Victoria Leigh Blum (born October 15, 1955), known by the stage name Tanya Roberts, is an American actress and producer. She initially rose to prominence as Julie Rogers in the final season of Charlie's Angels in 1980. She is known for her role as Kiri in The Beastmaster (1982), Stacey Sutton in the James Bond film A View to a Kill (1985), and as Midge Pinciotti on That '70s Show (1998–2004).
Roberts in ca. 1982
Victoria Leigh Blum
October 15, 1955
The Bronx, New York City, U.S.
(m. 1974; died 2006)
Roberts was born in 1955 in the Bronx, New York City, the second child of her father, of Irish descent, and a Jewish mother. She has one older sister, Barbara. Roberts' father supported their family on a modest income, working as a fountain pen salesman in Manhattan. Roberts and her sister were raised in the central Bronx.
She relocated from New York with her mother to live in Toronto for several years, where she started formulating a photo portfolio and laying plans for a modeling career. At age 15, she left high school and lived for a while hitchhiking 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 Excedrin, 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 horror film Forced Entry (1975). This was followed by the comedy film The Yum-Yum Girls (1976).
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. In 1979 Roberts appeared in the cult movie Tourist Trap, and also in Racquet, and California Dreaming. Roberts was featured in several television pilots that were not picked up: Zuma Beach (a 1978 comedy), Pleasure Cove (1979), and Waikiki (1980).
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Roberts was chosen in the summer of 1980 from some 2,000 candidates to replace Shelley Hack in the fifth season of the detective television series, Charlie's Angels on ABC. Roberts played Julie Rogers, a streetwise fighter who used her fists more than her gun. Producers hoped Roberts' presence would revitalize the series' declining ratings and regenerate media interest in the series. Before the season's premiere, Roberts was featured on the cover of People magazine with a headline asking if Roberts would be able to save the declining series from cancellation.
Despite the hype Roberts's debut had received, her premiere episode in November 1980 drew dismal ratings. The series was thereafter moved to several different time slots on the broadcast schedule, causing viewership to drop as the season progressed. After just 16 episodes of a fifth season, the series had drastically slipped to 59th in the ratings out of just 65 shows and was cancelled in June 1981.
Roberts played Kiri, in the adventure fantasy film The Beastmaster (1982), which included a topless swimming scene. 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 (1983). 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 to work on her next project, Sheena: Queen of the Jungle (1984). The movie was a box office and critical disaster, garnering her a nomination for "Worst Actress" at the Razzie Awards.
Roberts subsequently appeared as Bond girl Stacey Sutton, a geologist, in A View to a Kill (1985). 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 erotic thriller, Inner Sanctum (1991) alongside Margaux Hemingway. In 1992, she played Kay Egan in Sins of Desire. She appeared on the cable 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 television sitcom That '70s Show. Roberts revealed on E! True Hollywood Story that she left the series in 2001 because her husband had become terminally ill. She wrote the foreword to the book, The Q Guide to Charlie's Angels (2008).
|1975||Forced Entry||Nancy Ulman||N/A|
|1976||The Yum Yum Girls||April||N/A|
|1983||Hearts and Armour||Angelica (Isabella)||N/A|
|1984||Sheena||Sheena||Filmed in Kenya|
|1985||A View to a Kill||Stacey Sutton||N/A|
|1986||Body Slam||Candace Vandervagen||N/A|
|1991||Inner Sanctum||Lynn Foster||N/A|
|Legal Tender||Rikki Rennick||N/A|
|1992||Almost Pregnant||Linda Alderson||Video|
|1993||Sins of Desire||Kay Egan||N/A|
|1978||Zuma Beach||Denise||TV movie|
|1979||Pleasure Cove||Sally||TV movie|
|Greatest Heroes of the Bible||Bachemath||"Jacob's Challenge"|
|1980||Vega$||Off. Britt Blackwell||"Golden Gate Cop Killer: Parts 1 & 2"|
|1980-1981||Charlie's Angels||Julie Rogers||Main role|
|1982||The Love Boat||Diane Dayton||"Green, But Not Jolly/Past Perfect Love/Instant Family"|
|Fantasy Island||Amanda Parsons||"The Ghost's Story"|
|1983||Murder Me, Murder You||Velda||TV movie|
|1994||Burke's Law||Julie Reardon||"Who Killed Nick Hazard?"|
|1994-1996||Hot Line||Rebecca||TV series|
|1995||Silk Stalkings||Callie Callahan||"Till Death Do Us Part"|
|1996||The Pandora Directive||Regan Madsen||Video game|
|1997||The Blues Brothers Animated Series||Toni G. (voice)||TV series|
|High Tide||Rhonda Fogel||"Girl on the Run"|
|1998||The Angry Beavers||Marsha (voice)||"Same Time Last Week/Beaver Fever"|
|1998-2004||That '70s Show||Midge Pinciotti||Main role|
|2002||Off Centre||Gretchen||"Mike & Liz & Chau & Jordan"|
|2003||Fillmore!||Author (voice)||"The Unseen Reflection"|
|2005||Eve||Rebecca||"Kung Fu Divas"|
|Barbershop||Ellie Palmer||"Family Business", "Debates and Dead People"|
- "UPI Almanac for Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017". UPI. October 15, 2017. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
- Collins, Max Allan. Mickey Spillane on Screen: A Complete Study of the Television and Film Adaptations. McFarland. p. 184. ISBN 978-0786465781.
- Appelebaum, Elizabeth (June 12, 1988). "Charlie's Jewish Angel". The Detroit Jewish News.
- Greenfield, Robert (2006). Timothy Leary: A Biography. Harcourt. p. 534. ISBN 978-0151005000.
- Lague, Louise (September 10, 1984). "Critics Call Her Sheena, Shame of the Jungle, but Tanya Roberts Won't Take It Lying Down". People. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
- "Profile at". Filmreference.com. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
- Reilly, Sue (February 9, 1981). "Is the Jiggle Up?". People. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
- "Tanya Roberts profile". Superiorpics.com. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
- Staff (March 8, 2015). "Tanya Roberts Gets Back to Nature in Her Beautiful Hollywood Hills Home". Closer Weekly. Retrieved August 2, 2015.
- "Sheena (1984) - Details". IMDB. Retrieved April 19, 2020.