Ben Roberts, 'The Bill' and 'Jane Eyre' Actor, Dead at 70

Actor Ben Roberts has died. On Wednesday, The Scotsman reported that Roberts, a Welsh actor, died at age 70. The news was confirmed by Roberts' agent at Lizanne Crowther Management (LCM). The late actor was well-known for portraying the role of Chief Inspector Derek Conway in The Bill, an ITV police drama.

The Scotsman reported that LCM shared a statement regarding Roberts' passing. The management company reportedly represented the actor until he stopped working. (Roberts' last credit was for the 2019 film Daniel.) Their statement read, “Remembering the wonderful Ben Roberts who sadly passed away on Monday. Best known as Chief Inspector Derek Conway in The Bill & he had an extensive career in theatre, TV & film. Our thoughts are with his wife Helen & family at this time.”

Roberts worked on a series of programs over the years. But, as previously mentioned, he made a lasting impact with his time on The Bill. The late actor appeared on over 450 episodes of the show over the course of around 15 years. He appeared on the program from 1987 to 2002. His character was an associate of Chief Superintendent Brownlow (Peter Ellis). In 2002, the character of Derek Conway was killed off from The Bill in a car-bomb attack. His exit from the series was a part of a major cast shake-up that was implemented by the new producer, Paul Marquess. Roberts also appeared on shows such as Angels, Tales of Sherwood Forest and The Queen's Nose. In more recent years, he appeared in a variety of films.

In 2011, he played Briggs in Cary Fukunaga's Jane Eyre, which starred Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender and Jamie Bell. He also appeared in 2016's Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and 2014's A Little Chaos, the latter of which was written and directed by Alan Rickman, who also starred in it. The Scotsman reported that Roberts was born in Bangor, Gwynedd, Wales in July 1950. The actor got his first break on television in A Woman's Place? in 1978. Roberts would go on to appear in The Professionals, a cult crime drama, and an episode of the popular Dr. Who. Roberts was married to Helen Lloyd, who is a former Central Television announcer. According to the late star's IMDb page, they had one child together.