Tanya Roberts Dies at Age 65

Roberts

Actress from “That ’70s Show,” Tanya Roberts died on Jan. 4, 2021. Her death was prematurely reported by an erroneous mistake previous the day before. Roberts’ death has been confirmed by her partner Lance O’Brien. She was 65-years-old.

Her publicist Mike Pingel announced the actress’s death the day before she actually passed. O’Brien had been distraught when he left her side Sunday evening. He had thought it was the last time he was ever going to see her alive. In a moment of overwhelmedness, he may have over spoken when he spoke to Pingel.

On Monday morning the hospital called O’Brien to let him know that Roberts survived the night. Many media outlets had to change their previous reports to coincide with the fact she still lived. By Monday afternoon, Roberts remained in critical condition.

The actress passed away at 9 p.m. PST in Los Angeles, California.

She was born on Oct. 15, 1955, in The Bronx, New York City, New York. Her name at birth was Victoria Leigh Blum. Roberts was born to Dorothy Leigh (Smith) and Oscar Maximilian Blum. Her parents divorced by the time she went to high school.

By the age of 15, she dropped out of school. She got married and hitchhiked around the country. Her marriage was annulled by her mother-in-law.

RobertsShe met her second husband — Barry Roberts — while in waiting in line to see a movie in New York. A few months into their relationship she proposed to him in a subway station.

She was taught how to act by Lee Strasberg and Uta Hagen. Roberts began her career by modeling and as an Arthur Murray dance instructor.

Beginning of Stardom

She first appeared in TV commercials for Clairol, Ultra Brite, and Cool Ray sunglasses. Roberts also appeared in off-Broadway productions of “Antigone” and “Picnic.”

In 1977, she and her husband moved to Hollywood. Once there she began to appear in movies made-for-TV, such as “Pleasure Cove,” “Waikiki,” and “Zuma Beach.” Her film debut was in 1976 in “The Last Victim.”  She got her first major break when she appeared in the last season of “Charlie’s Angel.”

On Feb. 9, 1981, she was featured on the cover of People magazine. She gained major attention for her role in “Charlie’s Angel” which earned her a role in “The Beastmaster.” Roberts promoted the movie by posing in Hugh Hefner’s magazine “Playboy.”

In 1984, she played the main character of “Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.” She played a Bond Girl in “A View to a Kill” in 1985. After which she appeared in direct-to cable and direct-to-film movies. In 1996, she was featured in the CD computer game “The Pandora Directive.”

Roberts began working on “That ’70s Show” in 1998. In 2006, her husband passed away. CNN has reported that her cause of death has not been released. However, People claim her death may have been attributed to a urinary tract infection.

Written by Sheena Robertson

Sources:

People: Tanya Roberts’ Cause of Death Revealed: Actress Died from a Urinary Tract Infection, Says Her Rep; by Ale Russian

CNN: Tanya Roberts dies at 65 after premature death announcement; by Megan Thomas and Alta Spells

IMDb: Tanya Roberts

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