Robert Iler is an American actor best known for playing A.J. Sporano on the popular HBO series The Sopranos. Born and raised in New York City, Iler was discovered by chance and began his acting career with a spot in a Pizza Hut commercial. He made his film debut in The Tic Code with Gregory Hines in 1999, when he was just 14 years old. That same year, he joined the cast of The Sporanos.
Robert Michael Iler was born on March 2, 1985, in New York City. Iler began his career largely by chance. He was discovered by a manager while out with his father. At the age of six, he did his first commercial?a spot for the Pizza Hut restaurant chain. Other commercials followed and he made his film debut in The Tic Code with Gregory Hines, which was released in the United States in 2000.
Shortly before his fourteenth birthday, Iler began his career-making turn on the hit HBO series, The Sopranos, in January 1999. As Anthony Jr., he played the often unmotivated, sometimes trouble-making son of mob boss Tony Soprano, played by James Gandolfini. Iler was very convincing in the role, winning the Hollywood Reporter Young Star Award for best young actor/performance in a drama television series twice—in 1999 and 2000. Also in 2000, he won a Screen Actors Guild Award, along with the rest of the cast, for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series.
After the series' third season aired, in July 2001, Iler ran into some trouble with the law. According to newspaper reports, he and three friends allegedly robbed two teenage boys in New York City. Iler was arrested and charged with robbery and drug possession. While he claimed not to be involved in the robbery, Iler later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor larceny charge and received three years' probation.
Despite this unfortunate incident, Iler continued to excel in the role of Anthony Jr. Audiences watched as his character grew up and evolved over the show's six seasons. In the show's final season, fans got to see a slimmer, healthier Iler, who had dropped a significant amount of weight after dieting and exercising. The actor told one magazine that he worked out, rode his skateboard and played basketball as a part of his effort to get fit.
Iler's more recent on-screen credits include roles in the films Tadpole (2002) and Daredevil (2003) with Ben Affleck, and guest appearances on the TV series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and The Dead Zone.
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