Ian Roberts is a South African actor, playwright and singer best known to television viewers for his roles in the drama series Arende and Snitch, and as the character Boet in a series of long-running advertisements for Castrol motor oil.
Roberts was born in Fort Beaufort in the Eastern Cape and raised on a citrus farm near the town. He attended St. Andrew's Preparatory School and St. Andrew's College in Grahamstown.
After completing high school he performed his compulsory national service in the South African Army, which he completed in 1971.
After a variety of different jobs and a course in photography at the Port Elizabeth Technical College from 1973 to 1975, Roberts enrolled at Rhodes University in 1976 for a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Speech, Drama and Social Anthropology.
Roberts wrote for and appeared in numerous theatre productions in the early part of his career, working in such theatres as The Space, the Market Theatre, the Civic, the Baxter and the Nico Malan.
He played lead roles in countless productions including Die Koggelaar, Going Under, True West, The Weekenders, American Buffalo, Palang van Dwaal and Tot die dood ons Skei.
In television, Roberts had supporting roles in numerous television series including Thandi's Choice, Manakwalanners and Onder Draai die Duiwel Rond.
He has had leading roles in the television series Arende, Arsenaal, Triptiek, Behind The Badge, Kalahari Oasis and Snitch.
Roberts became a South African icon when he played the character of Boet in a long-running series of television advertisements for Castrol motor oil.
This character (together with the other characters Swaer and Moegoe) has also been featured in M-Net's comedy series Kalahari Oasis as well as the Radio Kalahari Orkes band.
In addition to series television, Roberts has also acted in a number of mini-series and made-for-TV movies including A Private Life (1989), Daisy de Melker (1993), Rhodes (1996), Inside (1996), Mandela and de Klerk (1997), Black Velvet Band (1997), Efterträdaren (1999), King Solomon's Mines (2004), Coup! (2006) and Crossroads (2006).
From January to February 2008 he played the role of Christiaan du Preez in the SABC2 mini-series Land of Thirst.
He starred as Karel van Reenen, the unshakeable patriarch of the van Reenen family, in the M-Net soap opera The Wild, from 2011-2013.
As Christiaan du Preez in Land of Thirst (2008)
He also presented 13 episodes of the travel reality show Going Nowhere Slowly on SABC3 in 2007, and presented a six-part reality show based on The Amazing Race for M-Net, called Discovering Africa.Film
Aside from his acting in television, Roberts has an extensive movie resume. He has appeared in the following feature films to date:
Jane and the Lost City (1987)
Dancing in the Forest (1988)
The Power of One (1992)
Kalahari Harry (1994)
Cry, the Beloved Country (1995)
Cyborg Cop III (1996)
Tarzan and the Lost City (1998)
A Reasonable Man (1999)
High Explosive (2000)
I Dreamed of Africa (2000)
Lucky Day (2000)
Promised Land (2002)
Hoodlum & Son (2003)
Red Dust (2004)
3 Needles (2005)
Number 10 (2006)Directing Career
In addition to his acting career, Roberts has directed the cabaret State of the Heart, 13 episodes of the music industry drama series Honeytown (which he co-wrote), 13 episodes of the TV series Mr. Mamba and a Xhosa television series called Iliwa Libhek' Umoya.Personal Life
Roberts was married to South African actress Michele Botes, but the couple divorced in 1999. They have two children.