Robert was born in Melbourne, Australia and his parents separated when he was 9, he moved to Western Australia to live wit his aunt and uncle. His mother had to find work and bring up three children. He had a varied number of jobs when older, ranging from miner, to bouncer and lifeguard. He also attended university as well as working on an oil rig in the Indian Ocean when he was 23. He had an accident on the rig where his ship collided and sank, he hurt his arm and ribs. But as he said in one interview, he's still around. He then decided he wanted to become an actor after seeing an ad and successfully auditioned for a place at Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.
Yeah we surrender too! Ha. To your charm!
He used to swim marathons, play water polo, Australian Rules Football, competed in surfing and life saving, well Australia is a sporty nation. He is 6' 3", hey that's a whole foot on me, ha!
His first role was that of Nicholas Walsh in Home and Away, funny where one of the characters in the show described Nicholas as a "wimp." Funny cos it was far from the truth. He's remarkably eye catching in 1989 and was the first time that I got to know who he was. Haven't missed him in anything since, well maybe a few things! But happy to say I've been a fan since way back when and not a recent convert after his foray into Longmire. Yeah I'm one of those people who see certain actors early on and then just stick with them through the years! Ha. He once said, "I've been working pretty solidly for a long time...not that anyone would notice, you know what I mean." Ahh, I did!!
Other roles in his native Australia included shows such as, Feds, Blue Healers, Stingers, as well as films such as Storm Warning, Rogue, Coffin Rock. He is best known especially in the US, for playing Agent Jones in The Matrix and in Vertical Limit. But he starred in much more than that. In the UK he is best known as playing Father Vincent Sheahan in Ballykissangel and also as Detective Peter Marenta in short lived Brit detective show, Yellowthread Street from 1989 (See above pic.) More recently he was also in an ep of Aussie crime series, Mr and Mrs Murder which we only got three eps of here in the UK and was so looking forward to seeing it.
Robert landed the role of Sheriff Walt Longmire as producers were looking for someone who isn't that well known but they were so right in their casting choice as Rob fits the role to a tee. He's got the height, the build, the accent and that cowboy hat and coat is just icing on the cake. Cos he really puts the rugged in ruggedly handsome. Not that he doesn't look great in a suit, but the casual jeans look just suits him more, ha no pun or anything sure I could've found a more apt and fitting word than suits, speaking of attire. Hmm wonder if I can find him in any purple, ha.
He said, "I love the show, I love the people working on it, I love the character...I wanted to get this job so I probably tried a bit harder." He had been to New Mexico before on a few occasions and one time bought a Hopi Indian belt buckle with a bear claw design, which he's worn ever since and even Longmire sports the same. He's also averse to technology, preferring an old style mobile phone (can relate to that) and shys away from social media, such as Facebook, where his official page is run by someone else for him. "I was never comfortable doing all that self promoting. I'm just happy to be working. I'm in a great show..I can pay my bills. I'm lucky." We're even luckier to watch him on our screens after it all seems like a long absence. Like catching up with an 'old friend' after all these years. At least to me it does, having seen him since his early days.
It's a shame he isn't very well known for all the work that he's done, he's been around for at least over twenty years, but here's hoping that Longmire will fix that, though Rob does tend to shy away from fame and being well known, but it kind of comes with the territory of being an actor. Robert of course shares the same name with the late Hollywood actor and it appears not many people had heard of him either. (Which means not many people know that the late Hollywood actor's real name was Spangler Arlington Brugh.)
I love Rob's wry sense of humour, sarcastic at times, but he maintains his feet firmly on the ground and like most of his fellow Aussie actors hasn't let being in the limelight and fame go to his head. As modest as ever. A true asset to his profession.