstable and yearning for someone who could help him, so when she came along and did that, he became eternally grateful that she gave him the benefit of the doubt despite all his faults.
The actor once told PEOPLE that Sheryl saw things in him that others had not seen, which had him paying attention. The pair first met on a blind date in 1983; however, their romantic relationship did not start until 1989, when they reunited on the set of the actor's thriller, "Bad Influence." Speaking about her in a past interview, he said:
"Listen, she may have saved my life, really."
Rob Lowe and Sheryl Berkoff during "Tommy Boy" Los Angeles Premiere at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, California, United States. | Source: Getty Images
According to him, she was worth changing his wild boy ways. In his words, "And just when I met her, I knew that if I could not make it work with her, I definitely could not make it work with anyone else."
Lowe had been looking for a family of his own and a regular life outside Hollywood, but he needed a woman who was his perfect match. Luckily Sheryl was there waiting for him, and together, they were able to fulfill his desires.
HE BECAME SOBER FOR HER
Lowe and Sheryl got married on July 22, 1991, and had their first child, Matthew, in 1993. They expanded the family again in 1995 when they welcomed their second son John Owen.
Speaking about their wedding in 2019, the actor told Gwyneth Paltrow on her Goopfellas podcast that marriage is about "who you pick." He then added some advice he was lucky to have found applicable to his relationship — "marry your best friend."
Fatherhood was a lovely experience for Lowe, who would later admit that he had always looked forward to performing the duties of a father with kids.
Actor Rob Lowe and wife Sheryl Berkoff and children John and Matthew attend the "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" Westwood Premiere on November 14, 2001 at the Mann Village Theatre in Westwood, California. | Source: Getty Images
Another thing Lowe has credited Sheryl for doing asides from making him a grounded family man is giving up his addictions. Before she came along, he was knee-deep in many addictive substances, but as soon as they became a couple, he decided they all had to go.
The actor knew that his life of drugs and alcoholism would get in the way of his relationship with Sheryl, so he checked himself into rehab, where he entered a commitment to recovery. It was after the treatment that he and Sheryl tied the knot.
IT'S BEEN THREE DECADES SINCE THEIR MARRIAGE
More than three decades have passed since Lowe married Sheryl; however, his feelings for her remain very powerful. He calls her his "love bug" and has often admitted that the family he raised with her is his greatest accomplishment.
His oldest son with Sheryl, Matthew, is a lawyer while his youngest son is a TV writer. Lowe has expressed pride in them in the past and is glad he was able to make the right decisions for them while they were young.
His sons feel very blessed that they had a father like Lowe growing up because he showered much love, time, and attention on them. The brothers are all grown now, but they still take relationship advice from their father, whose relationship with their mother is one for the books.
Lowe calls his marriage to Sheryl one of life's greatest "miracles." In 2021 when they marked their 30th anniversary, the loved-up actor called Sheryl a lot of flowery adjectives, including "sexiest," "most beautiful," and "hottest."
He also called her a "great mother" and admitted he felt "super blessed" for having enjoyed three good decades with her. The doting father and his wife recently celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary, and the love they share remains evident between them.
To commemorate the day, he took a black and white picture of her striking a lovely pose to Instagram. In his caption, the proud husband wished her a happy anniversary before writing a couple of cheesy lines that melted many hearts. The first sentence read:
"Your love has made my world."
John Owen Lowe, actor/honoree Rob Lowe, wife/makeup artist Sheryl Berkoff and son Matthew Edward Lowe attend The Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe at Sony Studios on August 27, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images
Then it continued, "You are as beautiful, knowledgeable, fascinating, kind, and hilarious as you were so many glorious years ago. Partners in love for life!!"
When asked what has made his marriage with Sheryl work for so long in Hollywood, where stars are known to get divorced within a decade, Lowe says that the simple formula is to marry "your best friend."
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