|August 4, 1992|
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Along with his identical twin brother, Cole, Dylan Thomas Sprouse - named after poet Dylan Thomas - was born on Aug. 4, 1992 in Arezzo, Italy to Matthew and Melanie Sprouse. The parents, both American, moved back to California four months after the twins were born, but not before the boys received dual citizenship in both Italy and the States.
The move to California signaled the beginning of the twins' careers. At just six months old, they started acting and booked a shared role as Patrick Kelly, Brett Butler's youngest child, on "Grace Under Fire" (ABC, 1993-98). With a successful debut on the small screen, it did not take long for the film industry to take notice of the adorable, blonde-haired duo. They again shared a role - a scene-stealing one at that - opposite Adam Sandler in the 1999 comedy "Big Daddy." That same year, the Sprouse twins were cast in the drama feature, "The Astronaut's Wife," alongside Johnny Depp and Charlize Theron.
Even though his brother Cole landed a recurring role of his very own on NBC's hit sitcom, "Friends" (1994-2004) as Ben Geller, the son of Ross Geller (David Schwimmer), Sprouse said it never caused a rift in their relationship and he was always very supportive. "We really do look out for each other," he said. "We're like best friends. We spend a lot of time doing fun things with our friends and family."
The boys went back to splitting screen time when they played Young Pistachio in the quirky Dana Carvey comedy, "The Master of Disguise" (2002). They also reunited - sort of - with Sandler that same year, voicing K-B Toys Soldier in the actor's animated holiday bomb, "Eight Crazy Nights" (2002). The twins' 2004 film "The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things" was unlike anything they had done before. Directed and starring Asia Argento, and based on the J.T. LeRoy novel of the same name, the movie was a dark and provocative story of a drug addict (Argento) and her cross-dressing son Jeremiah, played by Sprouse and his brother. The role truly pushed the envelope for the young stars' acting abilities in their toughest project to date.
While "The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things" was not seen by anyone outside the art house world, the Sprouse brothers got a heavy 'tween fan base when they scored separate starring roles in Disney Channel's "The Suite Life of "Zack and Cody." Sprouse played preppy bookworm Zack Martin, while his brother played free-spirited troublemaker Cody Martin, alongside "High School Musical" (2006) star, Ashley Tisdale. The twins also became a brand in 2005, thanks to The Olsen Twins' Dualstar Entertainment, which marketed a clothing line, DVDs, sports gear, video games, and even a magazine titled Code, which targeted boys, aged 8 to 14 year old.
In 2009, Disney Channel created "The Suite Life On Deck," a spin-off show where the Sprouse twins' characters boarded a Semester at Sea cruise ship. They also provided voice acting for the animated feature "Kung Fu Magoo" (2009). The brothers both announced "The Suite Life On Deck" would be their last Disney project, with Sprouse saying he planned to attend an art college after the show ended, while his Cole said he wanted to travel to Europe.