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Tanya Roberts, the actress best known for playing a Bond girl in A View to a Kill and Midge Pinciotti on That ’70s Show, died Monday at 9:30 p.m. at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, rep Mike Pingel confirms to The Hollywood Reporter. She was 65.
Roberts died from a urinary tract infection that spread to her kidney, gallbladder, liver and bloodstream. Her partner, Lance O’Brien, received a phone call from Cedars on Monday night while at their home confirming her death, Pingel noted.
THR and multiple other outlets first reported that Roberts had died Sunday, according to Pingel. On Monday afternoon, however, he noted that the actress was still alive and being treated at Cedars.
“I did get confirmation of her death, but that was from a very distraught person,” Pingel told THR of a miscommunication between himself and O’Brien on Monday. “And so yes, this morning at 10 a.m. … the hospital did call to say that she was still alive, but it’s not looking good. We will hopefully have information soon. It’s upsetting.”
During a video interview on Monday, Inside Edition captured O’Brien receiving a call informing him that Roberts had not passed. “The hospital is telling me she is alive. They are calling me from the ICU team,” he said.
According to Pingel, Roberts collapsed while walking her dogs on Christmas Eve and was admitted to Cedars on Sunday. He said that the actress had not appeared sick. O’Brien picked up her possessions from Cedars on Tuesday morning.
Born Victoria Leigh Blum, Roberts modeled and appeared in commercials before turning to acting with the horror film Forced Entry (1975). She gained a cult following with turns in the comedy Racquet (1977) and the fantasy epic The Beastmaster (1982), then played the lead in Columbia’s Sheena: Queen of the Jungle (1984), a female version of the Tarzan story. Despite its reported $25 million budget, it was a huge flop at the box office, though it did have its fans.
Roberts’ most notable film role was in the Bond film A View to a Kill (1985). The movie, which would mark Roger Moore’s final outing as 007, saw her play Stacey Sutton, an American geologist who becomes a target of the villain Max Zorin (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 said she had discussed the so-called “curse” of being a Bond girl before she accepted the role.
“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,” she 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? Glenn Close would do it if she could,'” she added.
After A View to a Kill, she worked in the Roddy Piper-led comedy Body Slam (1987) and the erotic thriller Night Eyes (1990).
She won the coveted role of playing an Angel on ABC’s Charlie’s Angels when she replaced Shelley Hack and appeared as Julie Rogers opposite Jaclyn Smith and Cheryl Ladd in the fifth and final season of the show in 1980-81. She also appeared on episodes of Fantasy Island and Love Boat.
Her TV 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 ’70s Show, in which she played Midge, 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, Pingel said.
An online memorial for Roberts will be announced shortly. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations in her name to the ASPCA.
In addition to O’Brien, she is survived by her sister, Barbara, and her pets.
Jackie Strause and Ryan Parker contributed to this report.
Jan. 5, 12:35 p.m. Updated with rep statement.
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