Robert Lyle Knepper was born in Fremont, Ohio on 8th July 1959 but was also raised in Maumee, Ohio where his father, Donald Knepper, worked as a veterinarian. His love for acting may have begun when his mother, Pat Deck, who passed away in 2003, was working in the props department for the community theatre, thus getting him involved in the productions.
His passion for acting lead him to study drama after he graduated from Maumee High School in 1977 at Northwestern University which he quit in 1981 when he was about to graduate. During his time at Northwestern, Knepper also experienced professional roles in plays in Chicago but then after leaving Northwestern went to New York City and continued in theatre.
Knepper started his film career with That’s Life in 1986 and was about to give up acting before he was cast as T-Bag in Prison Break and become a park ranger to support his family. Knepper is married to Tori Herald and has one son with her, Benjamin Peter Knepper.