Tanya Roberts, who starred in the 1985 James Bond film “A View to A Kill,” as well as classic TV series “Charlie’s Angels” and “That ’70s Show,” died Monday, a day after her publicist Mike Pingel incorrectly announced the actress’ death.
Roberts’ longtime partner Lance O’Brien told USA TODAY on Tuesday that the actress died Monday night. “I’m devastated,” O’Brien said.
“I can confirm Tanya Roberts passed away last night at 9:30 p.m.,” Pingel told USA TODAY on Tuesday. He said the actress died at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, where she was taken when she collapsed after walking her dogs on Christmas Eve.
Pingel had previously announced Roberts died Sunday night. But O’Brien learned earlier Monday that Roberts was still alive while in the middle of an interview with “Inside Edition,” according to a video on the show’s official YouTube page. O’Brien had been speaking with a reporter via video chat when he received a call from the hospital.
“Now you’re telling me she’s alive? Oh, thank the Lord. Thank God,” O’Brien said before breaking down in tears. “I’m so happy.”
Multiple media outlets, including USA TODAY, reported Roberts’ death Sunday.
The straight-talking actress has interacted with fans in a weekly online program streamed from her official Facebook page, on which she last participated Dec. 19. But the first show of 2021, scheduled for Jan. 2, was canceled without public explanation.
Born Victoria Leigh Blum in the Bronx, Roberts dropped out of high school at 15 and hitchhiked around the country. She eventually returned to New York City and began a career in modeling, stepping into movies with the 1976 horror film “Forced Entry” (later retitled “The Last Victim”).
She starred as Kiri in the 1982 sword-and-sorcery fantasy adventure “The Beastmaster.” In the 1984 fantasy “Sheena: Queen of the Jungle,” Roberts starred as the titular character, a female version of Tarzan. Shot in Kenya, “Sheena” bombed at the box office and with critics, earning five Golden Raspberry Awards, including worst actress for Roberts. The film would become a campy cult classic.
“The director screwed up everything,” Roberts recalled bluntly in her Dec. 19 fan chat.
Roberts had a year-long run as tough-talking Julie Rogers, who helped the Townsend Agency detectives solve crimes in “Charlie’s Angels,” following the departure of Shelley Hack.
In “A View to A Kill,” she played geologist Stacey Sutton, a target of villain Max Zorin, played by Christopher Walken.
Roberts starred on “That ’70s Show” as Midge Pinciotti, the lovable, beautiful mother of cynical teenager Donna Pinciotti (played by Laura Prepon). She left the series in 2001 to care for her terminally ill husband, Barry Roberts, who died in 2006. The show’s writers dealt with Roberts’ absence by citing Midge’s move to California. Roberts was absent from the sitcom for Seasons 4 and 5 and made a return in Season 6.
On Tuesday, actress Britt Ekland (“The Man With the Golden Gun”) paid tribute to Roberts. “Once a Bond Girl, always a Bond Girl!” she tweeted.