Eric Roberts: Wikis


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Eric Roberts
Born Eric Anthony Roberts
April 18, 1956 (1956-04-18) (age 53)
Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1978–present
Spouse(s) Eliza Garrett (1992-present)

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 dramatisation 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 television 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 actresses.


Early life

Roberts was born in Biloxi, Mississippi. Roberts' parents, one-time actors and playwrights, met while performing theatrical productions for the armed forces and later co-founded the Atlanta Actors and Writers Workshop in Atlanta, Georgia off of Juniper Street in Midtown. Roberts' mother Betty filed for divorce in 1971 and it was finalized early in 1972.[1] His younger siblings, Julia Roberts (from whom he was once estranged but with whom he reconciled since 2004) and Lisa Roberts Gillan, are also actresses. His mother later married Michael Motes and had a daughter, named Nancy Motes, who was born in 1976. Roberts was raised in Atlanta, Georgia and attended Grady High School.


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. 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), and Purgatory (1999), Stiletto Dance (2001). He also had major supporting roles in Final Analysis (1992), The Specialist (1994), and the upcoming film Shannon's Rainbow (2009). He played the Archangel Michael in The Prophecy II (1997).

In 1996, he appeared in the Doctor Who TV movie in the role of the fourth Master. As of 2007, 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."

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.[2]

Roberts co-starred on the ABC sitcom 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 Shane McCutcheon's father, Gabriel. 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.[3] He then reprised the role in the third-season episode "Villains".

Roberts appeared in The Killers music video for their song "Mr. Brightside" 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.[4]

He currently is portraying the role of "Seth Blanchard" on the STARZ series of "Crash".

Roberts became in March 2010 the lead role in Roger Corman's Sharktopus.[5]

Personal life

Roberts had his daughter Emma Roberts on February 10, 1991 with his then-girlfriend Kelly Cunningham. After that relationship ended, he married Eliza Garrett in 1992. His stepson, Keaton Simons is a singer-songwriter and his stepdaughter, Morgan Simons, is a chef.[6] His daughter Emma has joined her father and aunts in the acting business. She had a starring role on the Nickelodeon series Unfabulous and appeared in the films Blow (2001), Aquamarine (2006), and starred as the title character in Nancy Drew (2007), Wild Child (2008) and Valentine's Day (2010).

Car accident and arrests

In 1981, Roberts was involved in a car crash that left him comatose for three days and with facial trauma, a broken collarbone, and an injured hand. His appearance changed significantly and as a result he had to change the type of role he played, taking "heavy" roles rather than the "pretty boy" parts he had played previously.[7] In 1987, Roberts was arrested for possession of cocaine and marijuana and resisting arrest after he tried to assault a New York police officer.[8] He spent 36 hours in jail, pleaded guilty to harassment, and had all other charges dropped.[7] In 1991, Roberts faced accusations of domestic violence from then-girlfriend Kelly Cunningham.[9] In February 1995, Roberts was arrested for shoving his wife, Eliza Garrett, into a wall.[8] He subsequently announced that he was giving up drug use entirely.[7]

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 estrangment had been his past drug abuse, and her siding with his ex-girlfriend over the custody of his daughter Emma Roberts. In 2004, he told People magazine that he and his sister reconciled when he visited her in the hospital after she gave birth to twins.[10]

In popular culture

An episode of the satiric cartoon series South Park featured Roberts as a star in a re-enactment of America's Most Wanted. He plays the genetically engineered half-man, half-monkey sidekick of the character Mephisto. The portrayal is less than kind, depicting Roberts as a washed-up overactor. During the re-enactment's taping, a snowstorm forces a group of characters to resort to cannibalism, to Roberts' demise.

He was also 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 and Marie Osmond.

Roberts was parodied in the web cartoon series College University, participating in a martial arts competition for washed-up action stars. He never got to compete, though, as the Transformer Optimus Prime knocked him out and stole his name tag. Although in writing he was dubbed Eric Roberts, throughout the entire episode everybody referred to him as "Julia Roberts' Brother". The cartoon can be viewed at College University Character Bios.[11]

Roberts also appeared in season five of Entourage as himself in the episode "Tree Trippers." He is portrayed as a mushroom and drug fanatic as he joins the boys to Joshua Tree National Park to trip on mushrooms as they contemplate Vince's next movie decision.

Roberts is also an interesting staple of music videos, featuring in videos for The Killers, Mariah Carey and Akon, the latter of which he plays a cop named 'Jack Gates' who escorts Akon to a strip club as part of a mission.

Selected filmography

Year Film Role Other notes
1978 King of the Gypsies Dave Nominated: Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Acting Debut - Male
1980 Paul's Case Paul
1981 Raggedy Man Teddy
1983 Star 80 Paul Snider Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor
Nominated: Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
1984 The Pope of Greenwich Village Paulie
1985 The Coca-Cola Kid Becker
Runaway Train Buck Nominated: Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated: Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
1986 Slow Burn Jacob Asch TV-movie
Nobody's Fool Riley
1989 Best of the Best Alex Grady
1990 The Ambulance Josh Baker
1990 The Lost Capone Al Capone
1991 By the Sword Alexander Villard
1992 Final Analysis Jimmy Evans
1993 Best of the Best 2 Alex Grady
1994 The Specialist Tomas Leon
1995 The Nature of the Beast Adrian
The Immortals Jack
Saved by the Light Dannion Brinkley TV-movie
1996 Power 98 Karlin Pickett
The Grave Cass
It's My Party Nick Stark
Doctor Who The Master/Bruce TV-movie
Heaven's Prisoners Bubba Rocque
The Cable Guy Himself
The Drew Carey Show Steven TV episode "Drew's Other Man"
In Cold Blood Perry Smith TV miniseries
Nominated: Satellite Award for Best Actor - Miniseries or Television Film
Public Enemies Arthur Danlop TV
1997 Frasier Chet TV episode "Roz's Krantz & Gouldenstein Are Dead"
The Odyssey Eurymachus TV miniseries
Most Wanted Assistant Deputy Director Spencer
Oz Richard L'Italien TV episode "Capital P"
1998 The Prophecy II Michael
The Shadow Men Bob Wilson
La Cucaracha Walter Pool
1999 Purgatory Blackjack Britton
Lansky Ben Siegel (age 40) TV-movie
Touched by an Angel Nick Stratton TV episode "Made in the U.S.A"
Wildflowers Jacob
Spawn Petey (voice) TV episode "The Mindkiller"
Heaven's Fire Dean McConnell TV-movie
The Hunger Jean TV episode "The Dream Sentinel"
2000 Cecil B. DeMented Honey's Ex
Tripfall Mr. Eddie
Mercy Streets Rome
2001 The King of Queens Strohmeyer TV episode "Paint Misbehavin'"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Sam Winfield TV episode "Victims"
Raptor Sheriff Jim Tanner
2002 Spun The Man
Wolves of Wall Street Dyson Keller
Lenzen und Partner Will Butler TV (59 episodes, 2002-2005)
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Television Series Musical or Comedy
Justice League Mongul (voice) TV (3 episodes)
2003 National Security Nash
L.A. Confidential Pierce Patchett TV pilot
2004 Miss Cast Away Maximus Powers
Six: The Mark Unleashed Dallas
2005 Danny Phantom Dark Danny (voice)
CSI: Miami Ken Kramer TV episode "Whacked"
The Civilization of Maxwell Bright Arlis
2006 Phat Girlz Robert Myer
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints Older Antonio
DOA: Dead or Alive Donovan
The L Word Gabriel McCutcheon TV (3 episodes, 2006-2007)
Fatal Desire Joe TV-movie
Aurora Mr. Brown
2007 Pandemic Mayor Dalesandro TV-movie
Heroes Agent Thompson TV (6 episodes)
2008 Edgar Allan Poe's Ligeia Vaslov
Witless Protection Wilford Duvall
Fear Itself Harry Siegal/Harry Bender TV episode "Spooked"
Law & Order: Criminal Intent Roy Hubert TV episode "Betrayed"
Dark Honeymoon L.A. Guy
The Dark Knight Salvatore Maroni
The Cleaner Ray Crin TV episode "Here Comes the Boom"
Entourage Himself TV episode "Tree Trippers"
2009 In the Blink of an Eye Captain Jones
The Steam Experiment Grant
Rock Slyde Jake the Deliveryman
Royal Kill Dad
Shannon's Rainbow Mitchell Prescott
Edgar Allan Poe's Ligeia Vaslov
The Whole Truth Yaro Maroslav
The Butcher Merle Hench
Project Solitude John Sola
Crash Seth Blanchard TV (13 episodes)
2010 Crimes of the Past Robert Byrne
Westbrick Murders John
The Expendables Monroe


  1. ^ "Julia: Her Life", James Spada. St Martin's Press, New York. Page 32
  2. ^ "Heroic Save". Retrieved 2007-05-14. 
  3. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 23, 2007). "Dale, Cohen, Roberts get casting calls". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2007-01-26. 
  4. ^ [1] Rourke steals Spirit Awards show — BBC News. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
  5. ^ Eric Roberts to Wage War With Sharktopus
  6. ^ "Eric Roberts Mugshot". 1995-02-08. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  7. ^ a b c "". Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  8. ^ a b "Celebrity mug shots". 2010-02-05. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  9. ^ "NetGlimpse page of Emma Roberts". Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  10. ^ Michael Fleeman (December 15, 2004) Julia Roberts, Brother Eric Reunited People. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
  11. ^ "College University Character Bios". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 

External links

Preceded by
Anthony Ainley
The Master
(Doctor Who)

Succeeded by
Derek Jacobi

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