This article is about the actor. For the musician, see Gym Class Heroes. For the bishop, see Eric Roberts (bishop).
, Roberts in Sydney, Australia, 2012
Eric Anthony Roberts, (1956-04-18) April 18, 1956 (age 57), Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S.
Henry W. Grady High School
Eliza Garrett (m. 1992)
Walter Grady and Betty Lou Roberts
Julia Roberts (sister), Lisa Roberts Gillan (sister), Keaton Simons (stepson)
Eric Anthony Roberts (born April 18, 1956) is an American actor. His career began with King of the Gypsies (1978), earning a Golden Globe nomination for best actor debut. He starred as the protagonist in the 1980 dramatization of Willa Cather's 1905 short story, Paul's Case. He earned both a Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination for his supporting role in Runaway Train (1985). Through the 1990s and 2000s he maintained dramatic film and TV-movie roles while appearing in TV series. His TV work includes three seasons with the sitcom Less than Perfect and a recurring role on the NBC drama Heroes. His sisters Julia Roberts and Lisa Roberts Gillan, and daughter Emma Roberts, are also actors.
1 Early life,
3 Personal life
3.1 Arrests and drug problems,
4 In popular culture,
5 Selected filmography,
7 External links,
Roberts was born in Biloxi, Mississippi. His parents, Betty Lou (née Bredemus) and Walter Grady Roberts, one-time actors and playwrights, met while performing theatrical productions for the armed forces. They later co-founded the Atlanta Actors and Writers Workshop in Atlanta, Georgia off of Juniper Street in Midtown. Roberts' mother filed for divorce in 1971 and it was finalized early in 1972. His younger siblings, Julia Roberts (from whom he was estranged until 2004) and Lisa Roberts Gillan, are also actors. His mother married Michael Motes and had daughter Nancy Motes in 1976. Roberts is of English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, German, and Swedish descent. He was raised in Atlanta and attended Grady High School.
Eric got his start on the now-defunct NBC daytime soap opera Another World originating the role of Ted Bancroft from February 14, 1977, to June 17, 1977.
Roberts received Golden Globe nominations for his early starring roles in King of the Gypsies (1978) and Star 80 (1983). He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1985 for his role as the escaped convict Buck in the film Runaway Train; the award went to Don Ameche in Cocoon. In 1987, he won the Theatre World Award for his Broadway debut performance in Burn This.
Roberts's other starring roles included Raggedy Man (1981), The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984), The Coca-Cola Kid (1985), Nobody's Fool (1986), Best of the Best (1989), By the Sword (1991), Best of the Best 2 (1993), The Immortals (1995), La Cucaracha (1998), Purgatory (1999), and Stiletto Dance (2001). He also had major supporting roles in the films Final Analysis (1992), The Specialist (1994), and Shannon's Rainbow (2009). He played the Archangel Michael in The Prophecy II (1997).
In 1996, he appeared in the Doctor Who Television film in the role of the fourth Master. As of 2011, he is the only American actor to play the role. When SFX listed previous Masters in Doctor Who, the magazine said of Roberts: "Out-acted by a CGI snake in the same production." In a darkly comic touch, the onscreen wife of Roberts' human character, who is killed by her newly possessed husband (who is taken over by the Master in the form of the above-mentioned CGI snake), is played by his real-life wife.
His recent projects include A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, DOA: Dead or Alive and Royal Kill. He appeared in The Dark Knight as Sal Maroni, a Gotham City Mafia boss who hires The Joker to kill the titular superhero and a renegade mob accountant.
Roberts co-starred on the ABC situation comedy Less than Perfect. He appeared in an episode of CSI: Miami as Ken Kramer, a murderer on death row convicted of killing a young couple. Another notable TV appearance was the episode "Victims" of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit where he played Sam Winfield, a former cop turned vigilante. In the same year, he was also guest starred on The L Word as Gabriel McCutcheon, the father of Shane McCutcheon. In early January 2007, Roberts starred in the two-part mini-series Pandemic as the mayor of Los Angeles.
Roberts voiced the Superman villain Mongul in the animated series Justice League, and reprised his role in Justice League Unlimited in the episode "For the Man Who Has Everything". He performed the voice of Dark Danny in Nickelodeon's Danny Phantom. He appeared in the first season of Heroes as Thompson, an associate of Mr. Bennet. He then reprised the role in the third-season episode "Villains" and in the fourth-season "The Wall".
Roberts appeared in The Killers music video for their song "Mr. Brightside" and "Miss Atomic Bomb" as well as in the music videos for Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" and "It's Like That". In 2006, he appeared in the video for Akon's "Smack That", featuring Eminem. In 2007, he appeared in the video for Godhead's "Hey You". He appeared as a panelist on the television game show Hollywood Squares. In February 2009, Oscar nominee Mickey Rourke, who starred with Roberts in The Pope of Greenwich Village, said he hoped that Roberts would soon be offered a role which would resurrect his career in the way that The Wrestler rejuvenated Rourke's.
He portrayed Seth Blanchard on the second season of the Starz series, Crash, from 2009. In 2009, Roberts appeared as himself in "Tree Trippers", a season five episode of Entourage. He is portrayed as a mushroom and drug fanatic as he gives the boys mushrooms and joins them to Joshua Tree National Park to trip as they contemplate Vince's next movie decision. It was announced in June 2010 that he would be joining the cast of the CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless starting July 12. In 2010, he appeared in the action film The Expendables. Later that year, he appeared alongside Steve Austin and Gary Daniels, his co-stars from The Expendables, in the 2010 action film Hunt to Kill. December 2010 saw the premiere of the fourth season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, which documented Roberts' struggle with dependency on medical marijuana. Roberts starred in the 2012 mystery thriller Deadline, playing the role of politically incorrect reporter Ronnie Bullock.
Roberts' daughter Emma Roberts, with his then-girlfriend Kelly Cunningham, was born on February 10, 1991. Emma eventually became an actress as well, making her film debut at age 9 in the 2001 drama Blow. After Roberts' relationship with Cunningham, he married Eliza Garrett in 1992. His stepson, Keaton Simons, is a singer-songwriter, and his stepdaughter, Morgan Simons, is a chef.
On January 12, 2001, Roberts visited The Howard Stern Radio Show with his wife during a segment called "The Gossip Game" with Mike Walker of the National Enquirer. He confirmed that he and his sister Julia Roberts had been estranged for several years. The source of the estrangement had been his past drug abuse and her siding with his ex-girlfriend over the custody of his daughter, Emma. In 2004, he told People magazine that he and his sister were reconciled when he visited her in the hospital after she gave birth to twins.
Roberts is a vegan and supporter of animal rights.
Arrests and drug problems:
In 1987, Roberts was arrested for possession of cocaine and marijuana and resisting arrest after he tried to assault a New York police officer. He spent 36 hours in jail, pleaded guilty to harassment, and had all other charges dropped.
In February 1995, Roberts was arrested for shoving his wife, Eliza Garrett, into a wall. He subsequently announced that he was giving up drug use entirely.
In 2010, Roberts appeared as a cast member in the fourth season of the Vh1 reality television series Celebrity Rehab, for a dependency on medical marijuana. His wife, Eliza, and his stepson, Keaton Simons, appeared in Episode 6 to discuss the effects of his addiction on their lives.
In popular culture:
Roberts was name-checked in an episode of Seinfeld; after giving away the ending of the film, Kramer tells George that Roberts' performance as the husband in the film The Other Side of Darkness was "unforgettable".
He was portrayed as a clay figure on MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch where he fought alongside his sister, Julia, against Donny Osmond and Marie Osmond.
In the South Park episode "Cartman's Mom Is Still A Dirty Slut", a fictional version of Roberts is cast in an America's Most Wanted re-enactment of a shooting as "The Little Monkey Guy That Follows Mephesto Around".
He was also mentioned by Pearl Forrester and Leonard Maltin in Mystery Science Theater 3000 - in the Gorgo episode (episode 9, season 9) - as the perfect companion to Mickey Rourke for producing the "worst movie ever made".
He also received a passing reference in an episode of Justified (episode 12, season 4) when Art Mullens, Raylan's boss, says he doesn't like Julia Roberts because, "She looks too much like Eric."
King of the Gypsies
Nominated: Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Acting Debut - Male
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor,
Nominated: Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
The Pope of Greenwich Village
Coca-Cola Kid, TheThe Coca-Cola Kid
Nominated: Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor,
Nominated: Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
To Heal a Nation
Best of the Best
Filmed in 1986, but released only three years later.,
Noteworthy for featuring Julia Roberts (Eric's sister) in her film debut.
Ambulance, TheThe Ambulance
The Lost Capone
Vendetta: Secrets of a Mafia Bride
By the Sword
Fugitive Among Us
Best of the Best 2
Love Honor & Obey: The Last Mafia Marriage
Joe Bonanno Jr.
Love, Cheat & Steal
Love Is a Gun
Dr. Ian Burton
Specialist, TheThe Specialist
The Hard Truth
Dr. Chandler Etheridge
Nature of the Beast, TheThe Nature of the Beast
Immortals, TheThe Immortals
Saved by the Light
Grave, TheThe Grave
It's My Party
Cable Guy, TheThe Cable Guy
The Glass Cage
Drew Carey Show, TheThe Drew Carey Show
Television episode "Drew's Other Man"
In Cold Blood
Nominated: Satellite Award for Best Actor - Miniseries or Television Film
Television episode, voice role "Roz's Krantz & Gouldenstein Are Dead"
Odyssey, TheThe Odyssey
Assistant Deputy Director Spencer
Television episode "Capital P"
Television series (13 episodes)
Prophecy II, TheThe Prophecy II
Shadow Men, TheThe Shadow Men
also known as Dead End
Cucaracha, LaLa Cucaracha
Ben Siegel (age 40)
Touched by an Angel
Television episode "Made in the U.S.A"
Television episode; voice role "The Mindkiller"
Two Shades of Blue
Tony Lazorka/John Dugan
Hunger, TheThe Hunger
Television episode "The Dream Sentinel"
Victor Haddock/Stanley Joiner
Luck of the Draw
Raymond 'The Madman' Ricci
Television series (4 episodes)
Cecil B. Demented
Race Against Time
The King's Guard
King of Queens, TheThe King of Queens
Television episode "Paint Misbehavin"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Television episode "Victims"
Police Chief DeSpain
Frozen in Fear
Sheriff Jim Tanner
Rough Air: Danger on Flight 534
First Officer Mike Hogan
Police Lt. Mike 'Sully' Sullivan
Wolves of Wall Street
Less than Perfect
Television (59 episodes), Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Television Series Musical or Comedy
Justice League and Justice League Unlimited
Television (3 episodes)
The Long Ride Home
Sheriff Hank Bowman
Miss Cast Away
Six: The Mark Unleashed
Confessions of an Action Star
also known as Sledge: The Untold Story
Break a Leg
Michael Richard Lange
Tarkington Alexander Graves
Dark Danny (voice)
Television episode "Whacked"
Civilization of Maxwell Bright, TheThe Civilization of Maxwell Bright
8 of Diamonds
Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, AA Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
DOA: Dead or Alive
L Word, TheThe L Word
Television (3 episodes)
Television (8 episodes)
Light Years Away
Dr. Howard Melvin
Harry Siegal/Harry Bender
Television episode "Spooked"
Law & Order: Criminal Intent
Television episode "Betrayed"
Dark Knight, TheThe Dark Knight
Cleaner, TheThe Cleaner
Television episode "Here Comes the Boom"
Television episode "Tree Trippers"
In the Blink of an Eye
Steam Experiment, TheThe Steam Experiment
Jake the Deliveryman
Edgar Allan Poe's Ligeia
The Whole Truth
Butcher, TheThe Butcher
Television (13 episodes)
Crimes of the Past
Expendables, TheThe Expendables
Dr. Nathan Sands
Enemies Among Us
Television episode "Chuck Versus the Couch Lock"
Hunt to Kill
President of the United States
Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior
Television episode "The Time Is Now"
Dante's Inferno Animated
Dr. Eaton Wright
The Whipping Club
Cinematic Book Trailer
L'onore e il rispetto 3
Tom Di Maggio
Italian Television Series
The Dead Want Women
Hansel and Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft
Mr. Sebastian (headmaster)
Eternity: The Movie
A Talking Cat!?!
Duffy the Cat
Revelation Road: The Beginning of the End
Brother Daniel Larson
S13 E22 "Skin in the Game" - S14 E01 "The Devil and D.B. Russell"
The Hot Flashes
Before I Sleep
The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence)