Who is Chad Lowe?
A director and actor with over 65 acting credits to his name, Chad Lowe rose to prominence playing Jesse McKenna in the early ‘90s series “Life Goes On”, which earned him the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, and the Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Drama Series.
When it comes to directing, his most notable work was for the 2006 movie “Beautiful Ohio”, for which he received the Sarasota Film Festival Special Jury Prize- Best Director.
How he struggled both personally and professionally, and how he managed to overcome the troubles he had, you’ll find in this article.
Early life, family, and education
Born Charles Davis Lowe II under the zodiac sign of Capricorn on 15 January 1968, he’s today aged 55. A native of Dayton, Ohio USA, Chad holds American nationality and comes from a family of English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish, and German descent. Raised by his single mother, Barbara Lynn Wilson, alongside his older brother Rob Lowe, also an actor, their parents divorced when Chad was very young. Their father, Charles Davis Lowe remarried, and from this marriage Chad and Rob have a half-brother, Justin. Subsequently, their mother also remarried, and she gave birth to their half-brother Micah.
Chad spent most of his childhood days with his brother Rob and their mother in Malibu, California. There, Chad attended Santa Monica High School, and upon matriculating in 1986, he didn’t go to college but pursued his acting career.
Roles in movies
Chad made his acting debut as Al Hamilton in the 1984 TV movie “Flight 90: Disaster on the Potomac”. Later that year, he landed the uncredited role of a Computer Hacker in “Oxford Blues”, then followed with his role as Skip Lewis in the TV movie “Silence of the Heart”, which followed the story of 16-year-old Skip, who had problems in school and also the girl that he loved told him that she has no interest in him. Skip tries to talk with his parents about the struggles he has, but then decides to drive off a cliff. Although the movie had no nominations, the audience was moved by it.
Chad’s first notable big-screen appearance was his role as Billy Kelly in the 1988 horror “Apprentice to Murder”, opposite Donald Sutherland and Mia Sara, and in the following years, Chad was seen co-starring in “True Blood” (1989), “Highway to Hell” (1991), “Driven” (1996), and “Trading Favors” (1997). As you probably noticed, for years Chad had no leading roles when it comes to his big-screen appearances, but he appeared in a number of movies made for television, which unfortunately didn’t gain much success.
In the early 2000s, it seemed that Chad’s career was going upward, as he was cast to play the lead role in the 2001 comedy-drama “Your Guardian”, written and directed by Kari Nevil, but which was poorly rated by the audience (2.7/10).
In the following year, he was seen as Bill Stone in “Unfaithful”, starring Richard Gere, Diane Lane and Olivier Martinez, which was nominated for the Oscar – Best Actress in a Leading Role (D. Lane). Chad followed with his support role in “Red Betsy” (2003), but his next big-screen role came after more than a decade.
He was cast to play Mr. Behrle in the 2014 movie “California Scheming”, which didn’t gain much success. Five years later, Chad played Sheriff in the adventure comedy “7 Days to Vegas”, which was inspired by a true story of Hollywood big-shots who will bet on anything, which earned Chad and his co-stars the Garden State Film Festival Award for Best Ensemble.
Roles in series
Chad made his first TV series appearance as Michael Wells in the episode “No Means No” of the series “CBS Schoolbreak Special” in 1988, which brought him a nomination for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Special.
Between 1991 and 1993, Chad played his most notable role, as Jesse McKenna in “Life Goes On”. He was seen in 37 episodes of this drama, which followed the everyday struggles of a mid-western suburban family, with Chad playing a young man living with AIDS. His co-stars were Kellie Martin, Patti LuPone, and Chris Burke; the show had 20 award nominations, and nine wins, including two Primetime Emmys.
In the following years, Chad mostly guest starred in an episode or two of various series, such as “Snowy River: The McGregor Saga” (1995), before he landed the recurring role as Carter Gallavan in the romantic drama “Melrose Place” (1996-1997). Between 1997 and 2005, he was seen in less than five episodes as Doctor George Henry in the hit series “ER”.
Concurrently, the early 2000s saw him in an episode of the series’ “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (2001), “Hack” (2003), and “Medium” (2005). Two years later, Chad was cast to play Reed Pollock in the action crime-drama “24”, and was seen in less than 10 episodes of this 20-times Primetime Emmy-awarded show.
After his numerous guest appearances, Chad landed the role of Byron Montgomery (replacing Alexis Denisof) in the series “Pretty Little Liars”. Between 2010 and 2017, he was seen in 82 episodes of this mystery romantic drama, about four friends whose darkest secrets are threatened to be revealed by an anonymous foe. The show, starring Ashley Benson, Troian Bellisario, and Lucy Hale, had 45 wins and 46 other nominations.
Chad was next cast to play Thomas Coville in the series “Supergirl”, and was seen in several episodes between 2017 and 2020. Most recently, he played Robert Strand in “9-1-1: Lone Star” (2022-2023).
Love life and relationships
Back in 1996, while filming “Quiet Days in Hollywood”, Chad met his future wife, the famed actress Hilary Swank; they married on 28 September 1997. Chad and Hilary were one of the favorite Hollywood couples and were often seen together, seemingly happy and in love, but in January 2006, the two announced their separation, which surprised many of their fans, and later that year announced their divorce, which was finalized in November 2007.
Exclusive wedding news! Chad Lowe & Kim Painter Are Now Man & Wife http://ow.ly/2xgM5
— People (@people) August 31, 2010
Chad found comfort in the arms of his new girlfriend, American producer Kim Painter; the two began dating in January 2007, and their daughter, Nixie Barbara, was born on 16 May 2009. Chad proposed to Kim, and the two married on 28 August 2010. Their second daughter, Mabel, was born on 15 November 2012, while the youngest one, Fiona, was born on 18 March 2016.
As of June 2023, the family of five lives in their residence in Los Angeles, California.
It seems that Chad finally put pieces of his personal and professional life together, and we hope that the bad days are behind him. Thanks to his work as an actor and director, he’s earned a decent amount of money – according to sources, as of June 2023, his net worth has been estimated at over $4 million.