It’s any publication’s or any publicist’s worst nightmare: To report that someone is dead when that person is not.
That’s apparently what’s happened with Tanya Roberts, the former Bond girl and star of “Charlie’s Angels,” “Sheena: Queen of the Jungle” and “That ’70s Show.” Roberts, 65, was mistakenly announced as dead late Sunday night, after she collapsed at her home on Christmas Eve, TMZ and Variety are reporting.
Roberts is still alive, although she is said to be in “dire condition” at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s ICU in Los Angeles. That’s according to the publicist, Lance Pingel, who originally sent out the press release Sunday night announcing her death, TMZ said.
Pingel told TMZ that Roberts’ partner, Lance O’Brien, originally had been told at Cedars-Sinai that the actress had died. Pingel told TMZ that Roberts was rushed to the hospital after collapsing at home and placed on a ventilator.
Pingel told the Hollywood Reporter that Roberts’ collapse was not COVID-19-related and that she had not recently appeared ill. Pingel also provided a quote from O’Brien to TMZ about her passing, saying, “As I held her in her last moments, she opened her eyes.”
“I’m devastated,” Pingel added to the Hollywood Reporter. “She was brilliant and beautiful, and I feel like a light has been taken away. To say she was an angel would be at the top of the list. She was the sweetest person you’d ever meet and had a huge heart. She loved her fans, and I don’t think she realized how much she meant to them.”
Pingel told TMZ and Variety that the hospital called 10 a.m. Monday to say Roberts is still alive.
So, now come the questions: Did someone at Cedars-Sinai wrongly tell Roberts’ husband that she was dead? Was her condition such that a mistake of this kind could be made, or is it possible for even a world-class hospital like Cedars-Sinai to make such an error?
Did O’Brien somehow misunderstand what the doctors told him, or did something go wrong in the communications between O’Brien and Pingel? Given that Pingel sent out a press release, it doesn’t look like this is an error that can be attributed to entertainment publications purposefully spewing “fake news.”
In any case, Roberts is still remembered for her role in the 1985 Bond film, “A View to a Kill,” which happened to be Roger Moore’s last outing as 007. The villain in that film was played by Christopher Walken. Others may remember her for her TV roles, especially for stepping into the fifth and final season of ABC’s “Charlie’s Angels,” replacing Shelley Hack. Roberts also appeared in episodes of “Fantasy Island” and “Love Boat” and later had a recurring role in “That ’70s Show.”
Source: Orange County Register