Tanya Roberts Confirmed Dead at 65 After False Initial Report
Tanya Roberts, who rose to stardom on Charlie's Angels before pairing with James Bond and mounting a memorable comeback on That '70s Show, has died at 65. The cause of death was not immediately known.
Confirmation of the actress' passing brings to end a bizarre final few days of her life. Roberts collapsed on Christmas Eve while walking her dogs, and had been hospitalized at Cedar-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles ever since. A press release distributed on Jan. 3 announced that Roberts had died. However, just a day later the same publicist contacted media outlets to explain that, despite his earlier claim, Roberts was still alive and hospitalized. According to TMZ, the actress' boyfriend, Lance, later confirmed that she died on the night of Jan. 4.
"She was brilliant and beautiful, and I feel like a light has been taken away," Roberts' rep Mike Pingel said to The Hollywood Reporter. "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."
Born Victoria Leigh Blum on Oct. 15, 1955, in New York City, Roberts started her career as a model and appeared off Broadway before following her dreams to Hollywood.
Watch Tanya Roberts in 'A View to a Kill'
She played Julie Rogers on Charlie's Angels, taking over a spot opposite Cheryl Ladd and Jacyln Smith that was vacated by Shelley Hack for the series' final season in 1980-81. A turn as Stacey Sutton, the American geologist targeted by Christopher Walken's villain Max Zorin in 1985's View to a Kill, found Roberts costarring with Roger Moore during his last outing as 007.
In between, she appeared as private detective Mike Hammer's secretary in 1983's Murder Me, Murder You but declined to continue after the hit television movie led to Stacy Keach's syndicated series Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer. Other work included a pair of cult favorites in 1982's fantasy film The Beastmaster and the big-budget 1984 flop Sheena: Queen of the Jungle, which switched the gender of the Tarzan tale.
Roberts returned to wider notice beginning in 1998 as Donna's mother Midge Pinciotti on That '70s Show, appearing as a regular during the first three years and then as a guest in seasons 6 and 7. She left to care for her husband, after screenwriter Barry Roberts became terminally ill.
They married in the '70s and remained together until his 2006 death. The couple had no children. Roberts later wrote the foreword to 2008's The Q Guide to 'Charlie's Angels'.
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