Did You Know?: Randy Roberts
Randy Roberts, distinguished professor of history. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)
Having made more than 50 appearances as a historical consultant for television documentaries and films, Randy Roberts, distinguished professor of history, is included among actors, actresses, directors and cinematographers on the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com).
Since the 1970s, Roberts has consulted for the History Channel, ESPN Classic, BBC, E!TV, HBO, PBS and on the ABC, CBS and NBC networks. By speaking in sound bites, boiling down segments of history and keeping it interesting and meaningful, Roberts helps the entertainment industry portray history correctly.
As a pop culture, sports and military expert, Roberts has written nearly 30 books, many about athletes, celebrities and historical figures, but he has always viewed television and film as effective ways to bring history to many people.
"When I write a book, even if it ends up being a bestseller, maybe 60,000 people will read it, but with film and TV, I am able to present history to millions of people," he says.
Among his consulting experiences, Roberts contributed to two Emmy-winning documentaries -- "10 Days that Unexpectedly Changed America" and "Unforgiveable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson." Also, he appears as a reporter in "Rocky Balboa" and can be seen as an extra in the final fight sequence.
For Roberts, the transition from being in front of the classroom to being in front of the camera was natural. "Whether while teaching or on film, I have to bring energy when I'm in front of an audience," he says. "My personality, my voice and my energy level have to be bigger to get everyone excited about the topic."
Consulting for television documentaries and films has given Roberts the chance not only to combine his three childhood passions -- sports, history and movies -- but also to share with millions that "history is not remembering facts; it's viewing the past as a story and figuring out where it fits into the big picture."
For more information about Randy Roberts' consulting career, visit www.imdb.com/name/nm1685264/maindetails.