Buddy Roberts
Roberts, c. 1988
Birth nameDale Hey[1]
BornJune 16, 1947[1]
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
DiedNovember 26, 2012(2012-11-26) (aged 65)[1]
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.[1]
Cause of deathPneumonia[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Buddy Roberts[1]
Dale Valentine[1]
Dick Roberts
Billed height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)[2]
Billed weight225 lb (102 kg)[2]
Billed from"Badstreet U.S.A."
Trained byIvan Koloff[3]
RetiredApril 2, 1993

Dale Hey (June 16, 1947 – November 26, 2012) was a Canadian-American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, Buddy "Jack" Roberts. Primarily a tag team wrestler, Roberts is known for his appearances as one of The Hollywood Blonds in the 1970s and as one of The Fabulous Freebirds in the 1980s. He was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2015 and the WWE Hall of Fame in 2016 as part of The Fabulous Freebirds.[1][4]

Early life

Hey was raised in Newton, Surrey and went to Princess Margaret High School, in BC Canada graduating in 1965. After school, he worked in local lumber mills as well as being a bouncer at nightclubs including the Grooveyard in New Westminster. He became an American citizen in 1974.[5]

Professional wrestling career

Early career (1965–1970)

Hey was trained as a professional wrestler by Ivan Koloff.[3] He debuted in 1965 under the ring name "Dale Valentine", billed as being the younger brother of Johnny Valentine. At the tail end of the 1960s, he was working as a preliminary wrestler in the American Wrestling Association (AWA). [citation needed]

The Hollywood Blonds (1970–1978)

See also: The Hollywood Blonds

In 1970, Hey was brought into the Oklahoma-based NWA Tri-State promotion by booker Bill Watts. Watts had intended to create a new tag team comprising Jack Donovan and veteran journeyman Jerry Brown. After Donovan left the promotion following a dispute with Watts, Watts hired Hey in his place. Hey was renamed "Buddy Roberts" and began teaming with Brown as The Hollywood Blonds.[6] In 1972, Oliver Humperdink began managing The Hollywood Blonds.[7] The team of Brown and Roberts won numerous regional tag team titles across the United States throughout the 1970s.[8] They would disband in 1978.

The Fabulous Freebirds (1979–1988)

See also: The Fabulous Freebirds

After splitting from Brown, Roberts joined with Michael Hayes and Terry Gordy to form The Fabulous Freebirds. Again, Bill Watts played a major role in this decision. Hayes and Gordy had been teaming together in various promotions in the Mid-South and Southeastern regions of the United States for several years, but Watts was not as impressed with Hayes's in-ring work as he was with his skills on the microphone.[3] His original plan was to have Gordy and Roberts as the actual tag team, with Hayes as their manager. Except for a high-profile stint in 1980 in Mid-South Wrestling (formed by Watts the previous year after breaking away from NWA Tri-State) with Hayes and Gordy as the Freebirds, Roberts did not work full-time with the team until they joined Georgia Championship Wrestling in late 1980. He later became known as Buddy "Jack" Roberts, due to his penchant for drinking Jack Daniel's whiskey.[9]

World Class Championship Wrestling/World Wrestling Federation/American Wrestling Association (1982-1985)

The Fabulous Freebirds won several titles and moved on to World Class Championship Wrestling in late 1982 and began a high-profile feud with the Von Erich family. They wrestled David Von Erich, Kerry Von Erich, Mike Von Erich and Kevin Von Erich numerous times in 1986.[10] Roberts also had a long-standing feud with Von Erich ally Chris Adams, which lasted on and off for more than five years.[9][11] Roberts' most famous singles angle came in WCCW in 1983, and involved the invention of what the Freebirds referred to as "Freebird Hair Removal Cream". The angle culminated in a hair match between Roberts and Iceman Parsons on June 17.[12] Roberts seemingly won the match via tight-pulling, but the decision was reversed and the match restarted. In the fracas, Roberts' head was lathered in the hair removal cream. At subsequent events, Roberts wore a wig, kept in place by boxing headgear.[9] In 1984, Roberts and the Freebirds had a short stint in the World Wrestling Federation, mainly competing in six-man tag matches.[13] Here, they were managed by Cyndi Lauper's manager, David Wolff. They left the promotion when WWF officials stated their intention to split the team up. At the AWA's SuperClash in 1985, Roberts helped Hayes and Gordy defeat The Road Warriors for the AWA World Tag Team Championship, but the decision was later reversed.[9]

Universal Wrestling Federation (1986)

In early 1986, The Freebirds went to the Universal Wrestling Federation, where Roberts won the UWF Television Championship on September 28. He lost it to Savannah Jack on November 9.[14][15]

Return to World Class Championship Wrestling (1987-1989)

Roberts (right) applying a figure four leglock on Michael Hayes during a match, c. 1988

In 1987, The Freebirds split up and reformed. Roberts and Gordy turned on Hayes and teamed with Iceman Parsons to feud with Hayes and the Von Erichs. Gordy eventually left Roberts to rejoin Hayes, turning on Roberts and cutting his hair instead of Hayes' after winning a loser-lose-hair cage match over Hayes at the 5th Von Erich Memorial Parade of Champions. Roberts, declaring his former partners to be traitors for befriending the Von Erichs and himself the last true Freebird, acted as a manager to the Samoan Swat Team. The feud ended in late 1988 when Hayes and Gordy left for the NWA's Jim Crockett Promotions, before Roberts retired from wrestling.[9] Roberts also had a short feud with World Class referee David Manning, which included several gimmick matches, such as Roberts wrestling with one arm tied behind his back. Manning, who was touted as an accomplished amateur wrestler by the promotion to compensate for the obvious size difference between the two, won most of the matches on a fluke.[citation needed]

Later career (1990-1993)

Roberts managed Hayes and Jimmy Garvin in one match against Steve Armstrong and Tracy Smothers in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) on September 5, 1990.[9] He came out of retirement on April 2, 1993, for the Global Wrestling Federation's Kerry Von Erich Memorial Show, and teamed with Michael Hayes (with Skandor Akbar in their corner), losing to Kevin Von Erich and Chris Adams (with Fritz Von Erich in their corner).[16] Roberts later developed throat cancer, and had surgery to treat it. He was quoted as saying "Don't smoke. I think the reason this happened to me is because I was smoking too much. I recommend to anyone who smokes to quit now. It is hard, but it is worth it."[17]


Roberts died on November 26, 2012, at the age of 65, of pneumonia.[18][19] On April 2, 2016, Roberts was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame by his son, Buddy "Jack" Roberts Jr. as part of The Fabulous Freebirds.

Championships and accomplishments

1During the Freebirds' 5th reign, the reign carried over after the title's name was changed to the WCWA World Six-Man Tag Team Championship since they were the champions during the time the name change occurred.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Harris M. Lentz III (April 24, 2013). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2012. McFarland. p. 245. ISBN 978-1-4766-0385-8.
  2. ^ a b Greg Oliver and Steve Johnson (2005). "The Next 5: The Hollywood Blonds". The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams. ECW Press. pp. 98–100. ISBN 978-1-55022-683-6.
  3. ^ a b c Greg Klein (April 18, 2014). The King of New Orleans: How the Junkyard Dog Became Professional Wrestling's First Black Superhero. ECW Press. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-77090-224-4.
  4. ^ Kristian Pope (August 28, 2005). Tuff Stuff Professional Wrestling Field Guide: Legend and Lore. Krause Publications. p. 370. ISBN 0-89689-267-0.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Greg Oliver, "Buddy Roberts recalls the wild times as a Freebird and a Hollywood Blond", SLAM! Wrestling, July 5, 2010.
  6. ^ Bill Watts; Scott Williams (January 2006). The Cowboy and the Cross: The Bill Watts Story: Rebellion, Wrestling and Redemption. ECW Press. p. 97. ISBN 978-1-55022-708-6.
  7. ^ Patric Laprade; Bertrand Hebert (March 14, 2013). Mad Dogs, Midgets and Screw Jobs: The Untold Story of How Montreal Shaped the World of Wrestling. ECW Press. pp. 1, 940. ISBN 978-1-77090-296-1.
  8. ^ Hollywood Blondes title listing, from WrestlingData.com
  9. ^ a b c d e f Greg Oliver and Steve Johnson (2005). "Top 20: 7 The Fabulous Freebirds". The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams. ECW Press. pp. 46–51. ISBN 978-1-55022-683-6.
  10. ^ Buddy Roberts' 1986 WCCW matches, from WrestlingData.com
  11. ^ Roberts matches with Chris Adams, from WrestlingData.com
  12. ^ WCCW Wrestling Star Wars results, from WrestlingData.com
  13. ^ Roberts' 1984 WWF matches, from WrestlingData.com
  14. ^ UWF Television Title history, from WrestlingData.com
  15. ^ a b Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "UWF World Television Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 234–235. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  16. ^ "Barneys Room Global:1993-Pt.1". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
  17. ^ DeFino, Lennie (May 16, 2007). "Where are they now? "Buddy Roberts"". WWE.com. WWE. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  18. ^ Kevin von Erich comments on Buddy Roberts' passing
  19. ^ Jim Ross comments on Roberts' death
  20. ^ Duncan, Royal; Will, Gary (2006) [2000.]. "(Memphis, Nashville) Tennessee: Southern Tag Team Title [Roy Welsch & Nick Gulas, Jerry Jarrett from 1977]". Wrestling title histories: professional wrestling champions around the world from the 19th century to the present. Waterloo, Ontario: Archeus Communications. pp. 185–189. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  21. ^ "Southern Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  22. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA Florida Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 160–161. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  23. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 115. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  24. ^ Hoops, Brian (January 17, 2019). "Pro wrestling history (01/17): Vader wins IWGP heavyweight title". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  25. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA North American Tag Team". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 294. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  26. ^ Will, Gary; Duncan, Royal (2000). "Texas: NWA Texas Heavyweight Title [Von Erich]". Wrestling Title Histories: professional wrestling champions around the world from the 19th century to the present. Pennsylvania: Archeus Communications. pp. 268–269. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  27. ^ "NWA Texas Heavyweight Title". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  28. ^ a b Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA World Six-Man Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 271–272. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  29. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "Texas: WCWA Television Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 396. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  30. ^ "World Class Television Title". Wrestling-titles.com. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  31. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA Americas Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 296–297. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  32. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA Tri-State Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 235. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  33. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "Mid-South Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 232–233. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  34. ^ Oliver, Greg (November 26, 2014). "Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Class of 2015 announced". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  35. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "SCW Southwest Television Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 276. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  36. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "SCW Southwest Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 276. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.