His career consistently overshadowed by that of his Brat Packer older brother, actor Chad Lowe has nevertheless endured to deliver numerous compelling performances in both television and film. From his unforgettable, Emmy-winning turn as the HIV-positive Jessie McKenna on television's Life Goes On to his turn as beloved singer John Denver in Take Me Home: The John Denver Story, Lowe's wide and varied roles have been a testament to his onscreen versatility. The Dayton, OH, native moved to Los Angeles with his family at the age of nine, and by 15, he knew his true calling. Inspired by the success of his brother Rob and encouraged by neighbor Martin Sheen to explore his talent, Lowe relocated to the East Coast to study acting under Alan Savage. Numerous theater productions were soon to follow, and after several small roles in television and film, Lowe charmed audiences by taking the lead in the 1984 sitcom Spencer. A gender-bending role in the 1989 comedy Nobody's Perfect provided more exposure for the emerging actor, though it wasn't until his breakthrough performance in the 1991-1993 seasons of Life Goes On that audiences truly realized his dramatic abilities. Taking inspiration for the role of HIV-positive Jessie from the AIDS-related death of his former manager Tim Wood, Lowe offered a moving portrayal of a young man's attempts to live with the deadly virus. In the years that followed, he could often be spotted in such made-for-television features as Candles in the Dark (1993) and Me and My Hormones (1996), and his role on the 1996 season of Melrose Place found him cast among some of television's hottest young stars. In September of 1997, Lowe married actress Hilary Swank, and that same year the couple would appear onscreen together in the Tinseltown satire Quiet Days in Hollywood. Lowe would continue to alternate between television and film, and roles in Floating (1999) and the television series Popular found him increasingly busy. After moving into directing with an episode of television's Law and Order: Special Victim's Unit, Lowe directed his Oscar-winning wife in the short films The Audition (2000) and The Space Between (2002). In 2003, Lowe could be seen in the romantic drama Red Betsy.
Biography by Jason Buchanan
- Encouraged to pursue acting by older brother Rob's success and by Martin Sheen, who was the family's neighbor when they moved to California during his childhood.
- Took inspiration for his Emmy-winning role as HIV-positive teen Jesse McKenna in the series Life Goes On from the real-life struggle and AIDS-related death of his former manager Tim Wood.
- Directed his then-wife Hilary Swank in the 2000 short film The Audition and again in the 2002 short The Space Between.