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Roberts, Eric (I) Biography




biography of Roberts, Eric (I)

Eric Anthony Roberts
18 April 1956, Biloxi, Mississippi, USA
5' 10"
One of Hollywood's edgier, more intriguing characters running around and about for decades, Eric Anthony Roberts started life in Biloxi, Mississippi, but grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. He began his acting career at age 5 in a local theater company called the "Actors and Writers Workshop", founded by his late father, Walter Roberts. After his schooling at Grady High, he studied drama at age 17 in London for two years at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, then returned to the States and continued his studies at the American Academy in New York. He made his NY stage debut in "Rebel Women" in 1976 at age 20 and appeared in regional productions, once playing the newspaper boy in a production of "A Streetcar Named Desire" starring 'Shirley Knight (I)' (qv) and 'Glenn Close' (qv). After appearing in such daytime soaps as _"Another World" (1964)_ (qv) and _"How to Survive a Marriage" (1974)_ (qv), his career began to shift fast forward when he copped a leading role in a major film. In _King of the Gypsies (1978)_ (qv), based on 'Peter Maas' (qv)' best-seller about a fracturing dynasty of New York City gypsies, he made his debut alongside an intimidating roster of stars including 'Judd Hirsch' (qv), 'Susan Sarandon' (qv), 'Shelley Winters' (qv) and 'Sterling Hayden' (qv). Young Eric held his own expertly (winning a Golden Globe nom) while his burning intensity and brooding charm marked sure signs of star potential. After this, he won the lead opposite 'Milo O'Shea' (qv) in the 1980 stage production of "Mass Appeal". He suffered serious injuries in a car accident during his nascent film career but lost no fans by the time he returned to co-star with 'Sissy Spacek' (qv) as a small-town stranger in _Raggedy Man (1981)_ (qv). It was, however, his stark and frightening portrayal of two-bit hustler "Paul Snider", the cast-off boyfriend who slays Playmate-turned-movie starlet 'Dorothy Stratten' (qv) (played by 'Mariel Hemingway' (qv)) in _Star 80 (1983)_ (qv) that really put him on the movie map and earned him a second Golden Globe nomination. A wide range of fascinating, whacked-out roles were immediately offered to him on a silver plate. He played another dangerous streetwise hustler type in _The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984)_ (qv) opposite fellow rebel 'Mickey Rourke' (qv); a cocky soda pop sales exec in the Australian comedy _The Coca-Cola Kid (1985)_ (qv); appeared with more charm and restraint opposite 'Rosanna Arquette' (qv) in the offbeat romantic comedy _Nobody's Fool (1986)_ (qv) and topped his prolific period off with an Academy Award nomination as a young prison escapee hiding out with 'Jon Voight' (qv) aboard an out-of-control train in the ultra-violent, character-driven action adventure _Runaway Train (1985)_ (qv). Good things continued to happen when he was a replacement lead in the original run of "Burn This" and won a Theatre World Award for his 1988 Broadway debut. A risky, no-holds-barred actor, he was often guilty of overacting if given half the chance. His film career began to slide in the late 1980s, appearing in more quantity than quality pictures. A series of missteps led to unheralded appearances in such bombs as the karate-themed _Best of the Best (1989)_ (qv); the NY urban thriller _The Ambulance (1990)_ (qv); the action western _Blood Red (1989)_ (qv), which took three years to release and is now solely remembered for being the only film Eric and superstar sister 'Julia Roberts (I)' (qv) appeared in together; and _Rude Awakening (1989)_ (qv) when he filled in as a burned-out hippie opposite a Chong-less 'Cheech Marin' (qv). More underappreciated "B" filming came with the 1990s (_Freefall (1994)_ (qv), _Sensation (1994)_ (qv), _The Nature of the Beast (1995)_ (qv), etc.), while also chewing the scenery with a number of mobster types in TV-movies, including one as "Al Capone". He soon began appearing as flashy secondary villains and creepies that showcased other stars instead, such as _Final Analysis (1992)_ (qv) starring 'Richard Gere' (qv), _Heaven's Prisoners (1996)_ (qv) toplining 'Alec Baldwin' (qv), and _The Dark Knight (2008)_ (qv), part of the "Batman" series with 'Christian Bale' (qv) and the late 'Heath Ledger' (qv). Eric's undeniable, unconventional talent would occasionally mesh with the perfect role. At the Sundance Film Festival in 1996, he received critical applause for his starring role as a man dying of AIDS in the uplifting and emotional film _It's My Party (1996)_ (qv) and earned more honors as a writer marked for murder in the mob-themed story _La Cucaracha (1998)_ (qv). He was also perfectly cast as one of the cold-blooded killers in the Emmy-nominated TV adaptation of 'Truman Capote' (qv)'s chiller _In Cold Blood (1996) (TV)_ (qv). Eric continued to appear sporadically on TV in such dramatic series as _"Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (2001)_ (qv), while sometimes showing a fun side as well in comedy (_"The King of Queens" (1998)_ (qv)). His own series work included _"Less Than Perfect" (2002)_ (qv) and, more recently, and in the cult program _"Heroes" (2006/II)_ (qv) where promise for a longer participation ended with his character's death. Recovered from a long-standing cocaine problem, Eric wed, for the first time, actress/writer 'Eliza Roberts' (qv) (nee Garrett). They have appeared in such films as _Killer Weekend (2004)_ (qv) and _Junior Pilot (2005) (V)_ (qv). His daughter from a former relationship, 'Emma Roberts (II)' (qv), is a newly popular and fast-rising "tween" actress from the series _"Unfabulous" (2004)_ (qv) and has played youthful supersleuth _Nancy Drew (2007)_ (qv) on film. Eric's unpredictable, volatile nature which works so mesmerizing on screen has also led to troubling times off camera; his relationship with younger sis 'Julia Roberts (I)' (qv) has been seriously strained for quite some time.
Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net



-   'Eliza Roberts' (qv) (16 August 1992 - present)


-   Low-key, yet softly gravel voice


-   Older brother of 'Julia Roberts (I)' (qv) and 'Lisa Roberts Gillan' (qv).

-   Before he became a movie star, he appeared in at least two soap operas. _"Another World" (1964)_ (qv) and _"How to Survive a Marriage" (1974)_ (qv).

-   (1981) He was seriously injured in a car accident and spent three days in a coma.

-   Father of 'Emma Roberts (II)' (qv), with Kelly Cunningham.

-   Brother-in-law of 'Tony Gillan' (qv) and 'Daniel Moder' (qv).

-   Step-father of 'Keaton Simons' (qv) and 'Morgan Simons' (qv)

-   Appeared with actor 'Clarence Williams III (I)' (qv) in 'Ja Rule' (qv) music video "Down ass chick".

-   Attended Grady High School in Atlanta, Georgia.

-   His left hand ring finger is permanently disfigured, as a result of a 1980s car accident.

-   In _Doctor Who (1996) (TV)_ (qv), he became the sixth actor to portray the Master. The evil character had previously been played in the series _"Doctor Who" (1963)_ (qv) by 'Roger Delgado' (qv) from 1971 until 1973, 'Peter Pratt' (qv) in 1976, 'Geoffrey Beevers' (qv) in 1981 and 'Anthony Ainley' (qv) from 1981 until 1989. In the 1996 TV movie, the Master was played briefly by Gordon Tipple, then by Eric Roberts while in a human body.

-   Was chosen to act in _Royal Kill (2009)_ (qv) when the Wrestling Choreographer, 'Ranjan Chhibber' (qv), a big "Doctor Who" fan, suggested to the director Roberts be hired because he loved his performance as "The Master" in the "Doctor Who" made-for-TV movie on Fox.

-   Has a niece named 'Hazel Moder' (qv) (aka Hazel Patricia Moder) and nephews 'Phinnaeus Moder' (qv) (aka Phinnaeus Walter Moder) and Henry Daniel Moder.

-   Some of Eric Roberts' boxing moves were once choreographed by actor 'Danny Trejo' (qv).

-   Was listed as a potential nominee on the 2008 Razzie Award nominating ballot. He was suggested in the Worst Supporting Actor category for his performance in the film _DOA: Dead or Alive (2006)_ (qv), he failed to receive a nomination however.

-   Made just one movie - _Blood Red (1989)_ (qv) - with sister 'Julia Roberts (I)' (qv).

-   After 'Roger Delgado' (qv), 'Peter Pratt' (qv), 'Geoffrey Beevers' (qv), 'Anthony Ainley' (qv) and 'Gordon Tipple' (qv), he is the sixth actor to play the Master, the Doctor's greatest enemy. He played the role in _Doctor Who (1996) (TV)_ (qv). He was succeeded in the role by Sir 'Derek Jacobi' (qv) and 'John Simm' (qv).

-   As a child he was inspired to become an actor after watching 'Robert Donat''s performance in _Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)_ (qv).

-   Was attached to co-star in 'Dolph Lundgren' (qv)'s _Command Performance (2009)_ (qv).

-   Was trained in Tae Kwon Do and Jujitsu for a short time.

-   To date he has filmed movies in over 17 countries (2010).

-   Good friends with Stone Cold 'Steve Austin (IV)' (qv).

-   Lives in Los Angeles, California.

-   Son-in-law of 'David Rayfiel' (qv) and 'Lila Garrett' (qv).

-   Eric and his stepson 'Keaton Simons' (qv) have had no contact with each other since 1994. Keaton cited that the reason why he never had any contact with Eric or his mother was because of Eric's drug abuse problems.

-   He is the only non-British actor to play The Master, the Doctor's greatest enemy in ''Doctor Who''.

-   The only actor to play a villain in both the Batman and Doctor Who franchises.


-   (????) TV commercial: H&M underwear

-   (????) Music video: Appeared in the video "Mr. Bright Side" by 'The Killers' (qv).

-   (????) Music video: Appeared in the video "Down Ass Chick" by 'Ja Rule' (qv).

-   (2005) Music video: Appeared in the 'Mariah Carey' (qv) video "It's Like That"

-   (????) Music video: Appeared in the video "We Belong Together" by 'Mariah Carey' (qv)

-   (????) Music video: Appeared in the video 'Akon' (qv) video "Smack That"

-   (2007) Music video: Appeared in the 'Godhead' (qv) video "Hey You"

-   (????) Music video: Appeared in the 'Akon' (qv) / 'Eminem' (qv) video "Konvicted".

-   (2012) Reprised his character from the The Killers' "Mr. Brightside" music video for its companion, "Miss Atomic Bomb."


-   I do like the idea of putting something comical into an intense drama, and being intense in absurd circumstances within a comedy.

-   My life is going to kill me. We all get angry when we realize that. But the anger is fear.

-   I've had people say to me, "It's such a shame what happened to your career." I just smile and say I've had a blast. I really have.

-   I had a perfect track record up to _Rude Awakening (1989)_ (qv). Then the track record goes bumpy, then it goes bad and I'm ruining myself with B movies. I've done a lot of shit. But I have reinstated myself.

-   This past 15 years, I made 120 movies, and I probably haven't seen 60 of them. But I've had a great time. I also don't have to die for my work anymore. I have never been more miserable or unhappy as when I shot _Star 80 (1983)_ (qv) - as a person, just because of where I had to go every day. [2008]

-   I'm not going to be the next thing. I don't have hope, I just have patience. [2008]


-   _"South Park" (1997) {Cartman's Mom is Still a Dirty Slut (#2.2)}_ (qv)


-   "MovieScope Magazine" (UK), October 2008, Vol. 2, Iss. 4, pg. 30-33, by: Colleen Patrick, "Eric Roberts: Acting is Like Giving Life"

-   "Cult Times Special" (USA), August 2007, Iss. 44, pg. 12-16+18, by: Steven Eramo, "Forces of Nature"

-   "Cinema" (Hungary), October 1997, Iss. 71, pg. 84, by: Scott Orlin, "Mindenkinek joga van az öngyilkossághoz"

-   "The Advocate" (USA), 6 February 1996, Iss. 700, pg. 40-46, by: Gerry Kroll, "Resurrection"

-   "Cinema" (Germany), 1996, Iss. 5, pg. 130, by: Scott Orlin


-   "La Segunda" (Chile), 13 June 2011, Vol. n/a, Iss. n/a, pg. 2, by: Andrés Nazarala, "Eric Roberts: "Interpretare a Sebastian Pinera hasta los huesos!""

-   "TV Guide" (USA), 5 July 2010, Vol. 58, Iss. 28, pg. 16, by: Michael Logan, "Eric Roberts Soaps Up"

-   "TV Guide" (USA), 30 November 2002, Vol. 50, Iss. 48, pg. 12, by: Mark Schwed, "Grapevine"

-   "TV Guia" (Portugal), 1997, Iss. 970, pg. 84

-   "Premiere" (USA), May 1996, Vol. 9, Iss. 9, pg. 60-69, by: Fred Schruers


-   "Vox" (Hungary), October 1999, Iss. 30, pg. 16, "A hónap sztárjai"

-   "Ciné-Revue" (Belgium), 29 March 1979, Vol. 59, Iss. 13, pg. 6, by: J. v. Cottom, "Jeunes aujourd'hui, vedettes demain?"


-   "The Advocate" (USA), 6 February 1996, Iss. 700

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