Ian Roberts (South African actor)

Ian Roberts (born 1952) is a South African actor, playwright and singer. A native English speaker, he is also fluent in Afrikaans and Xhosa.

Ian Roberts
Born (1951-11-30) 30 November 1951 (age 68)
Fort Beaufort, South Africa
Occupation(s)Actor, playwright, singer

Early lifeEdit

Roberts was born in Fort Beaufort in the Eastern Cape Province and grew up on his father's citrus farm near the town. He attended St. Andrew's Preparatory School and St. Andrew's College in Grahamstown. After completing high school he performed his compulsory national service in the South African Army, which he completed in 1971.

After a variety of different jobs and a course in photography at the Port Elizabeth Technical College from 1973 to 1975, Roberts enrolled at Rhodes University in 1976 for a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Speech, Drama and Social Anthropology.

Acting careerEdit

Roberts became a South African icon when he played the character of Boet in a long-running series of television advertisements for Castrol motor oil.[1]:4 This character (together with the other characters Swaer and Moegoe) has also been featured in M-Net's comedy series Kalahari Oasis as well as in his Radio Kalahari Orkes band.[1]:4

In the Oscar-winning South African film, Tsotsi,[1]:4 Roberts played the role of a police captain.

He was married to South African actress Michelle Botes, but the couple divorced in 1999. They had two children.


Year Title Role Other notes
1987 Jane and the Lost City Carl
1989 Arende Sloet Steenkamp
1989 A Private Life Sergeant Smit Television Movie
1992 The Power of One Hoppie Gruenewald
1993 Triptiek Television Series
1993 Daisy de Melker Sid de Melker Television Movie
1995 Cry, the Beloved Country Evans
1996 Rhodes Colenbrander Television Miniseries
1997 Mandela and de Klerk Kobie Coetsee Television Movie
1998 Paljas Frans
1998 Tarzan and the Lost City Captain Dooley
1998 Sweepers Yager
1999 A Reasonable Man Chris Van Rooyen
2000 I Dreamed of Africa Mike Donovan
2001 Malunde Kobus
2001 Askari Ripshaw
2002 Promised Land Gerhard Snyman
2003 Hoodlum & Son Earl
2004 King Solomon's Mines Sir Henry Television Movie
2004 Red Dust Piet Muller
2005 Wah-Wah John Traherne
2005 Tsotsi Captain Smit
2005 3 Needles Hallyday
2006 Number 10 Marius Kramer
2008 Bakgat! Basjan Du Preez
2010 Bakgat! II Basjan Du Preez
2013 Bakgat! tot die mag 3 Basjan Du Preez
2013 Stuur groete aan Mannetjies Roux Oom Frans

In addition to the above, Roberts has played the leading role in Afrikaans language television series such as Sloet Steenkamp in Arende ("Eagles") and Jack Degenaar in Arsenaal ("Arsenal"), as well as a supporting role in Kwelaman (1986). He has also written a number of scripts, such as Honeytown 1 and the musical Palang van Dwaal ("Palang from Dwaal").


  1. ^ a b c Watson, Amanda (12 August 2019). "Boet on the okes and orkes". The Citizen.

External linksEdit