INTERVIEW WITH TRACY ROBERTS BY A FLORIDA NEWSPAPER, 1989.
Tampa Actress is a villain on 'Superboy'
By Walt Belcher
TAMPA - When the "Superboy" episode lands on TV this weekend, a sexy female villain - played by a Tampa actress - will make trouble for the boy of steel.
Tracy Roberts, a 26 year-old professional actress who has appeared in numerous Florida-based films, will play the wicked Darla, a buxom master of disguise and sneaky sidekick to Superboy's arch enemy, Lex Luthor.
She makes her debut Sunday at 5:30 p.m. on WTOG, Channel 44, in the second installment of a two part season opener.
"It was a real challenge, but it was a lot of fun, too," says Roberts, who will be in at least five episodes of the syndicated series this season.
"Superboy" is produced at the new Universal Studios Florida near Orlando.
The half-hour action series returned for its second season last week with many changes: A new actor, Gerard Christopher, has put on the blue and red tights. He replaces John Haymes Newton, who flew off after a contract dispute. He reportedly wanted more money, and he also had off-camera troubles with numerous traffic violations.
Also missing this fall is Clark Kent's sidekick, T.J. White (Jim Calvert). Scott Wells, who played Lex Luthor last season, has been replaced by Sherman Howard.
Howard and Christopher seem to have brought a new chemistry to the series. Back as Clark kent's female friend, Lana lang, is Stacy Haiduk.
"Sherman is wonderful as Lex Luthor," Roberts said. "He's having a lot of fun being a villain. In this week's episode, he finds my character in a topless bar and recruits her to work for him."
The bar scenes were filmed at a real topless bar - Orlando's Flashdance club.
"We kidnap Lana lang, and before it's over Lana and I get into a big fight," Roberts said. "My character is not a ditz like the blonde in the 'Superman film'. They wanted to make her more cunning."
(Above) Tracy Roberts and Sherman Howard on set of "Lex Luthor, Sentenced to Death", a second season episode of Superboy.
To help Luthor execute his evil plans, Darla dresses as a priest - to help him escape an execution.
From Stripper to a priest - now there's a range you don't see every day.
(Above) Tracy Roberts and Sherman Howard on set of "Lex Luthor, Sentenced to Death". This is an authentic continuity photo used on the set.
"In another episode that we're filming soon, I'm to dress as a nun and as an Elvira-type," she said.
(Above) Authentic continuity photo of Tracy Roberts dressed as a nurse in the second season episode, "Lex Luthor, Sentenced to Death."
Roberts was born in Connecticut, but grew up in the Bay area. She attended Pinellas park High School and appeared in numerous Clearwater Community Theater productions. "I started acting as a child," she said. "At age 16, I was Dorthy in 'The Wizard of Oz', and I was hooked."
She also has done some modeling work, appearing in numerous magazines and on the covers of Tampa Bay Monthly and the best-selling book "How To Make a Man Fall in Love With You."
Roberts appeared in numerous commercials for businesses such as Maas Brothers, Vision Works, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Adventure Island.
She also had minor parts in several Florida-based productions series such as "Miami Vice," the HBO moie "Long Gone"; Ron Howard's "Cocoon"; the NBC movie "FBI Murders"; and the John Candy comedy "Summer Rental."
The 5-foot-2-inch blonde with blue eyes is the mother of a 4-year old girl, Ashley.
"I'm very excited about all the production that could be coming to Florida with Universal and Disney in Orlando and Burt Reynolds in Palm Beach," Roberts said.
Critical reaction to the new Superboy character and the new Superboy character and the new Lex Luthor has been positive, and there's a good chance that Luthor and Darla will return before the season is over.
"I'm hoping for a full contract," Roberts said. Because the film of each episode takes about one week with the cast and crew working 12- to 14-hour days, Roberts plans to move to Orlando soon.
"I think there will be enough work for me over there," she said. "I do all my own stunts, too. In fact, they offered me a job as a stunt woman."