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Beverly Roberts

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Beverly Roberts
Beverly Roberts, at age 93
Beverly Louise Roberts

(1914-05-19)May 19, 1914
DiedJuly 13, 2009(2009-07-13) (aged 95)
Occupation(s)Actress, singer, painter, executive
Years active1936-1973
PartnerWynne Gibson (1898-1987, her death)[1]

Beverly Louise Roberts (May 19, 1914 – July 13, 2009) was an American film and stage actress of the 1930s, as well as a singer and painter. She worked as a business executive in the entertainment industry through the 1970s.[2]

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Born in Brooklyn, New York, she was first spotted by a Warner Bros. talent scout while singing in a nightclub in 1935. Having performed as a stage actress prior to that, she was signed to a contract with Warner Brothers, starring in her first film in 1936, titled The Singing Kid, in which she appeared opposite Al Jolson. That same year she starred opposite Humphrey Bogart in Two Against the World. In 1937, she starred in God's Country and the Woman, Warners' first Technicolor film, in which she starred opposite George Brent. From 1937 to 1939, she starred in sixteen films. She and Errol Flynn signed with Warner Bros. on exactly the same day, but she reportedly quit films after losing key parts to other actresses including Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland.[3]

By 1940, she had returned to singing and stage acting. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, she was showcased in numerous radio and television appearances.

In 1954, Roberts returned to New York City and took up a new career as administrator of the "Theater Authority", whose members comprised the five entertainment unions. The organization exercised jurisdiction over performers appearing at charity functions and telethons. Roberts retired in 1977, and moved to Laguna Niguel, California, where she lived out the remainder of her life.

Personal life

Actress Wynne Gibson, whom she had known since they worked together on the 1938 feature Flirting with Fate, followed her to New York; the two shared homes together on both coasts (West Babylon, Long Island, New York,[4] and Laguna Niguel, California) until Gibson's death in 1987.

In 2000, Roberts was featured in the documentary I Used to Be in Pictures, which revisited Hollywood's early years and featured interviews with former actresses and actors of the day.

In 2002, Roberts was honored by the "Del Mar Theater" in Santa Cruz, California, and her 1936 film, China Clipper, was shown at its grand opening. That same year she was honored at the "Cinecon Film Festival" in Hollywood.

In one of her last public appearances, on October 18, 2006, she was a guest of honor at the 84th Anniversary of the opening of the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood with Sybil Jason, where she answered questions from the audience after a screening of her debut film from 1936, The Singing Kid, which starred Al Jolson.[5]


Roberts died in her sleep on July 13, 2009, at age 95, in her home in Laguna Niguel from natural causes. Longtime companion of actress Wynne Gibson, Roberts never married or had children.[6]


Year Title Role Notes
1936 Two Against the World Alma Ross
The Singing Kid Ruth Haines
Sons o' Guns Mary Harper
Hot Money Grace Lane
China Clipper Jean "Skippy" Logan
1937 God's Country and the Woman Jo Barton
Her Husband's Secretary Diane Ware
The Perfect Specimen Alicia Brackett
West of Shanghai Jane Creed
Expensive Husbands Laurine Lynne
1938 Daredevil Drivers Jerry Neeley
Making the Headlines Jeane Sandford
Call of the Yukon Jean Williams
Tenth Avenue Kid Susan Holland
Flirting with Fate Patricia Lane
The Strange Case of Dr. Meade Bonnie
1939 I Was a Convict Judy Harrison
First Offenders Susan Kent
Tropic Fury Judith Adams
Main Street Lawyer Flossie
Buried Alive Joan Wright


  1. ^ "Beverly Roberts". The Daily Telegraph. August 9, 2009. Archived from the original on April 9, 2023.
  2. ^ Obituary for Beverly Roberts, Los Angeles Times, July 20, 2009.
  3. ^ "Daily Telegraph obituary for Beverly Roberts". Retrieved December 4, 2013.
  4. ^ Hollywood Players, The Thirties by Parish and Leonard, Arlington House Publishers (1976), p. 252
  5. ^ "Press Release by American Cinematheque for the 84th Birthday commemoration for the Egyptian Theater". Archived from the original on September 17, 2010. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
  6. ^ Hodgins, Paul. "Notice of death of Beverly Roberts at age 95". Archived from the original on May 27, 2012. Retrieved December 4, 2013.

External links

This page was last edited on 30 May 2024, at 03:39
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