Birth Name: Eric Anthony Roberts
Place of Birth: Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S.
Date of Birth: April 18, 1956
Ethnicity: English, German, Swedish, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, remote French
Eric Roberts is an American actor. His roles include the films King of the Gypsies, Raggedy Man, Star 80, The Pope of Greenwich Village, Runaway Train, The Specialist, Cecil B. Demented, National Security, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, The Dark Knight, The Expendables, Inherent Vice, The Institute, and Head Full of Honey, and television’s Saved by the Light, Doctor Who, Less than Perfect, Heroes, The Young and the Restless, The Finder, Suits, and a portrayal on South Park.
Eric is the son of Betty Lou and Walter Grady Roberts, who were actors and playwrights. He is the brother of actresses Lisa Roberts Gillan and Julia Roberts (Julia Fiona Roberts). Eric is married to actress Eliza Roberts, who is the daughter of screenwriter David Rayfiel and radio host Lila Garrett. Eric is the father of actress Emma Roberts, with his former partner Kelly Cunningham.
Eric’s father’s family has lived in the Southern United States for many generations; his ancestry includes English, German, Swedish, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and remote French.
A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2023) stated that Eric’s sister Julia’s genetic ancestry consists of:
*32% England & North Western Europe
*7% Sweden & Denmark
Eric’s paternal grandfather was Walter Thomas “Tom” Roberts (the son of John Pendleton Roberts and Jimmie Glen Corbitt). Walter was born in Georgia. John was the son of Henry McDonald Mitchell, Jr., whose mother likely was born in Ireland, and of Rhoda/Rodie Suttle/Suttles. John was born and raised under the name of his mother’s late husband, Willis R. Roberts, who had died over a decade before his birth. John’s biological father was married to another woman when he was born. Jimmie was the daughter of Thomas C. Corbitt and Josephine “Josie”/Jodie Gherkey/Garker.
Eric’s paternal grandmother was Beatrice M. Beal (the daughter of William Edward Beal and Pearl F. Dooley). Beatrice was born in Georgia. William was the son of John Frank Beal and Martha Ann Redd. Pearl was the daughter of Washington “Lewis” Dooley and Mahalia/Mahala Ann “Haley” Hitt.
Eric’s maternal grandfather was Wendell John Bredemus (the son of John Math/Mathias/Matheus/Mathews Bredemus and Elin Maria “Eleanor” Johansdotter/Johnson). Wendell was born in Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota. Eric’s great-grandfather John was the son of Mathias/Mathew Bredemus, who was German, and of Elizabeth Steffens/Stevens, who was of German descent. Elin was Swedish, born in Sundstorp, By, Värmland, Sweden, the daughter of Johan/John Jansson/Johnson and Emma Kristina/Christina Carlsdotter/Karlsdotter/Carlson.
Eric’s maternal grandmother was Elizabeth Ellen Billingsley (the daughter of James Henry Billingsley and Nellie Hutchings). Elizabeth was born in Indiana. James was the son of John James Warren Billingsley and Elizabeth P./A. Hymer/Hyner. Nellie was the daughter of Dolphin/Dalphin/Dalphon Hutchings and Ellen Greenlee/Matkin/Matkins.
Sources: Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak’s article about Eric and Julia’s ancestry, at The Huffington Post – http://www.huffingtonpost.com
Genealogy of Eric Roberts (through Eric’s sister, Julia Roberts) – http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com
Genealogies of Eric’s parents – https://www.findagrave.com
Genealogy of Eric’s paternal great-grandfather, John Pendleton Roberts – http://www.findagrave.com
Marriage record of Eric’s maternal great-grandparents, James Henry Billingsley and Nellie Hutchings – https://familysearch.org