Actress Tanya Roberts, best known for playing a Bond girl in ‘A View to a Kill’ and Midge Pinciotti on ‘That ’70’s Show,’ has died.
She was 65.
The actress collapsed while out walking her dogs on Dec. 24, and was admitted to Cedar-Sinar Hospital in Los Angeles. She died on Sunday her longtime friend and rep Mike Pingel told The Hollywood Reporter.
It was not COVID-19 related, no cause of death has been given but Roberts was not ill in the days leading up to her death.
“I’m devastated. 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,” Pingel told THR.
Born Victoria Leigh Blum, Roberts had a career modeling and appearing in television adverts before turning to film acting in 1975 with the horror flick Forced Entry. She had a number of roles in films that would later have a cult following including the 1977 comedy Racquet and the 1982 fantasy epic The Beastmaster. She was also the lead in Columbia Pictures’ 1984 adventure movie Sheena: Queen of the Jungle, a female version of the Tarzan story that despite its reported $25 million budget was a huge flop at the box office, though it went on to gain cult status.
Roberts’ most notable major film role was in the 1985 Bond film A View to a Kill. The film, which was to be Roger Moore’s last outing as 007, saw her play Stacey Sutton, an American geologist who becomes a target of villain Max Zorin played by Christopher Walken.
Despite the global media attention that follows every Bond release, her movie career didn’t take off as she had hoped and in interviews in recent years, Roberts has discussed the so-called “curse” of being a Bond girl. “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 told 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? Glen Close would do it if she could,” she added.
After A View to a Kill, her other notable film credits were the Roddy Piper-led comedy Body Slam in 1987 and the 1990 erotic thriller Night Eyes.
As well as film, Roberts found success in television. After small roles in telefilms, she won the coveted role of playing an Angel in ABC’s Charlie’s Angels. Roberts replaced Shelley Hack, appearing as Julie Rogers in the fifth and final season of the show in 1980. She also appeared in episodes of Fantasy Island and Love Boat.
Her television career ramped up in the 90s just as the movie roles dried up. Modern audiences will remember her for a recurring supporting role in Fox’s That ’70’s Show, in which she played Midge Pinciotti, Donna’s dim-witted mother.
Though her last notable television credit was in Showtime’s Barbershop: The Series in 2005, Roberts enjoyed a loyal following and spent a great deal of time directly communicating with fans, including a series of live chats during the pandemic.
Roberts is survived by her partner of 18 years Lance O’Brien, her sister Barbara and her beloved pet animals.
May she rest in peace.
Update: A day after this story went live, Tanya’s rep said she’s still alive — despite that same rep announcing her death.