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,” reportedly died Monday, a day after her publicist Mike Pingel incorrectly announced the actress’ death.
Pingel said Sunday that Roberts, 65, was taken to Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Hospital when she collapsed after walking her dogs on Christmas Eve.
The next day, he said that O’Brien had received a call from the hospital saying Roberts “did not pass last night.” Pingel said Roberts is still in the hospital’s intensive care unit and “the situation is dire.”
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. He 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 into 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.
“That ’70s Show” stars Topher Grace and Debra Jo Rupp posted tributes honoring Roberts on Sunday, before Pingel’s announcement was disputed. Their former co-star Ashton Kutcher responded to their tweets, aiming to set the record straight.
“yo bro she’s not dead,” he wrote to Grace.