Rob Lowe's New Memoir: The 5 Juiciest Bits

12:00 PM PST 04/05/2014 by Andy Lewis

In "Love Life," the heartthrob reveals how Les Moonves talked him out of starring in "Grey's Anatomy" and how he blew a chance to hook up with Madonna.

This story first appeared in the April 11 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Just weeks after turning 50, Rob Lowe is out with Love Life, his second memoir. The double-entendre title gets at the book’s two focuses: sweet stories about his wife and two sons and career and romance anecdotes. Although two memoirs might seem a bit much for a guy merely at the half-century mark, he’s definitely got the stories to make you turn the pages.

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Les Moonves badgered him into turning down Grey’s Anatomy.

Lowe had verbally accepted the lead in the CBS pilot Dr. Vegas when he was offered the McDreamy role (which went to Patrick Dempsey) in Grey’s. The CBS boss said: “Let me tell you how it is. ABC is the lowest-rated network. ... At CBS we make hits.” Vegas lasted five episodes.

He blew a chance to hook up with Madonna.

When she invited him backstage after a 1984 concert, Lowe was smitten (“flawless skin and eyes that imparted secrets”). While making plans for a late-night rendezvous, Madonna tried to dance with him at a club. When Lowe demurred, Madonna went by herself and never returned.

Apparently, Lowe was the only person not having sex at the Playboy Mansion.

Lowe, then 18, made plans to meet a Playmate in the famous Grotto jacuzzi. When his Playmate didn’t show, he struck up a conversation with another — who, he discovered when the steam parted, already was in flagrante with an unnamed Hall of Fame footballer.

He knows Warren Beatty’s go-to pickup line.

In the early ’80s, Beatty invited Lowe and his then-girlfriend to his Mulholland Drive house for a movie night. After the film, Beatty told Lowe’s girlfriend that she reminded him of Natalie Wood. “There it is,” writes Lowe, “the line that would turn any young actress into his personal concubine for life.”

He cried like a baby when his oldest son left for college.

The night before his eldest son, Matthew, left home to attend Duke, Lowe looked at the “suitcases on his bed, his New England Patriots posters and his dog” and “can’t stop crying.” The first night Matthew was gone, Lowe was so sad he slept in his son’s bed.

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