Also Credited As:Cole Mitchell Sprouse
|August 4, 1992|
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Along with his identical twin brother, Dylan, Cole Mitchell Sprouse - named for legendary singer Nat "King" Cole - was born on August 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. Born 15 minutes younger than Dylan, Sprouse would later describe how it played into their good-natured sibling rivalry. "Every single day, Dylan always mentions that he is 15 minutes older than me and considers that just because he is older, it means that he is the boss."
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.
Sprouse proved he could play a character on his own as well, after landing a recurring role as Ben Geller, David Schwimmer's adorable son, on the hit NBC sitcom, "Friends." Audiences truly got to see the young actor's comedic chops, as he often delivered the laughs right along with the show's six formidable comic leads in several episodes between 2000 and 2001. Even though he enjoyed taking on a solo role, Sprouse said he could not imagine life without Dylan. "I love to have a twin because you always have someone to talk to when you are lonely," he said. "You kind of have someone to share your feelings with, without talking out loud."
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 free-spirited troublemaker Cody, while his brother was preppy bookworm Zack 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 travel to Europe with friends after the show ended, while his brother planned to attend an art college.