David Robb

David Robb (born 23 August 1947) is a Scottish actor.[1]

David Robb
Born (1947-08-23) 23 August 1947
London, England, UK
Years active1970-present
Spouse(s)Briony McRoberts (1978-2013) (her death)

Robb has starred in various British films and television shows, including films such as Swing Kids and Hellbound. He is well known for playing Germanicus in the famous 1976 BBC production of I, Claudius,[2] and as Robin Grant, one of the principal characters in Thames Television's 1981 series The Flame Trees of Thika. He has also performed as a voice actor for several Star Wars video games, and had a recurring role in the fantasy television series Highlander: The Series. He has worked extensively on BBC radio drama, including as Charles in the original radio series of Up the Garden Path opposite Imelda Staunton; as Captain Jack Aubrey in the BBC Radio 4 adaptations of the Patrick O'Brian "Aubrey" novels, and as Richard Hannay in several adaptations of the John Buchan novels, including The Thirty-Nine Steps in 2001 and Mr Standfast in 2007. He played Dr Clarkson in the television drama series Downton Abbey.

Robb was born in London, to David Robb and Elsie Tilley. He grew up in Edinburgh and was educated at the Royal High School. He married actress and activist Briony McRoberts in 1978. Beginning in 2004, he and his wife ran every year in the Edinburgh Marathon to raise money for leukaemia research. McRoberts committed suicide on 17 July 2013 (age 56), after a long illness with anorexia.[3]


Robb performed in two of Richard Norton-Taylor's Tricycle Tribunal Plays: The Colour of Justice (the dramatised version of the Sir William Macpherson inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence, his family's search for justice, and endemic racism in British police forces), and Half the Picture (a distillation of the Scott Inquiry into Arms-to-Iraq. It was the first play to be performed in the Palace of Westminster); both were directed by Nicolas Kent and performed at the Tricycle Theatre. The productions were broadcast by the BBC.


Year Title Role Notes
1974The SwordsmanAlex Zendor
1975Conduct Unbecoming2nd Lt. Winters
1976I, ClaudiusGermanicus3 episodes
1977Die StandarteEnglish Officer
1978The Four FeathersThomas WilloughbyTV movie
1979The Legend of King ArthurLancelot7 episodes
1988The SandbaggersPaul DalgettyYorkshire TV, 2 episodes
1982IvanhoeRobin HoodTV movie
1983The WarsMaj. Terry
1984The Last Days of PompeiiSallust3 episodes
1987Dreams Lost Dreams FoundRoss FlemingTV movie
1988The DeceiversGeorge Anglesmith
1991Up the Garden PathCharles6 episodes
1991Parnell and the EnglishwomanCapt. Willie O'Shea4 episodes
1993Swing KidsDr. Dietrich Berger
1994HellboundKing Richard
1996The Crow RoadFergus Urvill4 episodes
1997RegenerationDr. McIntyre
1997The House of AngeloLord Vanbrugh
1999Treasure IslandDr. Livesey
2004The Life and Death of Peter SellersDr. Lyle Wexler
2007Elizabeth: The Golden AgeAdmiral Sir William Winter
2008Sharpe's PerilMajor TredinnickTV movie
2009The Young VictoriaWhig Member
2009From Time to TimeLord Farrar
2010-2015Downton AbbeyDr. Clarkson34 episodes
2015Wolf HallSir Thomas Boleyn5 episodes
2016SacrificeRichard Guthrie
2018CliqueThe Dean2 episodes


  1. "David Robb". BFI.
  2. "David Robb on IMDB". IMDB. 2013. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  3. "Actor David Robb: 'Anorexia kills women like my wife'". BBC News. 14 July 2014.

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