In history books, 1986 will always go down as just another year. Lots of events took place; the People Power Revolution began in the Philippines. England launched "Today," the first national color tabloid newspaper. The US national debt rose to an astonishing $2,000,000,000,000. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver said their vows and the first lung, heart, and liver transplant was performed at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, England.

For the entertainment world (and Twilight fans across the globe), however, 1986 was a very special year. On May 13, 1986, outside the small town of Barnes, England, Robert Douglas Thomas Pattinson was born. He didn't come from a showbiz family, albeit they were successful; his father, Richard, owned his own business, bringing in import vintage cars from the states. His mother, Claire, had a job at a London modeling agency, booking new talent. The Pattinson family consisted of five individuals; Robert, his parents, and his two older sisters, Elizabeth (who would later come to be known as the singer, Lizzie Pattinson) and Victoria.

Robert began his education at the Tower House School in London. His schooling continued at the Harrodian School, also located in London. At the age of 12, Rob started his first career, working as a model. It isn't hard to believe that he took to this field - not only did he have his mother's influence, but young Rob was nothing short of a catch. His modeling career was short lived, however. By the time Pattinson turned 16 his career began to fizzle. Robert had one last fling with modeling in 2007, when he appeared in advertisements for Hackett of London's fall collection.

Pattinson has been asked on more than one occasion to relay the tale of how he came to be an actor. Most fans have probably heart the story numerous times. When Rob was a teen, his dad was kind enough to give him some advice on how to meet ladies - spend some time at the local theater group. Well, that theater group happened to be the Barnes Theater Company, and Rob's passion for acting was ignited there. While modeling was a job, acting was something completely different for Pattinson. He soon fell in love with the art and began auditioning for small roles in various productions throughout London.

In 2004, Pattinson appeared in his first few films. Vanity Fair was directed by Mira Nair. The film also starred Reese Witherspoon (who Pattinson would later go on to work with) and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. The role wasn't large and eventually got cut from the big screen version, but it helped Rob get his foot in the door of the acting world. That same year, Pattinson landed another supporting role, this time in a made-for-TV movie called Ring of the Nibelungs.

In 2005, Rob appeared in his first major motion picture project. His role as Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire left fans wondering who this fresh new actor was and when they would get to see more of him. Rob continued to work on smaller films, starring in 2006's the Haunted Airman and 2007's the Bad Mother's Handbook. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was also released in 2007, and although Rob didn't have an acting role in the film, he did appear in a flashback as Cedric Diggory. Although Rob was busy building up his resume, the life of a starving artist just wasn't cutting it for him. Little did he know, however, that 2007 would be the year that would change his career (and his life) forever.

During 2007, Summit Entertainment was beginning to put together their on-screen rendition of Stephenie Meyer's best-selling book, "Twilight." By December of that year they were still looking for an actor to fill the lead role. On a whim Rob's agent, Stephanie Ritz, encouraged him to come spend some time in LA and audition for a role in Summit's latest screen gem. The budget was low, and while Twilight was expected to go down in history as another cult-classic, Ritz still thought it was a role worth considering. Rob hopped across the pond and into his audition for the part of brooding and romantic Edward Cullen, the lead male character in the film who just so happened to be a vampire. It didn't take long for film's director, Catherine Hardwicke, to make up her mind. Rob was cast and the rest is Hollywood history.

2008 came around and Rob continued to work on smaller independent films. He had roles in the short film the Summer House and in two full-length indie flicks, How to Be and Little Ashes. But Twilight would come to be known as the big, silver-lined Hollywood door that opened to Rob and welcomed him in. Fans initially had mixed reactions when the announcement of who would be playing Edward was made. Once the movie started filming and was eventually released in November of 2008, however, Pattinson mania kicked into high gear. What was originally expected to be a low-grossing, small indie flick evolved into the biggest pop culture phenomena of the last decade. Everywhere Pattinson went, female fans of all ages were waiting to greet him. When the second installment in the Twilight series, the Twilight Saga: New Moon began filming in Vancouver in early 2009, fans waited eagerly outside of the various sets, all in hopes of catching a glimpse of the cast. People from across the world would make trips to the Canadian city in hope of running into Rob on the street. Fan photos with Rob and scans of autographed merchandise started appearing on the various fan sites. Pattinson quickly found himself in the middle of a tinsel-town whirlwind that hasn't let up yet.

And so the young British man who just years ago nobody had heard of became one of the most well-known and recognized names in Hollywood. It's hard to turn a corner these days without encountering at least one person who knows who Rob is. The star has appeared in numerous magazines, including People, Vanity Fair, GQ, Details, and Harper's Bazarr, He's visited countries on almost every continent during promotional tours for Twilight. Last summer the star made his first appearance ever at an official Twilight Convention. And he's appeared on numerous TV shows, including Oprah, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, the Tonight Show, and Regis and Kelly.

Twilight didn't just open doors for Pattinson; it also opened doors for those who were lucky enough to have worked on earlier films with him. The Haunted Airman, the Bad Mother's Handbook, Little Ashes, and How to Be are now currently available on DVD in the US as well as other areas of the world.

Working on the Twilight Saga isn't the only thing Rob's done to keep himself busy. In 2009 the young star jetted to New York City where he worked opposite Emilie de Ravin on another Summit Entertainment movie, Remember Me. The film was released in March of 2010 and left fans eager to see more of Rob in new and different roles. In early 2010 he set off to Europe where he filmed Bel Ami, which has not yet been released. The actor returned to the big screen in June of 2010 playing Edward Cullen in the Twilight Saga: Eclipse. In April of 2011 Water for Elephants was released, and Rob recently finished filming Cosmopolis, which is due out in 2012.

Of course the days of the saga haven't come to an end quite yet. The star will be continuing the role of Edward Cullen in the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 and the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (due out in November 2011 and November 2012 respectively).

In addition to acting, Rob is also a musician. While he doesn't currently have any albums out, or any concrete plans to record one, Rob was lucky enough to have two of his songs featured on the Twilight soundtrack. "Never Think" and "Let Me Sign" both appeared in the first film of the series, much to Robert's astonishment. And while it's very unlikely that you'll catch the actor playing a public show anywhere, those who have worked with him and who are close to him speak very highly of his musical abilities.

As Pattinson's resume continues to grow, so does the ocean of opportunity at his feet. It's hard to say exactly what direction Rob will move in now that the Twilight films are completed. In past interviews, the actor has expressed interest in both producing and directing films (Rob is already credited as an Executive Producer on Remember Me). One thing is for certain - Pattinson is just getting started. With an expansive fan base and a name that's recognized virtually everywhere, fans can expect to see a whole lot of Robert Pattinson in the near - and far- future!

(Information sources: "The Robert Pattinson Album" by Paul Stenning,,,

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