The Roberts family is talented in acting, from Julia Roberts, Eric Roberts, and Emma Roberts. However, while Emma Roberts' and Julia Roberts' net worth have been on an upward trajectory, Eric's plateaued long ago. Yet, he boasts of having been the one to make the careers of both his sister and daughter. He said the two ladies would not have been renowned actresses without him, and he is exceptionally proud for paving the way for them. So, how come while Emma's net worth is $25 million and Julia Roberts is $250 million, Eric Roberts' net worth is a mere $8 million? Still, it is no mean feat to achieve it in a world where tables keep turning, so let's look at how he achieved the $8 million.
Finding Solace in Acting
Eric was raised with his two sisters Julia and Lisa, in Georgia, where their parents ran a children's theater company. For 16 years, their parents had tried to make the marriage work, but in the end, the issues could no longer be ignored. So they divorced when Eric was 15, and the three siblings, who were once very close, were separated. Eric moved to Atlanta with his father while the girls remained in Georgia with their mother. According to The Stuttering Foundation, the Roberts siblings had a stuttering problem which they attributed to genetics. Although Julia does not detail her stuttering, Eric has been very open about his, saying how reading was his refuge. He admitted to having the worst stutter, and children in his class would laugh at him, even though he tried to memorize his passage before his turn. Therefore, to avoid the mocking laughter, Eric became an avid reader since no one would laugh at him.
The young boy had not said a word until he was five, and when he began speaking, it was with a stutter. Therefore, his parents considered enrolling him in a special education class. Fortunately, fate intervened before the decision could be made. As Eric memorized his words while standing in front of a mirror, his father saw him and realized that the young boy did not stutter. Being an acting coach, Eric's father immediately recognized that acting would help his son overcome his speech problem, and thus, Eric was thrust into the world of acting. In 1973, Eric, therefore, was enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, where he spent part of the summer. He returned to Georgia but left for New York a few years later to take up classes at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. According to Edibles Magazine, Eric got his debut on stage in 1976 when he was cast in "Rebel Women." He continued being cast in regional productions, and his TV debut came in 1977 when he was cast in "In Another World." By his admission, Eric was the worst soap opera actor, so it did not take long before he was fired before the first season ended.
Making Money in the Film Industry
In 1978, Eric was lucky to be part of the "King of the Gypsies" cast making his film debut. He did not have any film acting experience and owed his success to Marion Doherty, a casting director, who introduced him to Bill Treusch. Treusch became Eric's manager and landed him that first job. Being only 21, Eric was anxious acting alongside experienced actors, so he worked extra hard, sleeping only three hours a night. Still, the film earned the young actor his first Golden Globe Award nomination. With time the inexperienced Eric got so good at acting that after wrapping up filming "Star 80," where he played Paul Snider, a villain, women would avoid him when he walked along the streets. It got him wondering why but Christopher Walken explained that he looked spooky. Consequently, Eric began playing the dangerous and troubled characters because people had the misconception that he was in his element in such roles. According to Vanity Fair, Eric's screen presence and great performance in "King of the Gypsies" got the attention of Paramount Pictures. They offered him a lucrative 3-picture deal which Treusch told him to turn down. It was worth a lot of money, but Eric declined the offer, one of the many that came his way, but Treusch advised Eric against taking them.
A Downward Trajectory
Unfortunately, Eric's environment got him hooked on drugs. According to HuffPost, Eric revealed everyone around him, including producers and craft services, was high because drugs were left lying around in the prop trucks. He went to work and business meeting high, and of course, it showed. With time, the drugs affected his career and relationships as well. As published by The Fix, in 1981, the actor was involved in a car accident while driving under the influence. He was in a coma for three days and suffered broken bones, facial trauma, and a bruised brain. The emotional turmoil got him hooked on prescription drugs. In 1987, Eric was arrested for possession, striking a police officer, and harassing a woman. After marrying Eliza in 1992, the drug use was so much; she forced him to choose between her and the drugs. He made the wise decision to start a journey of sobriety and refers to his wife as his muse.
Getting Back in the Game
Since the prominent roles had stopped coming, which of course affected his net worth, it was time to get back in the game. He was cast in sitcoms such as "Less Than Perfect" for three seasons and movies like "The Expendables" and "The Dark Knight." Musicians also recognized Eric's talent, so he acted in several music videos as revealed by Medium. Although he was not interested in doing them, his wife convinced him. The songs became a huge hit, and artists believed that they would be successful if Eric was in the music videos. So Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Ja Rule, and Akon utilized the actor. With only $ 8 million to show from an acting career spanning four decades, Eric wonders why of all the good actors whose careers have faded, it had to be him. Still, although the acting gigs are not as many as they were before, he can't complain. Some people believe it is all about timing and luck, so maybe he will get another chance to reinvent himself and increase his net worth.
Written by Allen Lee
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