Roberta Taylor

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Roberta Taylor
Born Roberta Alexandra Mary Roberts
(1948-02-26) 26 February 1948 (age 69)
West Ham, Essex, England
Occupation Actress, author
Years active 1972–present
Spouse(s) Victor Taylor (1966-1970s) (divorced)
Peter Guinness (m. 1996)
Children 1

Roberta Alexandra Mary Taylor (née Roberts;[1] born 26 February 1948) is an English actress and author. She is best known for her roles of Irene Raymond in EastEnders (1997–2000), and Inspector Gina Gold in The Bill (2002–2008).


Taylor worked in the theatre and appeared at the Glasgow Citizens Theatre from 1980 to 1992.[2] During that period, she played La Duchesse de Guermantes in a stage adaptation of Marcel Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu (Remembrance of Things Past) entitled A Waste of Time, in which Rupert Everett and Gary Oldman were also in the cast. She was also seen in Noël Coward's Design for Living, Oscar Wilde's A Woman of No Importance and An Ideal Husband. She was the Princess Kosmonopolis in Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth in 1992, and in 1995 played the Nurse in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet at the Lyric Hammersmith.

She has also appeared in episodes of the television series Doctors, Sharman, Holby City, Silent Witness and Inspector Morse. She has appeared as a guest on The Paul O'Grady Show and in the films The Witches (1990) and Tom & Viv (1994).[3] She has also appeared as herself on Lily Savage's Blankety Blank.[4]

In 2005 she played Mrs Pardiggle in the BBC's drama serial adaptation of Charles Dickens' Bleak House.[5] In 2009, she starred as the long-suffering Phoebe Rice in John Osborne's play The Entertainer at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. In 2011 she appeared in the West End revival of Pygmalion, alongside Rupert Everett, Kara Tointon and Diana Rigg.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Born the illegitimate child of Robert Alexander Archer, an already married bus conductor, Taylor was brought up by her mother Winifred Roberts and aunts and grandmother.[7][8][9]

She married Victor Taylor on 1 April 1966.[10][11][12] The couple divorced in the early 1970s and had a son.[13]

Taylor met fellow actor Peter Guinness whilst working with the Glasgow Citizens Theatre. They married in September 1996 after having been together for twenty years. Guinness appeared in a few episodes of The Bill as her lover in 2007.[14]

Taylor came out in support of the Labour Party for the 2010 general election, appearing in an election broadcast with fellow EastEnders actor Ross Kemp and hosting the silent auction at the Labour Party Women's Dinner on 6 December 2010 at Hotel Russell in London.[15]


Alongside her acting career, Taylor is an author. Her first book, Too Many Mothers, a memoir of her childhood, was published in October 2005. She was criticised by two cousins for some of the content in the book, with one of the cousins claiming that she was "too flippant about traumatic events in his difficult past". She refused to remove any of the content prior to publication, and later walked away from one of them at a book signing[16] Her first novel, The Reinvention of Ivy Brown, was published in November 2008.



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  4. ^ Lily Savage's Blankety Blank. 13 May 2001. ITV. 
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