Roberta Taylor is the actress who portrayed Inspector Gina Gold from June 2002 until October 2008.
She was born at home in Plaistow in the East End of London. If you ask her she will tell you here date of birth is the 26th of February 1948, but seemingly she changes the date so as to throw you off the scent. She comes from a very matriarchal family and was born to a father her mother adored, but a man Roberta herself would never get to know.
Her mother, Winifred Roberts began dating Robert Alexander Archer in the 1940's. She loved him dearly but when she told him she was pregnant, he dropped the bombshell that he was, in fact, married. She separated from him shortly after and went on to have Roberta whom she named after her father. However we very nearly didn't have Roberta in the acting world to appreciate her talents. When Winifred's father found out she was pregnant outside of marriage, he asked Win's Mum Mary who the Father was. Rather than tell him the Father was married, Mary simply replied, 'she doesn't know who the Father is.' This unfortunately was like a flag to a bull and that same night he beat Win within an inch of her life. Win miscarried one of the twins she was carrying, but went on to have Roberta.
Roberta married her first husband at the age of 18, but the actress has always kept his identity secret, she was three months pregnant with her son Elliot at the time. After a few years, she and her husband split in the early 70's and she went on to Glasgow to pursue her career in acting.
At the age of 24, after working as a dental side nurse, she found her passion in acting and later she started at the Glasgow Citizens Theatre, where she met her current husband Peter Guinness. She was in Glasgow for 12 years before moving back to London where she began her on screen career, starring in programs such as Inspector Morse, Silent Witness and then in films like The Witches and Tom and Viv.
Roberta is currently married to actor Peter Guinness, and she was his girlfriend on The Bill in 2006 and 2007, when Guinness portrayed prosecutor Peter Harris. They have been together for over 30 years but did not marry until September 1996, a year before she started in EastEnders where she became a household name as Irene Raymond. Roberta remained at EastEnders until 2000 after her character left husband Terry in Spain.
Roberta, however, will always be better known for her role as Inspector Gina Gold in the ITV1 drama 'The Bill'. The role was pretty much written for her and she began filming in 2002. Gina was very much ballsy, funny, sarcastic but loyal. Roberta said she enjoyed playing her softer side as well when Gina trusted people. One person she trusted was close friend Sergeant Dale 'Smithy' Smith played by Alex Walkinshaw who has become a very close friend of Roberta's after the cameras stopped rolling. In fact, Roberta is Grandmother by proxy to his two children Flora and Jack.
Not only is Roberta an accomplished actress, but now she is also an accomplished writer as well. During her time at 'The Bill', she wrote two books. Her first one 'Too Many Mothers, A Memoir To An EastEnd Childhood' was a top ten best seller during its release in 2005. She began work on her second book and first novel, 'The Reinvention Of Ivy Brown' shortly afterwards. However, she began to find it difficult to write and film 'The Bill' and then find the time to have a social life at the same time. She realised the time had come to say goodbye to Gina Gold and bowed out in 2008. Part of her influence also came when the formatting, story lines and new characters meant that the producers were separating Alex and herself. They both became annoyed and disillusioned by this.
Since then she has been promoting her new book in Australia first of all, and then here in Britain in March 2009 and hopefully we shall see her on our screen once again.