Eric Roberts biography
Date of Birth: April 18, 1956
Born in Biloxi, Mississippi, Eric Roberts' family moved to a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, when he was a toddler, and by the time he was five, he began appearing in local stage productions. In his late teens, he traveled to London, England to take a summer session at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. After completing the course, Roberts moved to New York, where he landed a role on the long-running TV soap opera Another World. Just two years later, he made the breakthrough into feature films with a starring role in King of the Gypsies (1978). He received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance, and offers started pouring in. Roberts played roles in several more films over the next few years, including Raggedy Man (1981) opposite Sissy Spacek, but had a personal setback in June 1981, when he lost control of his car, hitting a tree. He spent three days in a coma and suffered severe memory loss and physical trauma as a result. Roberts didn’t return to the big screen until 1983, when he accepted the role of true-life villain Paul Snider, who bullied and murdered his wife, playmate Dorothy Stratton, in Star 80 (1983). Although Roberts received another Golden Globe nomination and much critical acclaim for his performance, he had a difficult time landing sympathetic roles afterwards and his career went downhill.
In 1989, Roberts was cast in the feature Blood Red and he convinced the director to cast his younger sister, Julia, who was just beginning her movie career, as his sister in the film. She got the role, and went on to star in Steel Magnolias (1989) and Pretty Woman (1990), eventually becoming the top-ranked female movie star in America. Meanwhile, Eric kept busy playing roles in films and TV movies, but found he had dropped off the A-list.
In 1992, he took a break performing for the camera to accept a role in the Broadway production Burn This, for which he won a Theater Award. In 1995, Roberts returned to the small screen with a guest appearance on The Drew Carey Show, and he enjoyed the experience so much that he accepted guest roles on other shows such as Frasier, Oz, Touched By An Angel and Law & Order: SVI. Although he also kept working in films, they were mostly independent, low budget movies. Roberts has played mainly villains since Star 80, and says, "I play nutcases well. They say an actor plays roles best that are not him. I hope that's the case with me. That's why I aim myself to a situation comedy! I'm hoping to get out of playing evil incarnate people, and hopefully play more people like myself. I hope people see me as likeable."
When Roberts was offered a recurring role on the sitcom Less Than Perfect in 2002, he was more than happy to accept. Asked which he prefers, film or television, he replied, "Well, one's a restaurant and one's fast food. I love fast food." His work on TV continues with a recurring role on the hit series Heroes. He also appears in a variety of films such as D.O.A.: Dead or Alive (2007), The Dark Knight (2008) and The Expendables.
Roberts lives in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Eliza Roberts, and their respective children. His daughter, Emma, began acting in features at the age of ten, landing her second role in the film Blow (2001), opposite Johnny Depp before achieving fame through her Nickelodeon TV series, Unfabulous.
In his spare time, Roberts enjoys horseback riding.