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News: Actress Tanya Roberts dies, aged 65

A sad start to 2021, trying to leave behind an already awful 2020. American actress, producer and model Victoria Blum, known professionally as Tanya Roberts, has passed away. Following a sudden collapse on Christmas Eve, Tanya battled bravely in hospital but lost her fight against a blood infection.

Before she took the professional name of Tanya Roberts, Victoria Leigh Blum grew up with one career goal in mind - to be a model. She worked for this goal from a young age, landing work in New York and becoming known to many due to her stunning good looks.

During the 1970s she took the name Tanya Roberts while studying acting, and managed to use her portfolio of model work to land parts in films such as Forced Entry and California Dreaming. But her mainstream acting role took off when she was cast as a lead in the fifth series of popular action-drama Charlie's Angels.

As streetwise fighter Julie Rogers, Roberts brought new interest to the show during her time from 1980 to 1981 and it brought her to a new generation of fans and viewers.

Film roles soon followed, and also shots in Playboy magazine to capitalise on this blue-eyed beauty. Tanya took roles in various genres such as horror, comedy and fantasy including Murder Me, Murder You, The Beastmaster and the sadly under-valued Sheena: Queen of the Jungle.

However it was to be her casting in the James Bond adventure A View to a Kill opposite Roger Moore that cemented her name in the industry as a leading Bond Girl. As geologist Stacey Sutton, Roberts was teamed up with Moore's 007 to investigate and take down evil industrialist Christopher Walken and stop his plot to destroy Silicon Valley. While Stacey Sutton has become a Bond Girl known more for her screaming and damsel-in-distress moments, there is no doubt that Roberts brought a true smouldering beauty and tenderness to the role that worked perfectly for the story.

Roberts continued to act in film and television following her turn in the 007 franchise, but it was on the small screen that her career took off most out of the 1980s, through the 90s and into the 00s in a mix of shows such as Burke's Law, High Tide and Barbershop.

For many new and old fans, it would be her lead role in popular US sitcom That '70s Show as sexy neighbour Midge Pinciotti through four of the eight seasons.

Roberts brought her mature beauty, comedy timing and tongue-in-cheek humour to the role that won lots of praise and allowed her character to return during the entire run.

Roberts retired from acting in 2005 and sadly lost her husband in 2006. She since settled down with new partner Lance O'Brien and continued to champion her popular franchises such as the Charlies Angel's series and 007 through books and rare convention appearances. Even before he sad and untimely death, Tanya was active across social media interacting with fans and continuing to be an active presence in the industry she loved.

Her death following complications from a blood infection and long-term suffering with hepatitis C were over-shadowed with false reports of her death prematurely when still battling in hospital. It was heart-breaking just hours after millions took hope she would recover that her actual death came and was confirmed by the hospital.

A leading lady of the 1980s who has become part of popular culture thanks to her time as a Bond Girl will never be forgotten, thanks to her few but memorable roles and her evident passion for family and friends.

Victoria Leigh Blum


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