Roy Roberts (born Roy Barnes Jones, March 19, 1906 – May 28, 1975) was an American character actor. Over his more than 40-year career, he appeared in more than nine hundred productions on stage and screen.

Roy Roberts
Roy Roberts in The Big Trees (1955).jpg
Roberts in The Big Trees (1952)
Roy Barnes Jones

(1906-03-19)March 19, 1906
DiedMay 28, 1975(1975-05-28) (aged 69)
Resting placeGreenwood Memorial Park, Fort Worth, Texas
Years active1936–1975
Lillian Moore Tainter
(m. 1947)

Life and careerEdit

Born in Tampa, Florida, Roberts began his acting career on stage with a stock company there. He left the Tampa company after a year to perform in touring stock theater for five years.[1]

He first appeared on Broadway in May 1931 before making his motion picture debut in Gold Bricks, a 1936 two-reel comedy short released by 20th Century-Fox. He appeared in numerous films in secondary parts and returned to perform on Broadway in such productions as Twentieth Century, My Sister Eileen, and Carnival in Flanders until he began making guest appearances on television series. After appearing on Gale Storm's My Little Margie in 1956, he became part of several television series. In a show that was the precursor to The Love Boat, Roberts played the ship's captain for four years in Storm's next hit, Oh! Susanna, which aired on CBS and ABC from 1956 to 1960. He guest-starred in scores of series, including the western-themed crime drama, Sheriff of Cochise, the western series, My Friend Flicka, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (as Texas cattle baron Shanghai Pierce, and The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, and Brian Keith's Cold War drama, Crusader. Roberts appeared on four episodes of the CBS legal drama, Perry Mason, including the role of murderer Arthur Janeel in the 1961 episode, "The Case of the Malicious Mariner."

During the middle 1960s, Roberts was one of the most recognizable faces on television, and had recurring roles concurrently on a number of popular programs, including:

In the 1940s and 1950s, Roberts was a regular in many films noir, including Force of Evil (1948), He Walked by Night (1948), Nightmare Alley (1947), The Brasher Doubloon (1947), Borderline (1950) and The Enforcer (1951). In 1953, he appeared as Vincent Price's character's crooked business partner (and first victim) in House of Wax. In 1956 he was Colonel Sam Sherman in The First Texan. In 1962 Roberts appeared as John Kemper on the TV western Lawman in the episode titled "Heritage of Hate."[citation needed]

He also appeared in the neo-noirs The Outfit (1973) and Chinatown (1974). He also had a small role in the hit 1963 Stanley Kramer comedy, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World as a police officer. Unfortunately, his role was cut from later television and movie versions to reduce running time. However, Roberts' brief role is included in versions on laserdisc and extended-length DVDs.

Roberts appeared in an episode of the situation comedy A Touch of Grace in 1973. His last television appearance was on the January 21, 1974, CBS broadcast of Here's Lucy. In that installment, "Lucy Is N.G. As An R.N.", Roberts played a veterinarian.


Roberts died in St. Vincent's Hospital[1] in Los Angeles, California, of a heart attack on May 28, 1975, and was interred at Greenwood Memorial Park in Fort Worth, Texas.[2]

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ a b Freeman, William M. (May 31, 1975). "Roy Roberts dies; Character actor". The New York Times. p. 30. Retrieved January 2, 2023.
  2. ^ Wilson, Scott. Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed.: 2 (Kindle Locations 25047-25048). McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. Kindle Edition.

External linksEdit