Actress Tanya Roberts died on Monday night at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai hospital; this was following reports that she had died on Sunday from a urinary tract infection which spread to her kidney, gallbladder, liver and then bloodstream.
Tuesday morning, TMZ reported that Roberts’ partner Lance O’Brien received a call shortly after 9 p.m. from one of the former Bond girl’s doctors saying that she’d died at age 65.
Roberts’ longtime publicist Mike Pingel confirmed Roberts’ death to Newsweek on Tuesday afternoon. “With a heavy heart I can confirm the death of Tanya Roberts (age 65) last night on January 4, 2021 around 9:30pm PT at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles CA,” he wrote in an email to Newsweek.
Pingel said that Roberts’ family is asking for privacy during this time, and in lieu of flowers asks people to make a donation to the ASPCA.
O’Brien had told Roberts’ publicist that she had died on Sunday. The actress’s partner had received a call from doctors saying that she was going to die soon, after she’d been rushed to the hospital on Christmas Eve after collapsing. The actress had been placed on a ventilator.
O’Brien said that in the room, he saw her “fade” and left the hospital distraught. “As I held her in her last moments, she opened her eyes,” O’Brien told TMZ. Distraught from her loss, he said he left the hospital and didn’t speak to medical workers to confirm that she had died.
O’Brien received news that Roberts had not passed during an interview with Inside Edition. “The hospital told me she’s alive,” he said in a teary interview. “I’m so happy.”
Following reports of her death, it soon became evident that the actress had not died. Pingel told Newsweek that the actress was still alive on Monday night. He also responded to people who believe that the reports were a publicity stunt. “Online, people are saying this was a hoax and just for promotional stuff, and it is not,” he said. “She’s a very sick lady.”
Born in 1955 in the borough of the Bronx in New York City, Roberts’ acting career began in the 1970s with a role in the horror film The Last Victim, according to her IMDb page. She went on to portray many characters on both the big and small screen. She’s best remembered for playing Stacey Sutton in the James Bond movie, A View to Kill. She also played Julie Rogers in the final season of Charlie’s Angels and the mother Midge Pinciotti in That ’70s Show.
After the initial reports of her death, Roberts’ That ’70s Show co-stars tweeted condolences for the lost actress. Topher Grace wrote that she was a “delightful person to work with” and “couldn’t have been kinder.” Debra Jo Rupp shared a fond memory of working on a scene with Roberts, where she laughed so hard she spat a drink in her face. Ashton Kutcher responded to both of his former co-stars to inform that Roberts had not died. Grace shared a GIF of Kutcher’s character Michael Kelso on the show cheering, after being informed that she had not died.