Tanya Roberts, ‘Charlie’s Angels’ and Bond Star, Dies at 65
In its first article on the story, TMZ wrote that Roberts “was on a walk with her dogs on Christmas Eve and when she returned home she collapsed. She was taken to the hospital and put on a ventilator but never got better.” Then TMZ followed that with a second article that stated Roberts was still alive — despite the fact that Roberts’ representative not only told the site that she died, but even sent a “a press release with that information.” TMZ also received a statement from Roberts’ partner, Lance O’Brien, describing his final moments with her. ("As I held her in her last moments, she opened her eyes. I was able to see her beautiful eyes one last time. Tanya had the most beautiful eyes.”)
The same publicist as before then told TMZ that Roberts’ partner “got a call just after 10 AM Monday from the hospital saying Tanya was still alive.” The partner was the source of the publicist’s original information; they claim to have no idea how this mixup occurred. Regardless, TMZ now has a third article confirming Roberts passed away on Monday night. She was only 65 years old.
After working as a model in New York, Roberts — born Victoria Leigh Blum — and her husband moved to Los Angeles, where she began to get acting work. Her big break in Hollywood was her casting as Julie Rogers, a former model turned crime fighter, in the fifth and final season of the original Charlie’s Angels.
Shortly after the end of Charlie’s Angels, Roberts starred in The Beastmaster, the swords and sorcery film about a hero who can communicate with animals. Although not an immediate hit, endless airings on basic cable throughout the 1980s and ’90s turned The Beastmaster into a cult classic.
In 1985, Roberts played the main Bond girl in A View to a Kill, the final James Bond adventure starring Roger Moore. There was almost a 30-year age difference between Moore and Roberts, and the film (and particularly Moore’s performance) did not receive many positive reviews at the time. Like The Beastmaster, time and cable airings have been very kind to A View to a Kill, which has risen significantly in the esteem of many Bond fans.
Younger readers might know Roberts from That ’70s Show, where she appeared for the first three seasons as Midge, the beautiful and budding feminist mom of Laura Prepon’s character Donna. She left the show to care for her ailing husband, and Midge was written out of the series. (She did return in later seasons for occasional appearances.)
The confusion about Roberts’ health in her final days will remain a footnote in her story, but it shouldn’t overshadow her long and successful career in front of the camera.
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