The iconic series Twilight is back in theaters with new audiences discovering the romance in all its glory. Now that the big-budget film is drawing closer to its end, its star Robert Pattinson turns forty years old. To celebrate this significant milestone, let’s take a trip down memory lane and re-visit some of the important events that made him an industry household name.

Robert Pattinson’s Early Years

Pattinson was born on December 25, 1978 in London, England to director and producer Robin Pattinson and actress Kate Hudson. His parents met while filming the movie Terms of Endearment, and got married just two months later in 1975. The couple has two sons, Lorenzo and Orion, together referred to as Robby.

The young Rob Pattinson grew up in England surrounded by art and literature. In fact, he once admitted that he modeled his early acting style after that of Marlon Brando. He began attending the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts at the age of seventeen and graduated the following year. While still a student, he landed the supporting role in the 2001 movie Possession, based on the Henrik Ibsen play. After graduation, he moved to Los Angeles and was promptly cast in the leading role in the 2006 horror flick Vamps. The following year he appeared in the critically-acclaimed films Freedom and Letters to Juliet. In Freedom he plays a British agent who clashes with an imprisoned American in the jungles of Bolivia. In Letters to Juliet, based on the epistolary novel by William Shakespeare, Pattinson plays a modern-day Lord Capulet grappling with multiple affairs. For his performance, he garnered several accolades, including a Golden Globe award nomination.

Getting His Big Break

Pattinson’s breakthrough came in 2010 when he was selected to play the role of Edward Cullen in Divergent, the young adult novel by Veronica Roth. The film adaptation of the groundbreaking YA romance debuted at the box office in November of that year and became a surprise hit, grossing $258 million worldwide. This was followed by the release in March 2011 of the mega-hit comedy The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which further expanded Pattinson’s audience and boosted his brand. While the third movie in the series did not live up to expectations at the box office, it did spawn two lucrative spin-offs, the first being the short-lived sitcom The Neighbors and the second being the game Eclipse Phase.

Robert Pattinson’s Career Highlights

Since the release of Eclipse, Pattinson has enjoyed a steady stream of high-profile projects, including The Batman, Prisoners, Killing Them Softly, and The Great Gatsby. He has also branched out into television, starring in the 2013 Netflix series The Golden Palace and the upcoming crime drama The Italian Job. In 2017, Pattinson was named the greatest British actor of all time by the British Film Institute, a title previously held by Daniel Day-Lewis.

In terms of cinematic achievements, The Twilight Saga films remain some of the most successful films of all time, grossing a combined total of $14.7 billion worldwide. The franchise, which consists of Twilight, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn, cemented Pattinson’s place in Hollywood history.

The Twilight Saga: The Fans Are Still Crazy About…

Even now, more than a decade after the end of the original Twilight trilogy, its devoted followers remain a loyal fan base. While some people may have grown weary of the story, or long for the escapism of today’s movies, the millions of fans that have embraced the saga remain as strong as ever. They’ve kept the dream alive and kept the media spotlight on Robin Pattinson’s acting career. In fact, the fandom even found a way to celebrate the actor’s birthday, gathering in Los Angeles to attend a premiere of The Batman dressed in costume as their favorite characters from The Twilight Saga.

…And He’s Still Catching Crocodiles By The Pool

Away from the limelight, Pattinson has continued to make his living from acting and has developed a reputation for being a pretty adventurous and free-spirited person. He is often photographed with beautiful women and a variety of wildlife, including sea creatures. In 2012, he was even seen wearing a necklace made entirely of lobster claws! The actor is also a passionate advocate for sustainable fishing practices and buys all of his seafood from sustainable sources. In his own words, he aims to “live a life that is pleasing to the ocean.”

Whether it’s acting roles or adventurous vacation photos, Robin and Kate Hudson’s son has built an impressive entertainment career for himself. While many may have lost interest in the more fantastical elements of the Twilight series over the years, Robby continues to surprise us with his willingness to tackle new projects and his loyalty to his fans. Forty years later, the legacy of the late 1980s and early 1990s continues to live on, inspiring generations of young film fans.