RIP Tayna Roberts: The sad downward spiral of the TV darling
Even though we’re less than a week in, 2021 has been . . . strange. First we had “Bean Dad”, a podcaster who took to Twitter to show how he forced his nine-year-old daughter to spend six hours figuring out how to open a can of beans. Then, we had the death of TV darling Tanya Roberts, which turned out to be a mistake from her publicist. But now . . . she’s actually dead? Here are the details of her sad downward spiral.
Accidental death announcement
A couple days ago, a statement was released by Tanya Roberts’s publicist, Mike Pingel, stating that the 65-year-old had died at a hospital in Los Angeles. Roberts’s longtime partner, Lance O’Brien, told TMZ he received a call from one of Roberts’s doctors at around 9PM on Monday informing him of her passing.
However, a day after his statement, Pingel announced he’d been misinformed by O’Brien. He told TMZ that he got a call from the hospital stating that Roberts was actually still alive. At this point, many news outlets had already posted obituaries for the actress.
“After seeing her,” Pingel explained, “[O’Brien] felt that she had passed. [Then] the doctors from Cedars Sinai called him and told him at 10 AM that she had not passed last night, but it is dire. Please keep her in your prayers.”
Breaking the news
Because these unfolding events weren’t dramatic enough already, O’Brien was being interviewed by Inside Edition when he got a phone call informing him that his partner was still alive. “Now you’re telling me that she’s alive?” He is caught saying on video. “The hospital is telling me she is alive,” he says. “They’re calling me from the ICU team.”
What landed Tanya Roberts in the ICU?
According to Pingel, Tanya Roberts was hospitalized on Christmas Eve, when she fell out of bed and couldn’t get up. “Next thing I know, 48 hours later, she’s in intensive care on oxygen,” recalled O’Brien.
Roberts was struggling to breathe and was subsequently placed on a ventilator. However, she tested negative for COVID-19. O’Brien claims hospital staff told him Roberts “had no hope to live.”
O’Brien explained that doctors told him Roberts “had a urinary tract infection that got out of control,” which was made worse by her having had hepatitis C when she was younger. “What happened was her kidneys degraded, her liver degraded, then her gall bladder degraded, then she got a blood infection in her entire body.” Apparently, she had not been visibly sick until the moment of her collapse.
O’Brien told TMZ about what he thought were Roberts’s final moments. “As I held her in her last moments,” he said, she opened her eyes. “I was able to see her beautiful eyes one last time. Tanya had the most beautiful eyes.”
Now, O’Brien reflects on just how difficult life will be without his partner. With tears in his eyes, he told ABC News that “she was my soulmate, she was my best friend. We haven’t been apart for two days.” He also stated that, when he received the news of her passing, he was “emotionally shocked because I was expecting her to come home.”
Her real death
Now, Tanya Roberts has actually been declared dead at 65, following the bizarre mixup. From a very young age, she wanted to be an actress and ran away from home to become a model when she was just fifteen. Roberts was known for playing the iconic role of a Bond girl in A View to Kill and also for playing Julie Rogers in Charlie’s Angels. She also stole our hearts in her role as Donna Pinciotti’s mom, Midge, in That 70’s Show.