Ben Roberts dead: Actor who played Chief Inspector Derek Conway in The Bill dies at 70

The Bill actor Ben Roberts has died at the age of 70, his agent has confirmed.

The Welsh actor, who played Chief Inspector Derek Conway in the ITV police drama between 1987 to 2000, died on Monday.

Roberts was best known for playing the dogged and career-focused officer Conway, but later moved into film and appeared in features by Tim Burton and James Bond director Cary Fukunaga.

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Lizanne Crowther Management (LCM), which represented Roberts until he stopped working, confirmed his death.

Ben Roberts as Chief Insepector Derek Conway in The Bill. Photo by Fremantle Media/Shutterstock

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A statement from LCM on Twitter said: “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 was born in Bangor in July 1950 and his first TV role was in A Woman’s Place, alongside Ralph Bates.

He appeared in cult crime drama The Professionals and played a minor role in Doctor Who in 1984.

In 1987 he was cast as Conway in The Bill, an old fashioned and moralistic officer acting as Chief Superintendent Brownlow’s right-hand man.

His exit saw him killed in a car-bomb attack as part of a cast shake-up by new producer Paul Marquess.

In 2011, he played Briggs in Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre and in 2014 played Jean in A Little Chaos directed by Alan Rickman.

In 2016, he appeared in Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, directed by Burton.

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