Victoria Leigh Blum (born October 15, 1955- 3 January 2021), known professionally as Tanya Roberts, was an American actress best known for her role as Julie Rogers on the fifth and final season of Charlie's Angels (1980–1981) and as Midge Pinciotti on That '70s Show (1998–2001).
She starred in the films The Beastmaster, A View to a Kill, and Sheena. Roberts was groomed as a Hollywood sex symbol during the early 1980s.
Tanya Roberts supposedly passed away on January 3, 2021 but on January 4, 2021, it was implied that Tanya Roberts was not dead. On January 5, It has been confirmed that Tanya Roberts in fact, passed away on January 4, 2021 after a premature death on January 3, 2021. She is the second main cast member of That '70s Show that has passed away, after Lisa Robin Kelly in 2013.
Blum was born in The Bronx, of Irish and Jewish descent. Her father was a fountain pen salesman. Her parents divorced when she was a teenager. She lived with her mother in Toronto for several years, where she started formulating a photo portfolio and laying plans for a career. At age 15, she left high school lived for a while hitch-hiking across the United States. She eventually returned to New York City and became a fashion and cover model. After meeting psychology student Barry Roberts (while waiting in line for a movie), she proposed to him in a subway station and they were soon married. While Barry pursued a career as a screenwriter, she began to study at the Actors Studio with Lee Strasberg and Uta Hagen under the name Tanya Roberts.
Her career began as a model in TV ads for Ultra Brite, Clairol and Cool Ray sunglasses. She played serious roles in the Off-Broadway productions, Picnic and Antigone. She also supported herself as an Arthur Murray dance instructor. Her film debut was the 1975 thriller, Forced Entry. This was followed by the 1976 comedy The Yum-Yum Girls.
In 1977, as her husband was securing his own screenwriting career, the couple moved to Hollywood. The following year, Roberts participated in the drama, Fingers. Roles in the 1979 cult-movie, Tourist Trap, Racket and California Dreaming followed. Roberts was featured in several television pilots that were not picked up: Zuma Beach (a 1978 comedy); Pleasure Cove (1979); and Waikiki (1980).
Roberts was chosen in 1980 from some two-thousand candidates to replace Shelley Hack in the television series, Charlie's Angels. Roberts played the sultry Julie Rogers, a streetwise fighter who used her fists more than her gun. Before the season's premiere, Roberts was featured in People Magazine with the headline: "Is the Jiggle Up?: In the Wake of Low Ratings, Will Tanya Roberts Save Charlie's Angels from Rerun Heaven?" As the series was moved several times on the broadcast schedule and its viewership continued to fall, the series was canceled after its fifth season. However producers of the show reported if Roberts had entered the show the previous season the series would have been back for a sixth season. Today, Roberts' beauty and charisma have been favorably compared to former Charlie's Angels star Farrah Fawcett.
Roberts was featured on the February 9, 1981 cover of People Magazine magazine to distance herself from her Charlie's Angels image. Afterward she was offered more ambitious projects.
Roberts played Kiri in the 1982 film The Beastmaster. She was featured in a nude pictorial in Playboy to help promote the movie, appearing on that issue's October 1982 cover. In 1983 Roberts filmed the Italian-made adventure fantasy film Hearts and Armour (also known as Paladini-storia d'armi e d'amori and Paladins — The Story of Love and Arms), based on the medieval novel, Orlando Furioso. She portrayed Velda, a buxom secretary to private detective, Mike Hammer, in the television movie, Murder Me, Murder You. The two-part pilot spawned the syndicated television series, Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer. She declined to continue the role in the Mike Hammer series in order to work on her next project, Sheena: Queen of the Jungle. The 1984 movie was a box office and critical disaster, garnering her a nomination for "Worst Actress" at the Razzie Awards.
Her subsequent appearance as Bond girl Stacey Sutton, a well-educated and articulate geologist, in A View to a Kill (1985), provided her a number of scenes with Roger Moore's James Bond. She again found herself nominated by the critics for a Razzie Award. Other 1980s films include Night Eyes, an erotic thriller; Body Slam (1987), an action movie set in the professional wrestling world; and Purgatory, a movie about a woman wrongfully imprisoned in Africa.
Roberts starred in the 1991 erotic thriller, Inner Sanctum alongside Margaux Hemingway. In 1992 she played Kay Egan in Sins of Desire. She appeared on the cable TV series, Hot Line, in 1994; and in the video game, The Pandora Directive, in 1996.
In 1998 Roberts took the role of Midge Pinciotti on the successful television sitcom, That '70s Show. Roberts told E! True Hollywood Story that she left the series in 2001 because her husband had become terminally ill. Barry Roberts died in 2006. Tanya Roberts wrote the foreword to the 2008 book, The Q Guide to Charlie's Angels.