Family & Companions
A handsome leading man with a quiet onscreen intensity, Rob Estes was launched into the sex symbol stratosphere in the early 1990s with his role as slick Palm Beach homicide detective Chris Lorenzo on the cult favorite, "Silk Stalkings" (USA 1991-99). His smooth operator persona led to his being cast on one the 1990s biggest cultural touchstones, "Melrose Place" (Fox, 1992-99), in which he starred as restaurateur Kyle McBride on the hit primetime soap. Included in the attractive "Melrose" cast was Estes' wife Josie Bissett, with whom he had fallen in love and married after meeting in 1991. Although the couple was together for more than a decade, their surprising 2006 split paved the way for Estes to refocus his energies as an actor. Post-divorce, Estes would come back strong, joining the cast of one of TV's biggest hits, "C.S.I.: Miami" (CBS, 2002- ), as well as the new millennium's reboot of that other 1990s television staple, "90210" (The CW, 2008-13). In an industry where youthful vigor was valued above all else, Estes proved that with age came greater acceptance and opportunities - even for an actor often viewed as nothing more than brooding eye candy during his early heyday.
Born in Norfolk, VA on July 22, 1963, Estes moved to L.A. to attend the University of Southern California (U.S.C.), graduating in 1987 with a BFA in drama. Initially considering a career as a stuntman, Estes switched gears to the less dangerous craft of acting. In 1986, he landed his on first onscreen role in "Have You Tried Talking to Patty?" a CBS Schoolbreak Special. As the boyfriend of the heroine's best friend, he had only one line, but it was enough to put him on the right path.
From 1986-87, Estes appeared as Glen Gallagher on the long running daytime soap, "Days of Our Lives" (NBC, 1965- ). At first, his character was in the midst of a platonic romance with scion of the core family, Jennifer Horton (Melissa Reeves), but things did eventually heat up between the two. Post-"Days," he followed up with roles in the ABC movie-of-the-week, "Student Exchange," followed by the series "The Young Riders" (ABC 1989-1992) and "Simon and Simon" (CBS 1981-88). While keeping busy with numerous television roles, Estes also attempted to ignite a big screen career with a small role in "Uninvited" (1988), before graduating to the lead in the independent drama "Trapper County War" (1989). Other credits included a terrorized teen in "Phantom of the Mall: Eric's Revenge" (1989) and "Aces: Iron Eagle III" (1992), as a flyer under the tutelage of Louis Gossett, Jr.
In 1991, Estes landed his star-making role of his career - that of Det. Chris Lorenzo on "Silk Stalkings." A TV crime drama originally shown on CBS in 1991 as part of the network's late-night "Crimetime after Primetime" programming package, the show was later rebroadcast on the lower-profile USA Network. Alongside fellow detective Cassandra "Cassy" St. John (Mitzi Kapture), Estes as Lorenzo helped track down Palm Beach sex crime murderers - all under the watchful eye of the show's creator, prolific hit maker, Stephen J. Cannell. A success with diehard fans, the couple portrayed ex-partners, who after having been married and then divorced, are partnered together again to solve crime. The on-again, off-again flirtation between Lorenzo and St. John - who nicknamed one another "Sam" (an homage to their favorite golfer, Sam Snead) - reminded many viewers of the banter heard on the earlier hit series, "Moonlighting" (ABC, 1985-89) and helped nurture a cult following that the show enjoyed during its run and long past its 1999 cancellation.
CBS executives, taken with Estes' talent and good looks as well as his ability to carry a successful show, cast the actor as the new "noir detective" Mike Hammer in "Come Die with Me: A Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer Mystery" (1994), but they abandoned their plans to make additional Mike Hammer movies. Still, there was no shortage of small screen roles for Estes. In 1996, he played the younger boyfriend of Beverly D'Angelo who also has an affair with her teenage daughter in "Sweet Temptation" (CBS). That same year, he was promoted from guest star to regular cast member on "Melrose Place," where his wife of four years, Josie Bissett held court as the show's resident victim, Jane Mancini. Having met at a 1991 casting call, the sparks between the tall, dark and handsome hunk and the pixie blonde star had resulted in a May 1992 wedding. Estes' permanent move to the popular soap delighted fans, who found it difficult to determine just which half of the famous couple was more attractive. The Estes would go on to have two children, son Mason True in 1999 and daughter Maya Rose in 2002.
Estes' good looks continued to make him an in demand romantic lead. In 2000, he did double duty with a regular role on "Suddenly Susan" (NBC 1996-2000) as Oliver, the object of Brooke Shields' desire, while also appearing in several episodes of "Providence" (NBC, 1999-2002) as the irresistible love interest of Dr. Sydney Hansen (Melina Kanakaredes). He found time to star opposite Jason Alexander and Kimberly Williams in the independent feature film, "How to Date in Queens." Though the film was shot in 2000, it was not released until 2006.
Around 2003, Estes began maintaining a relatively low profile, following a move to Seattle, WA with Bissett and their two children en tow. Though the couple co-starred in "I Do, They Don't" (ABC Family Channel, 2005) as two people who impulsively tie the knot in Vegas to the dismay of their families, it was not enough to save the faltering real-life marriage. In January of 2006, Estes and Bissett announced plans to end their 13-year marriage, following Bissett's request that he move out of their home.
With his marriage over, Estes returned to television fulltime, starring as San Francisco detective Sean Cole in the police drama, "The Evidence" (ABC 2006). The series lasted only seven episodes, but Estes was not out of work for long. One of television's biggest hits, "CSI Miami" (CBS, 2002- ) recruited Estes as a guest star for several episodes, with the highly employable actor taking a rare turn toward the dark side with his portrayal of Nick Townsend, a brooding convicted felon and ex-husband of Natalia Boa Vista (Eva La Rue) who suddenly reappears in her life.
After his turn on the successful "CSI" franchise, Estes portrayed Lieutenant Tom Hogan, Inspector Lindsay Boxer's (Angie Harmon) ex-husband and boss on the short-lived police procedural and legal drama, Women's Murder Club (2007-08). In 2008, he was cast in "90210" as Harry Wilson - a role not as familiar to the actor; that of father to teenagers. The series was a spin-off from the original 1990s hit series "Beverly Hills, 90210" (Fox, 1990-2000). With his role on the popular young adult series, Estes played three different roles within the franchise since 1993. His work on the hit show did not go unnoticed by younger fans, with Estes and his onscreen wife, Lori Loughlin, both being nominated for the 2009 Teen Choice Award, Choice TV: Parental Unit.
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
First TV role, a bit part in the CBS Schoolbreak special "Have You Tried Talking to Patty?"
First regular series role was as Glen Gallagher on the NBC daytime drama "Days of Our Lives"
Made TV-movie debut in "Foreign Exchange" (ABC)
Made feature film debut in "Uninvited"
Gained widespread recognition for his role as Sergeant Chris Lorenzo in "Silk Stalkings" (CBS and USA Network), also directed episodes
Played Mike Hammer in the CBS TV-movie "Come Die With Me"
Joined season five of the FOX primetime drama "Melrose Place" as restaurateur Kyle McBride; also directed episodes
Became series regular on the NBC sitcom "Suddenly Susan" as a love interest to Brooke Shields' character
Played the recurring role of John Hemming on the NBC family drama "Providence"
Co-starred with real life wife, Josie Bissett in the ABC Family movie "I Do, They Don't"
Had a recurring role on "CSI: Miami" (CBS) as Nick Townsend, the abusive ex-husband of Natalia Boa Vista
Played a San Francisco detective on the ABC crime show "The Evidence"
Portrayed Lieutenant Tom Hogan in the ABC police drama "Women's Murder Club"
Cast as patriarch, Harry Wilson on "90210" (CW) a contemporary spin-off of the 90s series "Beverly Hills, 90210"; left after two seasons
Nominated for the 2009 Teen Choice Award for Choice TV: Parental Unit