Tanya Roberts has died after early, inaccurate death announcement

·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·3 min read

Tanya Roberts — the Bond girl and That ‘70s Show actress who was mistakenly reported dead on Sunday — has in fact died.

“With a heavy heart I can confirm the death of Tanya Roberts (age 65) last night on Jan. 4, 2021 around 9:30 p.m. PT at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles,” her publicist, Mike Pingel, of Rainbow PR said in a statement to Yahoo Entertainment on Tuesday. “Her 18-year domestic partner Lance O’Brien received the phone call from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center last night at their home confirming her passing.”

Pingel said Roberts — who was hospitalized on Dec. 24 after she collapsed at her home — died “from a urinary tract infection which spread to her kidney, gallbladder, liver and then blood stream.”

O’Brien was called to the hospital on Tuesday to pick up Roberts’s personal effects.

In lieu of flowers, her rep said the animal rights activist would appreciate donations in her name to the ASPCA.

An online memorial for Roberts will be planned, but for now, the family asks for privacy as they mourn her death.

This archive photo shows actress Tanya Roberts arrives for the 4th annual TV Land awards held at Barker hangar in Santa Monica, California on March 19, 2006. (Photo by Chris DELMAS / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Tanya Roberts, pictured in 2006, has died after mix-up over her death. (Photo: CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Roberts’s death had been prematurely reported in an epic, awful mix-up.

In an interview with the New York Post’s Page Six, O’Brien, 62, explained the debacle, which saw Roberts’s publicist putting out a statement stating that Roberts had died on Sunday — while she was still alive.

O’Brien said he had been called to the hospital that day for what was described to him as an “end of life” visit as hospital workers took Roberts off life support. He said his goodbye, which left him “blubbering,” and he thought that his partner had passed.

“[Pingel] goes, ‘What happened?’ And I say, ‘I just said goodbye to Tanya, and I got to see her beautiful eyes one last time.’ And after that, I’m just blubbering,” O’Brien recalled.

He said as a result of that conversation, Pingel issued a media statement announcing Roberts’s death.

“For all intents and purposes, she was gone,’’ O’Brien said, saying she had “been out of it” for three days prior.

Then on Monday morning, O’Brien received a call from the hospital saying Roberts was still alive. Unbelievably, O’Brien found out while giving an interview to Inside Edition.

O’Brien said of the mix-up, “I don’t want to blame [Pingel] in any way, shape or form.”

The actress first fell ill with intestinal issues and trouble breathing on Dec. 23 after going for a hike near the couple’s Laurel Canyon home. At 4 a.m. the next day, she fell out of her bed, couldn’t get up and was taken to the hospital where she was placed in intensive care and put on oxygen. Because of precautions related to the coronavirus, O’Brien was unable to see Roberts — until Sunday’s “end of life” visit.

O’Brien said doctors told him Roberts “had a urinary tract infection that got out of control,” impacting her kidneys, liver and gall bladder. “Then she got a blood infection in her entire body.” He added that it was compounded by Roberts having had hepatitis C when she was younger.

Roberts was a model before acting, also appearing on the TV’s Charlie’s Angels in its final season.

Roberts’s death being prematurely reported led to tributes from co-stars, including several from That ‘70s Show on which she played Midge Pinciotti. When it was then revealed that she hadn’t yet died, series star Ashton Kutcher took to Twitter to brashly update his former co-stars, tweeting “yo bro she’s not dead.”

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