Rob Lowe shares stories he only tells his friends

"You thank God it happened?"

"Sure," Lowe said. "Because it got me to reexamine my life. I don't know what [else] would've done it. It had to be something pretty big."

"You decided you wanted to get sober?" Braver asked.

"I wanted to get sober for me," Lowe said. "Now, behind that is because I knew that I had somebody in my life that I wanted to make a go of it with, and that's my now-wife Sheryl."

Lowe has been sober 21 years; married to Sheryl Berkoff, a former Hollywood make-up artist, for twenty. They have two teen-aged sons.

"What's been their response to reading these stories about their wild and crazy dad and his wild and crazy past?" Braver asked.

"They're teenage boys, so of course their father bores them," Lowe said. "I bore them."

"They didn't say, 'Dad, you did that?"

"No, I think that they're well versed in Wikipedia."

Lowe's career began a remarkable rebound, with the TV drama "The West Wing," where he played a young White House staffer, serving a president played by his old neighbor, Martin Sheen.

"The subtext of that approval and that love and of that history, I think, was extraordinary," said Lowe.

And it also turns out that Lowe has a knack for comedy, discovered when producer Lorne Michaels had him host "Saturday Night Live," and honed in films like "Wayne's World."

"That was Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey, and Lorne came to me and said, 'We need a movie star for this.' And I said, 'Well, you'd better call somebody else.' But that's how that came to be."

Now, he happily spoofs himself on "Parks and Recreation."

And looking back, even Rob Lowe marvels at the career he's had ...

When asked what he thinks is the secret to his staying power," he responded, "It's what you do when the phone isn't ringing: how do you reinvent yourself? How do you keep yourself fresh and engaged and positive? And that's a little bit of a gift. I'm sort of like the slow-but-steady guy, you know, I'm just always right there."

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