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Tanya Roberts Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (2)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (13)  | Personal Quotes (6)  | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Born in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (sepsis due to urinary tract infection)
Birth NameVictoria Leigh Blum
Height 5' 8½" (1.74 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Tanya Roberts came from modest beginnings in the Bronx, New York, the younger daughter of a Jewish American pen salesman (Oscar Blum) and an English mother (Dorothy Smith), who divorced before she reached high school. Tanya dropped out of high school, got married and hitchhiked around the country until her mother-in-law had the marriage annulled. She met psychology student Barry Roberts in New York while waiting in line to see a movie. A few months later, she proposed to him in a subway station, and they were married. She studied acting under Lee Strasberg and Uta Hagen. In her early years in New York, she supported herself as an Arthur Murray dance instructor and by modeling. She appeared in off-Broadway productions of "Picnic" and "Antigone," and in television commercials for Ultra Brite, Clairol and Cool Ray sunglasses.

In 1977, Tanya and her husband -- by then a scriptwriter -- moved to Hollywood. She began appearing in made-for-TV films including Pleasure Cove (1979), Zuma Beach (1978), and Waikiki (1980). Her film debut was in The Last Victim (1976). After appearing in several minor films, her first big break came when she was selected as the last "Angel" on Charlie's Angels (1976)'s final season, and was featured on the cover of "People Magazine" (02/09/1981). The attention she garnered helped secure her most significant film parts: The Beastmaster (1982) (and posed for the cover and an inside spread in "Playboy" to promote the film), the title role in Sheena (1984) and as a Bond Girl in A View to a Kill (1985). She continued to appear in films, though mainly direct-to-video and direct-to-cable features. She was featured in the CD computer game The Pandora Directive (1996) and had a recurring lead role in the television series That '70s Show (1998). Widowed in 2006, Tanya Roberts died of sepsis from a urinary tract infection in 2021.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ray Angelo <rangelo@oeb.harvard.edu>

Family (2)

Spouse Barry Roberts (1974 - 15 June 2006)  (his death)
? (1971 - ?)  (annulled)
Relatives Barbara Chase (sibling)
Zach Leary (niece or nephew)

Trade Mark (3)

Sparkling blue eyes
Attractive figure
Breathless voice

Trivia (13)

Her sister, Barbara Chase, was married to Timothy Leary for 14 years.
Has the unique distinction of having been both a Bond Girl and a Charlie's Angel.
Auditioned for the role of Kate Roberts on the soap opera, Days of Our Lives (1965), in 1995 though the role went to Lauren Koslow.
Aunt of Zach Leary.
Both Priscilla Presley and Sharon Stone were considered, before Tanya landed the leading lady role in the James Bond film A View to a Kill (1985).
According to director Donald Farmer, Roberts turned down a role in Vicious Kiss (1995) which eventually went to Margaux Hemingway.
Wore electric-blue eye-contacts during most of her career.
Was a lifelong Democrat.
Is the fourth "main" Bond girl to pass away (excluding villainesses and bit players), after Claudine Auger in 2019 and Honor Blackman and Diana Rigg in 2020.
Her death was prematurely announced by her personal acquaintance, Lance O'Brien, on January 3, 2021, exactly one day before her actual passing. This created a lot of confusion in the news-media (internet and television), particularly when she eventually died the following day.
Tanya was not born in 1955 as usually stated, but in 1949.
Is the second 'Angel' of Charlie's Angels (1976) to pass away, after Farrah Fawcett in 2009.
Upon her death, she was cremated and her ashes were scattered along her hiking trail.

Personal Quotes (6)

[interview in "People" Magazine, 1984] Even if I get thrown out of Hollywood, I'll come back. It took me 14 years to get where I am. I'm going to hang in there.
Fans make you. I certainly hope that people like me in the work and I appreciate every letter that I get. I'm glad they like me or else I wouldn't be in the business. But for fans it's a very different reality than it is for me. They're going to watch the finished product, which has taken us five months and a lot of hard work . . . I mean, I've been choking for the last three days on smoke--it's not very glamorous. It's not what it looks like in the movie, I'm on my knees, bruised half the time, it's action, action, action.
You need to start somewhere. Jane Fonda began with Barbarella (1968). I'm not at an age where producers will offer me Norma Rae (1979) or Sophie's Choice (1982). When you're young and pretty you don't get On Golden Pond (1981). But if you keep working, good things can happen. Kim Basinger got The Natural (1984) after making a James Bond movie. The same kind of thing could happen to me.
I've made a lot of good choices and a lot of bad choices and that's part of life. Whether you're really successful or moderately successful, I'm sure that to get there you have made some bad decisions and good decisions on some level, but that's how I see life. You can't go through life defeated, it's just trial and error.
[on being cast as a Bond Girl in A View to a Kill (1985)] I sort of felt like every girl who'd ever been a Bond Girl had seen their career go nowhere, so I was a little cautious. I remember I said to my agent, "No one works after they get a Bond movie" and they said to me, "Are you kidding? Glenn Close would do it if she could." 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? Nobody would. All you have to think to yourself is, "Could have I been better in the part?" That's all you can say to yourself because turning the part down would have been ridiculous, you know? I mean nobody would do that, nobody. I was very young and I did what I felt was the right choice to make.
I think it's better to come into the limelight really slowly and do a broader range of roles, but I took these glamorous roles and I think that stereotyped me. They sort of think you're some dumb, glamorous broad, so it's difficult, and I think that is the reason most Bond Girls don't go on to have careers after they have done the movie because people just don't take them seriously and I guess they shouldn't because it's so tongue-in-cheek, you know what I mean?

Salary (1)

Charlie's Angels (1976) $12,000 per episode

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