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.
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. 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.