Shortly after an undignified mixup resulted in actress Tanya Wood's death being reported prematurely, it is now confirmed that she has succumbed.
Roberts, 65, passed out after walking her dog on Christmas Eve and was put on a ventilator at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in L.A. It is unclear whether she ever regained consciousness.
On January 3, her companion Lance O'Brien authorized a press release to TMZ in which he said she had died, describing holding her for her last breaths.
However, on January 4, O'Brien seemingly learned that Roberts, still gravely ill, had not actually died. Her obituaries were retracted.
On January 5, O'Brien confirmed to ExtraTV that Cedars-Sinai had confirmed her death at 9:30 p.m. PT the evening before, settling the morbid episode.
O'Brien reports that she had suffered a urinary tract infection that spread to other organs and, ultimately, to her blood — but there is no official cause of death yet.
Born Victoria Blum on October 15, 1955, in the Bronx, Roberts modeled as a teen and got married twice — once that was annulled, and then at 19 to struggling screenwriter Barry Roberts, to whom she proposed.
Changing her name to Tanya Roberts, she studied at the Actors Studio, including with Lee Strasberg (1901-1982), while supporting herself in commercials and as a dance instructor, making her film debut in the horror flick Forced Entry (1975). Cementing her scream-queen status, she later appeared in the cult classic Tourist Trap (1979), in which her character memorably catches a knife — with the back of her head.
In 1980, Roberts bested thousands of other hopefuls to become the final Angel on Charlie's Angels, replacing Shelley Hack (b. 1947) as street-smart redhead Julie Rogers.
Promoting her new gig on The Tonight Show, Roberts goodnaturedly told Johnny Carson (1925-2005) of the revolving-door nature of the series, "There was someone before you, there'll be somebody after you."
In spite of the infusion of new blood, the series was canceled in 1981.
Along with guest spots on such series as The Love Boat (1982) and Fantasy Island (1982), she was the female lead in the fantasy movies The Beastmaster (1982) and Sheena (1984), based on the '30s character Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, the first female character with her own comic.
In 1985, her profile was raised as a Bond girl in A View to a Kill, the fourteenth film in the series, and the last to star Roger Moore (1927-2017) as 007.
Following a slew of genre movies that played up her sensuality and a dozen episodes on the erotic Showtime series Hot Line (1994-1996), Roberts landed what may be her most famous part, as ditzy Midge Pinciotti (seen below) on That '70s Show (1998-2004).
After more than 80 episodes of that hit series, she largely retired from acting, appearing just three more times in TV roles in 2005.
In 2006, her husband Barry, in whose film Legal Tender she had starred in 1991, died at 60 after a four-year battle with encephalitis.
For the rest of her life, the outgoing ex-Angel was a regular on the red carpet, and also met fans at autograph shows.
She is survived by O'Brien and her sister.
Roberts has not yet been remembered by her Charlie's Angels co-star Cheryl Ladd (b. 1951), but her co-star Jaclyn Smith (b. 1945) remembered her on Instagram, posting:
"Tanya joined #CharliesAngels for the final season, closing it out as it was initially intended with a red head, a brunette and a blonde. She brought joy to so many people and had a career spanning decades. Good bye angel, Rest In Peace 🙏."
My meet-up with Tanya from 2012 — she was lovely: