Lynne Roberts

Lynne Roberts, also credited as Mary Hart,[1] born Theda May Roberts (November 22, 1922[2] April 1, 1978) was an American film actress during the Golden Age of Hollywood. She appeared exclusively in what were referred to as B-movies.

Lynne Roberts
Theda Mae Roberts

(1922-11-22)November 22, 1922
DiedApril 1, 1978(1978-04-01) (aged 55)
Other namesMary Hart
Lynn Roberts
Years active19361958
Spouse(s)William Engelbert, Jr. (19411944)
Louis John Gardella (19441952)
Hyman B. Samuels (19531961)
Don Sebastian (19711978)

Early years

Born in El Paso, Texas, Roberts was the daughter of Hobart M. Roberts, a bookkeeper, and May Holland.[3] The family moved to Los Angeles in the 1920s.


Roberts began working as an actress in the 1930s, under contract to Republic Pictures. At the age of 14, in 1936, she played a role in Bulldog Edition. In 1938, at age 16, she starred in the cliffhangers: The Lone Ranger and Dick Tracy Returns, and played a role in The Higgins Family. She was officially listed in studio records as having been born in 1919.

In 1941 she starred with Sonja Henie and John Payne in Sun Valley Serenade, while under contract to 20th Century-Fox. She returned to Republic Pictures in 1944, and stayed under contract there until 1948. She starred with Gene Autry in Sioux City Sue in 1946, and appeared in two more films with Autry: Robin Hood of Texas and Saddle Pals, as well as three films with Roy Rogers, and one with Monte Hale. (Johnny D. Boggs, in his book, Billy the Kid on Film, 1911-2012, wrote, "Lynne Roberts would co-star with [Roy] Rogers in eight Westerns, billed as Mary Hart in the first seven of those.")[4]

After leaving Republic Pictures for the second time, Roberts worked with Autry in outdoor adventures for Columbia Pictures. She also worked with Kirby Grant in Monogram Pictures' mounted-police adventures, and with Tim Holt at RKO Radio Pictures.

Roberts appeared in 64 films in total. Of those, 21 were westerns, and two were serials.

Personal life

Roberts married four times. Her first marriage was to William Engelbert, Jr., an aircraft company official,[5] with whom she had one son, Bill. The marriage ended in divorce in 1944.

Her second marriage was to Louis John Gardella, which also ended in divorce. In court, Gardella's attorney argued that the couple's Arizona wedding was invalid because Roberts was not legally divorced from Engelbert, although Roberts claimed she had a Mexican divorce decree.[6]

In 1953, Roberts married brassiere manufacturer Hyman B. Samuels, with whom she had a daughter, Peri Margaret and a son, William Edward.[7] The couple divorced November 14, 1961, in Los Angeles, California.[8]

Following that divorce, Roberts retired from acting and later married pro wrestler and motion picture actor Don Sebastian in 1971.[9]


Lynne Roberts was the sister of actor John S. Roberts.


On December 16, 1977, she fell in her home and suffered severe head fractures and lacerations. She went into a coma and died a few months later on April 1, 1978, from hemorrhaging. She is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills).

Partial filmography


  1. Hart, Mary. "Shine On, Harvest Moon". The Old Corral. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  2. "B-Western Heroines, Lynne Roberts". Retrieved 2008-12-12.
  3. Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics, birth certificate of Theda May Roberts
  4. Boggs, Johnny D. (2013). Billy the Kid on Film, 1911-2012. McFarland. p. 36. ISBN 9781476603353. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  5. "Actress Lynne Roberts Asks Change in Contract". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. New York, Brooklyn. International News Service. July 7, 1941. p. 11. Retrieved September 26, 2016 via
  6. Daytona Beach Morning Journal - May 25, 1951
  7. Lynne Roberts Spurns Return to Husband. Los Angeles Times - Aug 4, 1958 p5
  8. "Ex-Actress Gets Divorce -- Her Movies Bored Husband". The Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Texas, Corpus Christi. Associated Press. November 15, 1961. p. 1. Retrieved September 26, 2016 via
  9. Don Sebastian on the Internet Movie Database
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