The daughter of Oscar-nominated actor Eric Roberts and the niece of "America's Sweetheart," Julia Roberts, youthful actress Emma Roberts seemed almost destined by blood to go into the family business. Her first professional claim to fame, however, came on the small screen for her role as junior high school student Allie Singer on the popular children's television series "Unfabulous" (Nickelodeon, 2004-07). Like her famous relatives, she eventually made the move to the big screen, starring in "Aquamarine" (2006), "Nancy Drew" (2007), "Hotel for Dogs" (2009) and "Valentine's Day" (2010). Gradually, Roberts began to take on more mature roles, transitioning from teenager to young adult onscreen in features like "It's Kind of a Funny Story" (2010), "Scream 4" (2011) and "The Art of Getting By" (2011). While her famous lineage may have helped her start down the path to stardom, her talent kept her moving ahead rapidly.
Emma Rose Roberts was born on Feb. 10, 1991 in Rhinebeck, NY. Split by her parents' divorce soon after her birth, little Emma grew up primarily with her mother, Julia Cunningham. Although Eric and Julia were long estranged, Emma, by all accounts, always grew up very close to her look-alike aunt - making her foray into show business almost inevitable. In fact, even when Julia and Eric had fallings out through the years, Emma remained extremely close to her aunt. Roberts made her acting debut at age nine in the 2001 drama "Blow," directed by Ted Demme. Although she was cast in the role of Kristina Jung, (the daughter of Johnny Depp's character, cocaine smuggler George Jung), most of her scenes ended up on the cutting-room floor due to time considerations. Fortunately, Roberts would get some belated screen time a year later in "Grand Champion" (2002), a drama starring Joey Lauren Adams. Roberts' follow-up, "Spymate" (2003), cast her as the daughter of a former spy played by Chris Potter. When one of her father's arch-nemeses (Richard Kind) kidnaps her, it falls upon her rusty spy dad and his chimp sidekick to get their act together to save her.
The following year, Roberts was tapped for the role of Addie Singer in Nickelodeon's hit "Unfabulous." In it, Roberts played a clumsy, but bright teenager who fumbled her way through horrific junior high embarrassments, such as landing head first in a punch bowl. Spending much of her time holed up in her room, singing and writing songs, the Addie role proved a portent of Roberts' budding musical career. Also in her "Unfabulous" capacity, Roberts became one of the first teen actors to write an ongoing blog about the making a TV show. As featured on the Nickelodeon web site, Roberts gave fans a primer for Hollywood lingo, such as the definition of "wrap party," while also providing a detailed journal of the behind-the-scenes antics.
In 2005, Roberts broke into the music business with a song on the "Ice Princess" motion-picture soundtrack. The movie, a vehicle for "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" star Michelle Trachtenberg, chronicled the travails of becoming a champion figure skater. Wisely marketed directly at Roberts' core demographic of female teens, the film ended up being a modest hit. The actress followed up with her first solo album, entitled Unfabulous and More: Emma Roberts (2005) on Columbia Records, but it debuted to little public or critical acclaim in the U.S.
Roberts was slated to appear in three films in 2006, but two of them - "Camp Couture" and "Bras and Broomsticks" - never went into full production. The third, however - the teen fantasy "Aquamarine" (2006) - did. In the charming comedy, Roberts played one of two girls who finds a mermaid. She also turned in a fantastic cover of Weezer's "Island in the Sun" for the soundtrack. Later that year, the teen starlet signed on to play the titular teen detective in "Nancy Drew" (2007), the first in a planned franchise of girl-friendly mystery movies. Roberts ramped up with the successful family comedy "Hotel for Dogs" (2009), earned some credit for the indie "Lymelife" (2009), and joined her famous aunt for the big-screen ensemble smash "Valentine's Day" (2010). As part of perhaps the starriest cast ever in a Hollywood production, Roberts held her own as a teenager considering losing her virginity. She tackled a variation on her persona - focused, mature, squeaky-clean - in the drugs-and-sex-soaked "Twelve" (2010), playing a straitlaced friend of Chace Crawford's rich high school drop-out who sells a highly addictive designer drug.
Returning to more family-friendly fare, she played a member of a high school girls' basketball team coached by a deadbeat dad looking for redemption (Sam Rockwell) in the comedy "The Winning Season" (2010). She played a patient in a psychiatric ward who, along with Zach Galifianakis, befriends a teenage newcomer (Keir Gilchrist) in the comedy-drama "It's Kind of a Funny Story" (2010), based on the novel by the same name. The following year, Roberts made the biggest headlines of her career when it was announced that she had landed the lead role in "Scream 4" (2011) as Jill Kessler, the heroic cousin of Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell). A few months later, the young actress was being courted by a depressed high school senior (Freddie Highmore) in the coming-of-age romance "The Art of Getting By" (2011).
Roberts continued her move to more nuanced roles in the subtle dramedy "Celeste and Jesse Forever" (2012) as the supporting part of Riley Banks, a seemingly shallow aspiring pop star who turns out to be unexpectedly thoughtful. The following year, she starred with Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston in the drug-smuggling comedy "We're the Millers," which did surprisingly well at the box office, and was featured in the straight-to-video action flick "Empire State" with Dwayne Johnson and Liam Hemsworth.
Cast (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Made feature film debut as Johnny Depp's daughter in Ted Demme's "Blow"
Cast in Leif Tilden's 10-minute short film "BigLove"; also starred her step-father, Kelly Nickels
Appeared in the indie family film "Grand Champion"
Cast as vivacious 'tween' Addie Singer in Nickelodeon's "Unfabulous"
Released her first full-length album, Unfabulous and More: Emma Roberts with Columbia Records
Cast alongside singer JoJo in the teen comedy, "Aquamarine"
Named as the new face of Dooney & Bourke; also designed a limited edition bag with Dooney
Cast in the title role as the girl detective in the big-screen adaptation of "Nancy Drew"
Co-starred in "Hotel for Dogs," a film adaptation of the Lois Duncan novel of the same name
Joined an ensemble cast for the Garry Marshall directed romantic comedy, "Valentine's Day"; also co-starred her aunt Julia Roberts
Co-starred with Keir Gilchrist and Zach Galifianakis in "It's Kind of a Funny Story"
Cast in the Wes Craven-directed slasher film "Scream 4," opposite Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette
Featured in the dramedy "Celeste and Jesse Forever"
Co-starred in the comedy "We're the Millers"