April 14, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Tanya Roberts dead at 65 after inaccurate death announcement

Actress and model Tanya Roberts has died at age 65 after her publicist mistakenly pronounced her dead earlier this week.

The James Bond actress and “That ‘70s Show” star died Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, her partner, Lance O’Brien, confirmed to the New York Times on Tuesday.

After falsely reporting that Roberts had died earlier on Monday, the actress’ publicist, Mike Pingel, corrected the mistake, confirming to the Associated Press that she was alive and in “dire” condition as of late Monday morning.

The premature death announcement resulted from a conversation between Pingel and O’Brien, who told the former that his partner seemed to “slip away” as he held her in the hospital Sunday. Multiple media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, published the Associated Press’ obituary Monday.

Pingel added that O’Brien — who had previously been unable to visit Roberts in the hospital because of COVID-19 protocols — was allowed to see her Sunday under the impression that he was to say goodbye.

Roberts, who was admitted to Cedars-Sinai after collapsing in her home, was known for starring as geologist and Bond girl Stacey Sutton opposite Roger Moore’s James Bond in 1985’s “A View to Kill,” and later as Midge Pinciotti — the mother of Laura Prepon’s Donna — in the sitcom “That ‘70s Show.” In 1984, she played the title character in John Guillermin’s “Sheena,” a female take on the Tarzan myth.

Her other credits include “The Beastmaster,” “Hearts and Armour” and the hit TV series “Charlie’s Angels,” which saw Roberts replace Shelly Hack as third Angel Julie Rogers alongside Jaclyn Smith’s Kelly Garrett and Cheryl Ladd’s Kris Munroe.

Before Monday’s announcement proved inaccurate, multiple “That ‘70s Show” cast members saluted Roberts on social media. Ashton Kutcher, a.k.a. Michael Kelso, was among those who later informed his former costars that Roberts was still alive as of Monday morning.

“Tanya had a big deep hearty laugh. She was all instinct and beauty,” Debra Jo Rupp, who portrayed Kitty Forman, tweeted Monday. “In the first season of 70’s we had a scene in the kitchen, drinking cocktails and laughing together. She laughed, spit her drink in my face, apologized profusely and did it 3 more times. I loved her. RIP beauty.”

“I was so sad to hear that Tanya Roberts has passed away,” wrote Topher Grace, who played Eric Forman. “She was a Bond girl, one of Charlie’s Angels, and truly a delightful person to work with. I had never acted before and, to be honest, a little nervous around her. But she couldn’t have been kinder. We’ll miss you Midge.”

Among others who reacted to what they believed was Roberts’ death Monday were Pingel and Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. Actress Britt Ekland — who appeared alongside Moore’s Bond in “The Man With the Golden Gun” — also eulogized Roberts, tweeting, “Once a Bond Girl always a Bond Girl!”

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of Tanya,” Wilson and Broccoli wrote in a statement. “She was a very lovely person.”

“One of my favorite memories with Tanya was driving in the car and Duran Duran’s ‘A View to a Kill’ theme song came on the radio — we both sang along,” Pingel said Monday. “Priceless.”

Roberts, who was also a staunch animal rights activist, is survived by O’Brien. See more social media tributes to the actress below.