The Truth About Rob Lowe's Marriage

A former teen idol, Rob Lowe rose to fame in the 1980s as a member of the Brat Pack. He starred in a string of successful movies, including "The Outsiders," "Class," "St. Elmo's Fire," and "About Last Night," but was just as famous for his partying ways as he was for his on-screen chops. In the first decade of his career, he was rarely seen without a gorgeous woman on his arm — Lowe dated everyone from Melissa Gilbert to Winona Ryder to Princess Stéphanie of Monaco. Given his tabloid-making, bad boy history, celebrity watchers who haven't kept up with Lowe over the past three decades might be surprised to find that he's a totally different person these days.

For one thing, that budding career that seemed to be threatened by his 1988 sex tape scandal totally rebounded. He's earned an Emmy nomination for his work on "The West Wing" and appeared in many other popular TV series, including "Brothers & Sisters," "Parks and Recreation," and "9-1-1: Lone Star" (a lot of that success stems from the fact that he's completely sober and hasn't touched drugs or alcohol since the early '90s, per Variety). For another, he's been happily married to former makeup artist Sheryl Berkoff for more than 30 years. The pair, who began dating in 1989, is now one of the longest-married couples in Hollywood. Below, we're taking a closer look at their marriage, from how they met to how they keep things interesting after so many years. So read on for the truth about Rob Lowe's marriage.

They didn't click immediately

In many rom-coms, especially the ones Rob Lowe has starred in, the leading couple hit it off immediately. They catch each other's eyes across the room and they just ... know. In real life, however, things seldom happen that easily. Case in point — Lowe and Sheryl Berkoff. The couple first met on a blind date in 1983, but, according to Brides, it wasn't an instant connection. They reportedly went on a few more dates before calling things off and didn't reconnect, or fall in love, until they both wound up working on the same movie in 1989.

According to the actor, the initial lack of chemistry was primarily his fault. He told Haute Living, "I had met my now wife, Sheryl, and was attempting my first try at monogamy — which was not really in my nature at the time — and I wasn't able to do it." But that failed first try at a relationship led him to reevaluate. He continued, "It made me examine how I was living my life. ... which led me to changing my life — giving me everything I now have." This just goes to show that when it comes to love, timing really is everything.

It didn't take long to get from 'serious' to the altar

Despite not hitting it off right away, once the couple reconnected, it didn't take long for them to move from seriously dating to married. In 1989, they met for a second time while working on the psychological thriller film "Bad Influence." Sheryl Berkoff was the movie's makeup artist, and, of course, Rob Lowe was starring. Things on-screen may have been tense, but off-screen, sparks were flying. Just two years later, on July 22, 1991, the duo tied the knot.

Three decades after their wedding day, on an episode of "The Goopfellas" podcast, Lowe explained how he knew Berkoff was the one even though they didn't date for long. "She was my best friend," he told hosts Will Cole and Seamus Mullen. "Marriage ... really is all about who you pick. I always say to people, if there's any way to marry your best friend, do it. [Be]cause the rest of it comes and goes. And I was very lucky there." Identifying as friends first and romantic partners second seems to have served Lowe and Berkoff very well, as a long-lasting relationship like theirs is a rarity in Hollywood.

They were eager to start a family

Growing up, Rob Lowe didn't have the most stable home life. His mother, Barbara, divorced several times and often moved the family when her tenuous relationships came to an end. One life-changing move came when Lowe was 12 years old and they left their home in Dayton, Ohio, to start a new life in California, per Early on, Lowe began channeling the pain of that rocky upbringing into acting, telling People, "I had a huge fantasy world in my head and then I found something I could focus all my energies on instead of living in the moment, which a lot of times as a kid was sad or uncomfortable." After meeting Sheryl Berkoff, Lowe began considering whether a life entrenched in Hollywood's craziness is really what we wanted.

In the end, he decided it wasn't. In an interview with ET, Lowe discussed his desire to start a family and how it all stemmed from Berkoff, saying, "I always wanted that life, I really wanted kids. I wanted a normal life outside of Hollywood. ... and we were able to do that because I think we were very well matched." After getting married, Lowe and Berkoff didn't wait long to grow their brood. In 1993, they welcomed their first son, Matthew, and two years later, in 1995, John Owen made the family complete.

Rob Lowe credits his sobriety to Sheryl Berkoff

In the early '80s, Rob Lowe was known for being a party animal. A member of the Brat Pack, he spent many a drug and alcohol-fueled night traipsing in and out of clubs all over Hollywood. The path he was on was one he possibly wouldn't have survived, and certainly wasn't one his career would have survived. Thankfully, by the '90s, he quit the partying and became sober — a sobriety he has managed to maintain for more than three decades.

Lowe has always maintained that sobriety is not something he could have done on his own. In fact, he credits much of it to his wife, Sheryl Berkoff. "She may have saved my life, really," he told ET, "I mean, she met me when I was at the end of my '80s run of wild boy craziness and she was worth changing my life for. And so I am really lucky that that happened to me. ... just when I met her, I knew that if I could not make it with her, I definitely could not make it work with anyone else."

He shared a similar sentiment with People, gushing that Berkoff made him "feel seen" for the first time in his life. "I had the feeling that if I was ever going to be able to make it work with anybody, it was Sheryl," he added. "Alcohol and drugs were only going to make that next to impossible."

They're big believers in therapy

Communication is a vital part of any good relationship. To that end, Lowe is open about the fact that he and Sheryl Berkoff regularly go to therapy (alone and together) to ensure their communication, and ultimately their connection, remains strong and healthy. On "The Goopfellas" podcast, he expanded on the idea, saying, "Half of us don't know how to communicate, and it's only getting worse ... Communication is a huge thing, and we still struggle with it." 

Lowe said that he and Berkoff will see a therapist when they feel that they need help addressing their communication issues, adding, "We do it less and less, but there have been times where we were seeing someone [regularly]." He lamented that too many people view couple's therapy in a negative light because they consider it a sign of trouble but revealed it's something he enjoys, explaining that it makes him feel "even more reconnected" to Berkoff.

The Lowes don't just use therapy as a tool to ensure that their marriage remains strong, but as a way to ensure their entire family remains connected. Family therapy is a mainstay in their household, as Lowe discussed on "The Goopfellas," saying, "The one thing, though, that has been a part of our family is the notion of therapy as sort of a proactive, non-shaming ... like a trainer. We think of going to therapy, or talking to a therapist as literally no different than going to a chiropractor."

Rob Lowe loves making grand, romantic gestures

Throughout the years, Rob Lowe and Sheryl Berkoff have made the deliberate decision to keep their relationship private. They don't often speak about each other in the press, and so we have very little idea of what things look like between the two of them on a daily basis. One thing we have been able to surmise, however, is that Lowe is a big believer in grand, romantic gestures.

Take, for example, the over-the-top surprise he set up for Berkoff on her 60th birthday. According to Lowe, "Family Feud" is his wife's favorite show. So in 2021, he arranged for the family to appear on an episode of the series as a gift. He lured Berkoff to the studio by telling her they were going to shoot a video for her birthday, complete with interviews with family and friends, when in reality, they were there to play against Terrence Howard and crew. Berkoff teared up at the gesture, which was, quite literally, a dream come true. Talk about setting the bar high!

The couple doesn't do everything together

Rob Lowe may be a big believer in romantic gestures, but that doesn't mean he and Sheryl Berkoff spend every moment together. In fact, it seems that they make an intentional effort to spend time apart. In 2018, the actor told Parade he felt it "was important for couples to have separate interests and careers." Even the most cursory glance at this power couple's resumes will tell you they've chosen quite different professional paths. While Lowe spends much of his time on movie and TV sets, Berkoff spends hers focused on her jewelry line, Sheryl Lowe Jewelry, which is sold online and in major departments stores like Bergdorf's.

Ever the supportive husband, Lowe gushed to the magazine that he's in "constant admiration" of his wife, citing her work ethic and creativity as two of the character traits he admires most in her. Traits that are certainly given a chance to shine in her line of work. He summed up his general thoughts on her "separate interests" by saying, "I'm inspired by [them]; it keeps it interesting and fresh. And she has always been a great mom and homemaker."

They're still as in love as ever

In July 2021, Rob Lowe and Sheryl Berkoff celebrated their 30th anniversary. Judging by a January 2022 interview with People and Lowe's frequent sweet Instagram posts, it seems that the couple is as much in love as they have ever been. Speaking to the celebrity outlet, the actor said of his wife, "I still think she is the hottest, most beautiful, insane, complicated, entertaining person that I know, in addition to being a great mother." He also called their relationship "one of life's greatest 'miracles.'" A few months before the couple reached their big marriage milestone, Berkoff posted a throwback wedding day picture to her Instagram, captioning it, "Feeling so grateful to have you in my life."

Now empty nesters, Lowe told Parade he and Berkoff feel like "we're back to the beginning of our relationship." There's no denying that the pair, who have been together for a lifetime by Hollywood standards, is one of the sweetest, most devoted celebrity couples out there. We hope there are another 30 years of love, romance, and fun ahead of them!