Born on July 8, 1959 in Fremont Ohio, Robert Knepper's love for acting was influenced by his mother, who often worked with their local community theater. He grew up in Maumee, Ohio, and spent a lot his time as a young man acting at a community theater and high school plays. While he was a drama student at Northwestern University, Knepper jumpstarted his professional acting career by performing in various productions throughout Chicago. Just before he was about to gain his degree, he dropped out of school and moved to New York City, where he went on to do more stage acting.
He ventured into other areas of the entertainment industry in 1986, and was cast in the films The Paper Chase and That's Life. Among his other big screen projects are Everyone Says I Love You, DOA, Renegades, Young Guns II, Gas Food Lodging, Hostage, Good Night and Good Luck, Species III and Hitman. He had recurring roles on the series Carnivale, Thieves, Haunted and Presidio Med, and guest-starred on different television series such as ER, The West Wing, Getting Out, Law & Order, Law & Order Criminal Intent, La Femme Nikita, New York Undercover, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager, L.A. Law, Profiler, South Beach, Murder She Wrote, and CSI: Miami. Knepper also starred in the miniseries Jackie, Ethel, Joan: The Women of Camelot.
Knepper is most famous for playing Theodore Bagwell in the Fox series Prison Break. The role earned him a Satellite Award nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television in 2006. For Knepper, the role not only served as a means to escape being typecast, but also as a way to keep challenging himself.
He and his wife, Tori Herald, have one son named Ben. He and his family currently hold residence in Los Angeles, California.
Most recently, he was cast as new villain Samuel on the fourth season of Heroes and on SGU Stargate Universe as Simeon.
During filming of Hitman (2007), his Danish co-star Ulrich Thomsen jokingly confided in him that his last name, "knepper", is in fact a dirty word in Danish.
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Star Trek: Voyager
Kidnapped in Paradise
La Femme Nikita
Law & Order: Criminal Intent
Good Night, and Good Luck
The Day the Earth Stood Still
"Loved it! I had never been to Bulgaria. It is so funny because years ago a CIA guy came down to the Actors Theater in Louisville, Kentucky. This was 1985. [Nicolae] Ceausescu [of Romania] was still alive. And he said that the only country worse than Romania is Bulgaria. And so here I am twenty-something years later, thinking: 'Oh, no. This is going to be terrible.' It was so beautiful. The people are amazing. There's a very European kind of feel to the whole city, and yet it is its own city and its own country. And they are just blossoming. It was just great." (On filming Hitman in Bulgaria)