One of Hollywood’s promising young performers, Emma Roberts reached TV stardom at age 13 with her starring role as vivacious teen Addie Singer on the Nickelodeon hit sitcom “Unfabulous” (2004-?). Giving an impressive performance, the girl received a Teen Choice nomination and three Young Artist nominations. Making her acting debut at the age of nine in the Johnny Depp 2001 film Blow, Emma is probably best recalled by moviegoers as one of two girls who find a mermaid in the teen comedy Aquamarine (2006), opposite actress/singer Jojo. Other movies she has acted in include Grand Champion (2002), Spymate (2006), and the upcoming Nancy Drew (2007).
In addition to being an actress, Emma is also a pop singer. She released her debut album, a soundtrack for her TV series entitled “Unfabulous and More: Emma Roberts,” in 2005. She has also contributed songs to the soundtracks of Disney’s Ice Princess (2005) and Aquamarine (2006).
The American beauty of Irish ancestry has signed a contract with Dooney & Bourke, as their new spokes model. She also designs her own Dooney & Bourke handbag, named after her. On her free time, Emma enjoys swimming, drawing, reading, playing volleyball, summer camp, in addition to singing and playing the guitar, an instrument she started playing at age 10. She is friends with Jamie Lynn Spears, younger sister of pop star Britney Spears.
Childhood and Family:
Emma Rose Roberts was born on February 10, 1991, in Los Angeles, California, to actor Eric Roberts, Julia Roberts’s brother, and his then girlfriend Kelly Cunningham. Her parents separated shortly after her birth in the midst of charges of domestic hostility that finally reached court. In September 1991, when Cunningham departed family house with her daughter, Julia purchased a home for them to live in. She also supported Emma’s mother in her successful custody battle over Emma, which resulted in crack between her and her brother for the years to come. Emma barely saw her father after the custody decision though she stayed close with her mother and her actress-aunt.
Emma welcomed a new half-sister, Grace Nickels, in 2001 following her mother’s marriage to former L.A. Guns bassist Kelly Nickels. She also has a stepbrother, Keaton Simons, and a stepsister, Morgan Simons, from his father’s 1992 marriage to actress Eliza Simons.
Currently, Emma, whose nickname is Em, is studying at Archer School for Girls in Brentwood, California.
Daughter of Oscar-nominated actor Eric Roberts, who is Julia Roberts’ brother, Emma Roberts spent much time on the set of the movies that her aunt was starring during her childhood. These exposures ignited a yearning in five-year-old Emma to follow in the footsteps of her father and aunt into the cinematic industry. Despite her mother’s disapproval, she made her feature debut in Ted Demme’s 2001 drama Blow, in which she was cast as Kristina Jung, the daughter of Johnny Depp’s character, drug smuggler George Jung. The same year, she also played Delilah, one of the daughters of Mark McCormack and Sam Rockwell, on the Leif Tilden 10-minute short BigLove, which also starring her future step-father, Kelly Nickels, and was an uncredited extra in Julia Roberts’ America’s Sweethearts.
The next years saw Emma in smaller roles in the 2002 independent family film Grand Champion, portraying Buddy’s sister, a very lively boy with a prize-winning calf, and the 2003 Chris Potter- Richard Kind vehicle Spymate, as the kidnapped daughter of a former spy. Grand Champion received a short-lived theatrical release in August 2006, while Spymate was not launched until February 2006, when the movie was given a theatrical run in Canada. In 2003, Emma was planned to star with Rachel Weisz in an indie movie called “Daisy Winters,” but it never started shooting because of monetary problems.
Undaunted, Emma went on to have a lead role as Addie Singer in the Nickelodeon series “Unfabulous,” a role that would make her a teen idol. Debuted in September 2004, the teen sitcom became one of the network’s most-watched shows and was soon re- commissioned for a next season. As for Emma, her portrayal of an awkward but bright teen who fumbled her way through shocking junior high embarrassments brought her a 2005 Teen Choice nomination for Choice TV Breakout Performance – Female and three Young Artist nominations in the categories of Best Young Ensemble Performance in a TV Series-Comedy or Drama (2006), Best Performance in a TV Series-Comedy or Drama-Leading Young Actress (2005) and Outstanding Young Performers in a TV Series (2005).
As Emma’s character on “Unfabulous” pens songs and plays guitar, Nickelodeon quickly considered a career in music for the multitalented young actress as well, following the lead of other actress/pop singers like Lindsay Lohan and Hilary Duff. She broke into music with the song “If I Had It My Way,” which was included in the Disney Ice Princess (2005) soundtrack. Her full-length album, Unfabulous and More: Emma Roberts, on Columbia Records soon followed. Released on September 27, 2005, the album was quite unsuccessful, reaching No. 46 on the Billboard’s Top Heatseekers. Two music videos for singles “I Wanna Be” and “Dummy,” which was released simultaneously to promote the album, earned only limited airplay.
Emma made her return to the big screen in 2006 when she landed a starring role opposite her pop idol Joanna ‘JoJo’ Levesque on Aquamarine, teen comedy based on the best-selling book by Alice Hoffman. There, they portray girls who find who finds mermaid (played by Sara Paxton) in their swimming pool. She also sang a cover version of Weezer’s 2001 single “Island in the Sun” to the film’s soundtrack. After Aquamarine, Emma was set to star in Camp Couture (produced by her mother) and Bras and Broomsticks, but neither movie went into full production.
The teen starlet will play the titular teen detective in the Andrew Fleming-directed adventure Nancy Drew, which is scheduled to be released on June 15, 2007. She also signed to star in 2008’s Rodeo Gal.