Emmerdale Robert Sugden actor unrecognisable two decades after bitter soap exit

Former Emmerdale star Christopher Smith is widely known for playing Robert Sugden on the ITV soap, but these days he looks dramatically different.

The 36-year-old actor began playing the role in 1989 when he was just four years old.

'Bad boy' Robert has been played by four different actors since he was introduced on the soap as the son of Jack and Pat Sugden in 1986.

He was most recently played by Ryan Hawley.

However, Christopher played him for the longest amount of time, starring in the role for a whopping 11 years.

The star looks incredibly different now after his reported move to Los Angeles in the US – and he can be seen looking much more mature in a recent photo posted on social media.

Taking to Twitter, the star shared a snap of him smiling just before he boarded a plane.

With a cup of coffee in his hand, the handsome soap actor was sporting a grey hoodie and some fresh facial hair – with a full-looking beard.

Viewers will remember Christopher's portrayal of the Sugden youngster during the 1990s.

But in 2001, he left the soap with producers keen to get another actor to portray Robert so he could become involved in more adult story lines during his teenage years.

His axing did not go down too well and he ended up suing Yorkshire Television for unfair dismissal, The Sun reports.

Since his Emmerdale exit, Christopher has moved stateside and now lives in Los Angeles, according to the publication.

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They report that he works as a producer on AMC talk show Talking Dead, in which host Chris Hardwick discusses episodes of the it show The Walking Dead.

There have so far been more than 200 episodes of the show spread across nine series.

In 2012, Christopher also returned home to Bradford to marry his fiancée Sarah in a ceremony at Bolton Abbey.

Emmerdale airs weekdays on ITV at 7pm

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