Roberds: “Kind soul”
Roberds’ sister, Debbie McGrath Holmes, said he had felt unwell Saturday and did not improve by Sunday. His brother, Jim Roberds, was with him at their home in Langley when Michael had a medical emergency and became unconscious. He was taken by ambulance to hospital but could not be revived and died shortly before midnight.
Brother Jim and sister-in-law Kellie Roberds were by the 52-year-old’s side when he passed. Holmes said a doctor told them Michael had “a series of small heart attacks” but the exact cause of death has yet to be given.
Known to be versatile character actor who excelled in comedy and drama, Roberds brought an abundance of warmth to his work and was forever one of the more popular actors on any set. Actor Jay Brazeau called him “a generous soul.”
One of his first acting credits was as a bartender on The Commish in 1991 and he went on to appear in some 90 TV shows and films, including other recurring roles on shows such as Robson Arms and Da Vinci’s City Hall.
Addams Family reprise
His list of Facebook friends reads like a who’s who of Vancouver’s acting and entertainment industry and dozens of tributes and messages of condolences have been posted. They express great shock and sadness at his loss and note his talent and heart. Numerous posters thanked him for his friendship.
Roberds played Uncle Fester on the reboot of The New Addams Family for 65 episodes and when that show ended in 1999 he stayed close to co-star Ellie Harvie and her family. Harvie posted on her FB page Monday that “Mike was a dear friend, a kind soul and a wonderful human being. He passed away suddenly last night. We are all devastated.”
Also a writer, he wrote extensively for print and in 2013 began yet another career, this one in radio when he became the film reviewer on NewsTalk 980 CKNW. He was also involved in sketch comedy and acted in many stage plays.
Armed with a quirky knowledge of local and international TV and film, in 2006 he hosted what he called his “short-lived comedy talk show,” Roundtable, co-produced with Lance Peverley. It was a lively program that featured guests from the Vancouver arts scene like Harvie, Gary Jones, Tom Braidwood, Conni Smudge, musician Bocephus King, Shawn Macdonald and Camille Sullivan
Celebration of life
Growing up in Langley, he started telling stories at the age of 3 and Michael Roberds never stopped bringing smiles and laughter to those around him. He leaves behind a loving family, including his beloved niece and nephew, Leia and Taylor Roberds.
The family posted the following message on social media:
As a family we are devastated to mourn the loss of a beloved brother, son, uncle, and friend. Michael Roberds brought joy and laughter to the lives of everyone he met….you could not have met a more kind hearted, friendly soul. Words cannot express the emotions we are going through, but as a family we are grateful for all those who impacted his life for the better and helped make life long memories.
There will be a Celebration of Life for Michael Roberds on Sunday, June 12 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Coast Hotel Ballroom in the Cascades Casino in Langley, 20393 Fraser Highway. All are invited.