Tanya Roberts, who starred in 1985’s A View to a Kill as Bond girl Stacey Sutton and in the hit sitcom That ’70s Show as the daffy Midge Pinciotti, has died. She was 65 years old.
The actor died Sunday after collapsing in her home on December 24. She was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Her publicist and longtime friend, Mike Pingel, confirmed her death to CNN, noting that her passing was not due to COVID-19.
“I’m devastated. I’ve been friends with Tanya for over 20 years,” Pingel told CNN. “She was full of energy, and we always had a wild time together. She was truly an Angel, and I will miss her so much.”
Roberts, born Victoria Leigh Blum, began her career as a model in the 1970s. It was during that time that she met and married her husband, screenwriter Barry Roberts, whom she was with until his death in 2006.
She switched over to acting in 1975, making her screen debut in the horror film The Last Victim. Roberts quickly began racking up roles from there, which eventually led her to Charlie’s Angels, the hit series about a trio of detectives with impeccably feathered hair. Roberts played Julie Rogers, joining the show in 1980 when it was in a period of dramatic fluctuation; Farrah Fawcett had left, and ratings were shaky. Roberts handled the situation with diplomatic grace. “That’s the way every job is, I guess,” she told Johnny Carson in a sanguine 1981 interview. “There was someone before you, there’ll be somebody after you.”
Roberts eventually traded TV detectives for international spies, landing the role of Bond girl Stacey Sutton in the 1985 film A View to a Kill, starring Roger Moore as James Bond. The character was a geologist and the granddaughter of a rich oil tycoon. At first, Roberts was hesitant to take on the role, nervous about being pigeonholed for the rest of her career. “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 told the Daily Mail in 2015. “And I thought to myself, Well, you can have regrets if you wish, but what’s the point? At the time I didn’t know what I know now, and to be honest, who would turn that role down, really?”
Roberts worked steadily over the years, picking up TV roles in shows like High Tide and That ’70s Show. In the latter sitcom, which revolved around a group of high school stoners, Roberts played Midge Pinciotti, the lovably ditzy mom next door. Pinciotti became one of her best-known roles beyond her Bond girl and was likely how a generation of TV watchers came to know the actor.
Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said they were “saddened” to learn of Roberts’ death.
“She was a very lovely person and shall always be remembered by Bond fans as Stacey Sutton,” they wrote.
Britt Ekland, who starred opposite Sir Roger in 1974’s The Man with the Golden Gun, also paid tribute.
“RIP Tanya Roberts,” the Swedish actress wrote on Twitter, adding: “Once a Bond Girl always a Bond Girl!”
Don Coscarelli, who directed Roberts in The Beastmaster, remembered her as being “a beautiful person, inside and out”.
“I will always remember Tanya for being incredibly sweet and for her genuine love of animals,” he wrote on Twitter.