Rob Lowe rose to fame as a heartthrob in the '80s, starring in such flicks as "The Outsiders," "St. Elmo's Fire," and "Youngblood," but in the years since, the former Brat Packer has gone on to prove that he is much more than just a pretty face. Now 47, Lowe -- who has been sober for 21 years -- has not only reinvented himself as a family man (he and his wife, Sheryl, have two sons), but as a much sought-after TV actor. He's also known for his philanthropic work, and this week helped to launch the Valspar Hands for Habitat campaign, where he and numerous other celebs including Susan Sarandon, Ellen DeGeneres, Ethan Hawke, and Kid Rock, to name a few, have created colorful pieces of art using their own hands and Valspar paint. The handprints have been put up for auction online to raise money for Habitat for Humanity's relief efforts in Haiti.
"This is a program that will build homes and shelter for 50,000 Haitian families," Lowe tells omg!. "It's been 18 months [since the island nation was rocked by a massive earthquake]. And although there has been a lot of money and time and attention paid to the situation, the fact of the matter is there are 600,000 Haitian families without shelter still living in tents! It's one of those stories you wish was over but isn't. Plus, Habitat does just such amazing work for American families in need that branching out into helping people in Haiti is a really good thing."
While Lowe doesn't consider himself to be an artist when it comes to paints and brushes, he's pleased with the piece he created for charity. "I sort of pride myself on knowing my limitations," he laughs. "I'm of the 'less is more' simplistic category. I like clean lines, so it's pretty simple ... very sort of graphic, and I like it. I think mine sort of stands out. I'm pretty happy with it."
He's also pretty happy with the current state of his acting career. "I think I'm going through a really fun, really gratifying period where I can play Chris Yaeger on 'Parks and Recreation' -- I saw a headline on a review the other day that said 'Rob Lowe has created a freak for television' and I thought, 'Yes, that's awesome!' -- and then go play [accused wife killer] Drew Peterson, and then write a book [Stories I Only Tell My Friends], and play Eddie Nero on 'Californication' who is another lunatic," says Lowe. "I've been at it a long time, but I think this is ... the year that I've been able to do the most diverse acting and creating that I've ever been able to do and that's why I got in to the business in the first place, so I feel like it's a high-water year. I have the career I've always dreamed of, without a doubt."
As for the upcoming season of "Parks and Recreation," Lowe teases, "It's insane, but I'm having a really good time."
Check out the Valspar Hands for Habitat auction to find out how you, too, can "lend a hand to Haiti" by bidding on a celebrity print. And check out their Facebook page, where you can upload a pic of your own hands. For every photo received, Valspar will donate $1 to Habitat for Humanity.
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