My Life on TV: 'Mental Samurai' Host Rob Lowe Reflects on His Biggest TV Roles (PHOTOS)

Jim Halterman

You may think of Rob Lowe as a movie star — and you wouldn’t be wrong. He’s got leading man looks, perfectly coiffed hair and plenty of hit films, everything from St. Elmo’s Fire to Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.

But the 54-year-old has also been entertaining millions (including us!) with his TV work since 1979, when, at 15, he booked his first gig on the ABC sitcom A New Kind of Family. Over the past two decades, he’s starred on a network TV series nearly every single year, including fan favorites (The West Wing) and critical darlings (Parks and Recreation) while racking up Emmy and Golden Globe nominations along the way.

His latest gig: hosting and producing the Fox game show Mental Samurai, on which contestants aim to win $250,000 by answering challenging questions… if they can concentrate while being flung around the set in a rotating capsule called Ava. (Fun fact: It’s not Lowe’s first foray into game shows — he snagged the top prize during an appearance on The $10,000 Pyramid 40 years ago.)

Mental Samurai executive producer Arthur Smith said Lowe is a perfect fit as host of the show. "He's a naturally curious person and he loves competition," Smith said. "He's got a very good broad-based knowledge across a lot of subjects and that makes him the perfect host. And, of course, he's very charming!"

“If you could tell me in 1979 that I would be going on 55 and still doing this, I would have never believed it, ever,” Lowe says. In the gallery above, the versatile star looks back on some of his memorable turns.

Mental Samurai, Series Premiere, Tuesday, March 19, 9/8c, Fox