Tanya Roberts, 'That '70s Show' star, dies at 65 a day after her death was prematurely announced
Category: News & PoliticsVia: perrie-halpern • 2 weeks ago • 25 comments
By: David K. Li and Diana Dasrath (NBC News)
Actor Tanya Roberts, best known for the James Bond film "A View to a Kill" and television's "That '70s Show," died on Monday night a day after her passing was incorrectly reported, her publicist and partner said.
Roberts, 65, passed away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, the actress' long-time partner, Lance O'Brien, and her spokesman Mike Pingel both told NBC News on Tuesday.
Roberts was suffering from a urinary tract infection which spread to her kidney and gall bladder, according to both men. They said she was not suffering from Covid-19.
Pingel had alerted several news outlets Sunday that Roberts had died. But it turned out she was still alive and Pingel was unintentionally relaying incorrect information from O'Brien, according to the publicist.
O'Brien was speaking to the syndicated television show "Inside Edition" on Monday morning when Cedars-Sinai called and interrupted the interview to inform him Roberts was still alive.
"Now you're telling me that she's alive?" O'Brien can be heard saying on the show. "Thank the Lord. Thank God."
1984: Tanya Roberts on her role in 'Sheena: Queen of the Jungle'
O'Brien said Roberts went to the bathroom and collapsed at about 4 a.m. on Christmas Eve, prompting him to call 911. They took her to the hospital, but the long-time boyfriend said he believed Roberts was going to be OK.
"I didn't think this would be the last time I was going to be seeing her," he said Tuesday. "I didn't think it was that serious."
Then on Sunday, O'Brien said doctors called him to come to the hospital for an "end of life situation."
At one point of the visit, O'Brien said Roberts' eyes rolled into the the back of her head and she passed out, leading him to believe she had died.
"I felt totally lost. I was crying and crying," O'Brien said of the Sunday visit. "Mike (Pingel) asked what happened. I told him I said goodbye."
Roberts was in a makeshift ward of Cedars-Sinai and staff was overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients, according to O'Brien. He claimed he was unable to find a nurse or doctor to confirm Roberts had passed.
"Trying to get info out of these people is impossible," he said, while insisting hospital staff was not in any way at fault for Sunday's false report.
Born Victoria Leigh Blum on Oct. 15, 1955, Roberts enjoyed a successful modeling career and appeared in off-Broadway roles before hitting it big on the silver and small screens.
She made her film debut in 1975 with "The Last Victim" and thereafter had credits in a series of cult films such as "The Beastmaster" (1982), "Sheena: Queen of the Jungle" (1984), "Body Slam" (1987) and "Night Eyes" (1990).
Many TV fans will best remember her for one season (1980-81) of "Charlie's Angels" when she played private detective Julie Rogers. She was the sixth actress to play one of the female crime fighters, following in the footsteps of Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith, Cheryl Ladd and Shelley Hack.
Tanya Roberts, Don Stark, Brooke Shields and Laura Prepon star in an episode of That 70s Show in 2004.Everett Collection
In the 1985 Bond movie, "A View to a Kill," she played the role of geologist Stacey Sutton, who teams up with the British spy to stop a madman played by Christopher Walken.
On "That '70s Show," Roberts was the laidback hippie mother of Donna Pinciotti, played by Laura Prepon. She left the show in 2001 but returned in 2004.
Roberts' most recent onscreen appearance was in the television series "Barbershop" in 2005.