Tanya Roberts. Famed Bond girl and That 70’s Show star, sadly died on Sunday, January 3rd at the age of 65. It’s reported that she collapsed on Christmas Eve after coming back home after walking her dogs. She was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Hospital in LA where she was placed on a ventilator. She died just days later but the exact cause of death has yet to be released. A spokesperson speaking on behalf of her family did however express that her death was not COVID-19 related. She left behind her partner Lance O’Brien and her sister Barbara.
Her sudden and unexpected death has sent shockwaves across the entertainment industry. She won’t be soon forgotten by those whose lives she has touched. Let’s honor her memory by taking a closer look at her life and career.
Tanya’s Early Years and The Beginning Of Her Career
Roberts came into this world on October 15, 1955. She was born Victoria Leigh Blum but later adopted the name Tanya after entering the world of modeling. She came from humble beginnings. Her older sister and her, Barbara, grew up in the Bronx. Her father was a fountain pen salesman in Manhattan and her mother was a homemaker. The family struggled to make ends meet because as it turns out there’s not actually a lot of money in the writing instrument industry. Eventually, her parents divorced and Tanya went to live with her mother in Toronto, Canada.
Roberts knew that she wanted to be an actress and model when she was just a teenager. She was blessed with good looks and started taking headshots and compiling her portfolio with the plan of eventually making inroads into the entertainment industry.
That plan was almost prematurely derailed however when she impulsively got married at the tender age of 15 and joined her bohemian husband on a cross country hitchhiking trip across the United States. To be fair though, the call of the road lured a lot of young people to do the same back in those years, but if she wanted a chance to actually achieve her dreams she was going to have to come back home and keep working at it. When her mother was finally able to track her down, she forced her to annul her marriage despite the fact that she was very much so in love with her hippie husband.
No doubt, this was an emotional time for Roberts but it only fueled her passion to pursue her goals of modeling and acting. Shortly after her hitchhiking escapade and first marriage were cut short, she returned to the United States and started modeling. It wasn’t long before she was on the cover of numerous fashion magazine covers and was being offered regular photoshoot opportunities. It would seem that her hard work and perseverance were starting to pay off.
In 1974, she got married to Barry Roberts. While her new husband was pursuing a career as a screenwriter and she started studying acting at the Actors Studio under the legendary instructors Lee Strasberg and Uta Hagen in Manhattan. She was a fast learner and immediately got started reaching out to casting directors in hopes of finding gainful employment onscreen. She wasn’t satisfied with simply seeing herself on the glossy pages of magazines. She wanted to see her name in lights up on the marquis.
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