Tanya Roberts, the glamorous actor who starred alongside Roger Moore in the 1985 Bond film A View to a Kill, has died aged 65, it is reported. Roberts’ death was announced in error by his representative Mike Pingel on Sunday, prompting several news outlets, including the Guardian, to report it, before a retraction was published a day later.
Roberts’ partner Lance O’Brien is said to have said he was told by staff at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles that Roberts died on Monday evening. O’Brien reportedly mistakenly informed Pingel of his death on Sunday, which led to inaccurate media reports.
The Sun quoted O’Brien as saying that Roberts died of an unspecified illness that began with a urinary tract infection, and then affected her kidneys, liver and gallbladder. He also said Roberts collapsed at his home in Los Angeles.
O’Brien said he believed Roberts died on Sunday after visiting him in hospital, and told Pingel, who announced it to media. However, while being filmed by the Inside Edition TV show, O’Brien received a call from the hospital on Monday saying Roberts was alive.
Cedars-Sinai Hospital did not comment, citing patient confidentiality.
Roberts’ best-known film role was in A View to a Kill, where she played geologist Stacey Sutton, Bond’s main sweetheart and a key ally in the battle against Christopher Walken’s industrial villain, Max Zorin. By then, she had already solidified her on-screen appeal by appearing in the 1980-81 season of the crime series Charlie’s Angels, succeeding Shelley Hack as one of the three main characters.
Born Victoria Leigh Blum, Roberts carved out a modeling career before moving to Hollywood with her screenwriter husband Barry Roberts. She got a series of small roles, including the 1978 James Toback drama Fingers and wax slasher Tourist Trap. After winning the role of Charlie’s Angels, her profile rose and she was cast as a slave Kiri in cult fantasy-horror The Beastmaster (1982) and as a title role in the Tarzan-style adventure Sheena: Queen of the Jungle. , released in 1984 and which also became a cult film despite its disastrous initial reception.
Roberts disliked the “Bond girl” label, telling the Daily Mail that she classified it as “stupid and glamorous broad” and that “the reason why most Bond girls don’t pursue careers is [is] because people just don’t take them seriously ”. But she said she didn’t regret taking on the role: “Back then, I didn’t know what I know now, and to be honest, who would turn down the role, really? No one would… I was very young and did what I thought was the right choice to do.
A View to a Kill didn’t lead, as Roberts rightly suggested, to a career transformation: it found itself starring in “erotic thrillers” such as Night Eyes, Inner Sanctum and Sins of. Desire, and in TV series like Hot Line (also with an “erotic” slant).
However, in 1998, she played a long-standing role on the retro sitcom That ’70s Show, as Midge Pinciotti, appearing in over 80 episodes. Her husband’s terminal illness and his death in 2006 led her to retire from acting.