Theodore Roberts

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Theodore Roberts
Theodore Roberts, stage actor (SAYRE 1607).jpg
Roberts in 1912
Born(1861-10-08)October 8, 1861
DiedDecember 14, 1928(1928-12-14) (aged 67)
Resting placeHollywood Forever
Pineland 124
Occupation(s)Film, stage actor
Lucy O'Brien
(m. 1890; div. 1905)

(m. 1905; died 1925)
RelativesFlorence Roberts (cousin)

Theodore Roberts (October 8, 1861 – December 14, 1928)[1] was an American film and stage actor.

Early life[edit]

Roberts was born in San Francisco, California.[2] He was a cousin of the stage actress Florence Roberts.[citation needed] His choice of a career disappointed his mother (who wanted him to become a minister) and his father (who wanted him to learn a trade).[3]


Roberts debuted on stage at the Baldwin Theatre in San Francisco in 1880.[4] He went on to act with a barnstorming troupe on the West Coast but tired of that lifestyle after several years and left acting for a time to command a schooner owned by his father.[4]

On stage in the 1890s he acted with Fanny Davenport in her play Gismonda (1894)[citation needed] and later in The Bird of Paradise (1912). His Broadway career began with We'Uns of Tennessee (1899) and ended with Believe Me Xantippe (1913).[5]

Roberts as Moses in Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments (1923)

He started his film career in the 1910s in Hollywood, and was often associated in the productions of Cecil B. DeMille.[citation needed] He portrayed Moses in the biblical prologue of DeMille's The Ten Commandments (1923).[6] One of his last film appearances was as the heroine's father in The Cat's Pajamas (1926).[7]

Roberts also performed in vaudeville.[8] After the end of a marriage, he spent six months in a New York jail because he refused to pay alimony.[3]


Roberts died of uremic poisoning in Hollywood, California at age 67 and is buried in Hollywood Forever Cemetery.[1]

Selected filmography[edit]

Advertisement for Anton the Terrible in Moving Picture World, 1916
Year Title
1914 The Ghost Breaker
The Man from Home
What's His Name
The Call of the North
1915 Temptation
The Arab
The Wild Goose Chase
The Woman
The Captive
The Unafraid
After Five
The Girl of the Golden West
The Unknown
1916 The Trail of the Lonesome Pine
The Dream Girl
Common Ground
The Storm
1917 Nan of Music Mountain
The Devil-Stone
The Little Princess
Joan the Woman
1918 The Squaw Man
The Hidden Pearls
We Can't Have Everything
Old Wives for New
Such a Little Pirate
1919 Don't Change Your Husband
The Winning Girl
The Poor Boob
For Better, for Worse
The Woman Thou Gavest Me
Love Insurance
Male and Female
What Every Woman Learns
1920 Suds
Double Speed
Judy of Rogue's Harbor
Something to Think About
1921 Forbidden Fruit
The Affairs of Anatol
Miss Lulu Bett
Hail the Woman
You're Fired
1922 Across the Continent
Our Leading Citizen
Saturday Night
Night Life in Hollywood
1923 Grumpy
The Ten Commandments
1925 Locked Doors
1929 Noisy Neighbors


  1. ^ a b Ellenberger, Allan R. (May 2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-7864-0983-9. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  2. ^ Fox, Charles Donald; Silver, Milton L. (1920). Who's who on the Screen. Ross publishing Company. p. 14. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Shows tragedy in life of actor". The News and Observer. North Carolina, Raleigh. Associated Press. December 22, 1928. p. 8. Retrieved August 14, 2020 – via
  4. ^ a b "Hits of the Month". The Theatre. XVIII (132): 117. October 1913. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  5. ^ "Theodore Roberts". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on August 14, 2020. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  6. ^ Liebman, Roy (February 6, 2017). Broadway Actors in Films, 1894-2015. McFarland. pp. 198–199. ISBN 978-0-7864-7685-5. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  7. ^ Neste, Dan Van (March 15, 2017). The Magnificent Heel: The Life and Films of Ricardo Cortez. BearManor Media. p. 231. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  8. ^ Wjote, Forest (February 23, 1924). "Theodore Roberts Ill And Moviedom Grieves; Film's 'Grand Old Man'". The Ithaca Journal. New York, Ithaca. p. 7. Retrieved August 14, 2020 – via

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