Tanya Roberts, the veteran actress who starred in A View to a Kill and That ’70s Show, has passed away. Reportedly, Roberts was admitted to Cedar-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles after she collapsed while she was out walking her dogs on Christmas eve. Roberts then died on Sunday, and while a cause of death wasn’t given, it’s not related to Covid-19, nor was Roberts feeling ill in the days before her collapse. She was 65 years old.
“I’m devastated,” says Mike Pingel, Roberts’ longtime friend and rep. “She was brilliant and beautiful and I feel like a light has been taken away. To say she was an angel would be at the top of the list. She was the sweetest person you’d ever meet and had a huge heart. She loved her fans, and I don’t think she realized how much she meant to them.”
Roberts was born as Victoria Leigh Blum in the Bronx on Oct. 15, 1955. After dropping out from high school at 15, she became a fashion and cover model. By 1974, she had gotten married to aspiring screenwriter Barry Roberts and started to study acting at the Actors Studio using the professional name of Tanya Roberts. It wasn’t long before roles started coming her way, as Roberts made her movie debut in the 1975 horror movie Forced Entry.
Seeing the potential in her acting career, Roberts moved to Hollywood in the late ’70s and was quickly securing more movie roles. Some of these early credits include parts in Fingers, Tourist Trap, and California Dreaming. She caught another break in 1980 when she was cast to replace Shelley Hack in season 5 of Charlie’s Angels, playing streetwise fighter Julie Rogers. Soon after, she’d take on more movie roles in The Beastmaster and Sheena: Queen of the Jungle.
One of Roberts’ biggest roles was opposite Roger Moore as geologist Stacey Sutton in the 1985 James Bond movie A View to a Kill. In later years, Roberts would come to regret taking on the role, feeling that it “cursed” her career.
“I sort of felt like every girl who’d ever been a Bond girl had seen their career go nowhere, so I was a little cautious,” Roberts said to the Daily Mail in 2015. “I remember I said to my agent, ‘No one ever works after they get a Bond movie’ and they said to me, ‘Are you kidding? Glenn Close would do it if she could.”
Roberts would go on to appear in other movies like Body Slam and Inner Sanctum, but her biggest role would come in 1998 when she was cast on the popular sitcom That ’70s Show. She played Midge Pinciotti, mother of Donna (Laura Prepon) and wife of Bob (Don Stark). In 2001, Roberts would leave the series after her husband became terminally ill, though she’d make special appearances in 2004. Her husband died from his illness in 2005, and Roberts retired from acting that same year.
Roberts is survived by her partner, Lance O’Brien; her sister, Barbara; and her beloved pets. Our thoughts go out to them at this difficult time. May she rest in peace. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.