Rob Lowe on growing up in Dayton: “It was an amazing time.”

“I think that Daytonians are good people. They are decent. They are normal, really normal. Martin’s normal Allison is normal, I am normal,”  Lowe said. “I think that goes a long way to success.”

You can take the Sodapop out of Dayton, but you can’t take the Dayton out of the Sodapop.

"What Had Happened Was" host Amelia Robinson chatted with actor, director and game show host Rob Lowe about his time growing up in the Gem City where he started his acting career as a kid.

>>RELATED: Emilio Estevez tells Dayton about his Cincy-fied film covered from edge to edge in LaRosa's pizza

"There was so much opportunity in Dayton. When I came to California, there was no theater to do for young kid. Literally, nothing and there still isn't," Lowe said of his childhood. "It was an amazing time."

Lowe recalled visits to  his grandfather’s restaurant, The Spot in Sidney.

“I still have vivid dreams to this day of walking into the walk in freezer and seeing all the individual slices of pies,” he said.

Lowe has been a Hollywood mainstay since his breakout role as  Sodapop Curtis in Francis Ford Coppola big screen adaptation of S. E. Hinton "The Outsiders.

He told Robinson he plans to present a Dayton-centric version of “Rob Lowe: Stories I Only Tell My Friends: LIVE!”  4 p.m. Sunday, June 2 at the Schuster Center, 1 West Second St. in Dayton.

He has plenty of material.

>> Rob Lowe returning home to Dayton for one-man show 

The one-man show is based on Lowe’s “New York Times” best-selling memoirs “Stories I Only Tell My Friends” and “Love Life.”

>> Daytonians who’ve made us proud at the big Hollywood award shows

Lowe currently host the FOX game show “Mental Samurai” and stars in the upcoming ITV in British cop drama “Wild Bill.”

Known for his role "Parks and Recreation" and a long  list of films that include "St. Elmo's Fire," "Behind the Candlelabra," "Wayne's World" and "How to be a Latin Lover," Lowe  star along with fellow Daytonians Martin Sheen and Allison Janney on NBC's "The West Wing."

>> Allison Janney: “Dayton spawns great people” 

He said he got a good foundation here.

“I think that Daytonians are good people. They are decent. They are normal, really normal. Martin’s normal Allison is normal, I am normal,” he said. “I think that goes a long way to success.”

Lowe was raised in Oakwood and then Dayton’s Five Oaks neighborhood  before moving at age 12 with his mother and brother, actor Chad Lowe, to California.

His father Chuck Lowe still practices law in Dayton.

>>RELATED:  Rob Lowe and Dayton dad Chuck Lowe have more in common than good looks

The transition from Oakwood to Dayton took an adjustment, but Lowe said he eventually made friendships that have lasted a lifetime.

“Kick the can games that started in the afternoon and went on all day with what felt like hundreds of kids playing. When I moved to California I was bummed out. Nobody got together in the street and played waffle ball. No one played kick the can. You couldn’t get a Nerf Football game going,” he said. “It was magical, magical neighborhood when I lived there.”

>> 10 actors you should know who were born in Dayton

He started his acting career as a kid in Dayton at the Dayton Playhouse, the Dayton Living Art Center, Trotwood Circle Theater, Fairborn Theater, Wright State University, and the Trotwood Circle Theater.

With his group Peanut Butter and Jelly, Lowe performed at major grand openings at Courthouse Square and Wright State.

“ You could work as an actor all the time in Dayton so I loved it,” he said.


"What Had Happened Was" is a podcast for Dayton, powered by You won't believe the stories that come from right here. Host Amelia Robinson shares the best tales from the Gem City, Land of Funk and Birthplace of Aviation: Dayton, Ohio.

This podcast is brought to you by Cox Digital Marketing.

Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images


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