Tanya Roberts

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Tanya Roberts
Born Victoria Leigh Blum
(1955-10-15) October 15, 1955 (age 58)
The Bronx, New York City, United States
Occupation Actress, producer
Years active 1975–2006
Spouse(s) Barry Roberts
(1974–2006) (his death)

Victoria Leigh Blum (born October 15, 1955), professionally known by the stage name Tanya Roberts, is an American actress known for her role as Julie Rogers on the fifth and final season of Charlie's Angels (1980–81) and as Midge Pinciotti on That '70s Show (1998–2001).

Early life[edit]

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.[1] 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 and 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.

Acting career[edit]

1970s[edit]

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).

1980s[edit]

Charlie's Angels[edit]

Roberts was chosen in the summer of 1980 from some two thousand candidates to replace Shelley Hack in the fifth season of the detective television series, Charlie's Angels on ABC. Roberts played the sultry Julie Rogers, a streetwise fighter who used her fists more than her gun. Producers hoped Roberts's sizzling presence would revitalize the show's 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 timeslots on the broadcast schedule, but viewership continued to drop as the season progressed. After just sixteen 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. However, producers of the show reported after the show's cancellation, if Roberts had entered the show the previous season the series would have been back for a sixth season.[citation needed]

Later career[edit]

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.

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.[2] 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 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. Barry Roberts died in 2006. Tanya Roberts wrote the foreword to the 2008 book, The Q Guide to Charlie's Angels.[citation needed]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1975 Forced Entry Nancy Ulman
1976 The Yum Yum Girls April
1977 The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover Stewardess
1978 Fingers Julie
1978 Zuma Beach Denise TV movie
1979 Tourist Trap Becky
1979 Pleasure Cove Sally TV movie
1979 Greatest Heroes of the Bible Bachemath TV series,Episodes "Jacob's Challenge"
1979 California Dreaming Stephanie
1979 Racquet Bambi
1980 Vega$ Officer Britt Blackwell TV series,Season 2, Episode 20、21
1980 Waikiki Carol TV movie
1980-1981 Charlie's Angels Julie Rogers TV series,Season 5,Episode 1-16
1982 The Love Boat Diane Dayton TV series,Season 5,Episode 16
1982 Fantasy Island Miss Amanda Parsons TV series,Season 5,Episode 22
1982 The Beastmaster Kiri
1983 Murder Me, Murder You Velda TV movie
1983 Hearts and Armour Angelica (Isabella)
1984 Sheena Sheena Nominated-Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress
1985 A View to a Kill Stacey Sutton Nominated-Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress
1986 Body Slam Candace Vandervagen
1988 Purgatory Carly Arnold
1990 Twisted Justice Secretary
1990 Night Eyes Nikki
1991 Legal Tender Rikki Rennick
1991 Inner Sanctum Lynn Foster
1992 Almost Pregnant Linda Alderson Video
1993 Sins of Desire Kay Egan
1994 Burke's Law Julie Reardon TV series,Season 1,Episode 3
1995 Deep Down Charlotte
1995 Silk Stalkings Callie Callahan TV series,Season 5,Episode 11
1994-1996 Hot Line Rebecca TV series,Season 1, Episode 1, 2 and Season 3, Episode 1-9, 11, 14
1996 The Pandora Directive Regan Madsen Video Game
1997 The Blues Brothers Animated Series Toni G. TV series
1997 High Tide Rhonda Fogel TV series,Season 3,Episode 18
1998 The Angry Beavers Marsha(voice) TV series,Season 2,Episode 1
2002 Off Centre Gretchen TV series,Season 1,Episode 18
2003 Fillmore! Author TV series,Season 2,Episode 8
1998-2004 That '70s Show Midge Pinciotti TV series,75 episodes
2005 Eve Rebeca TV series,Season 2,Episode 13
2005 Barbershop Ellie Palmer TV series,Season 1,Episode 7、8

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Profile at". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2013-04-18. 
  2. ^ "Tanya Roberts profile". Superiorpics.com. Retrieved 2013-04-18. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Maud Adams
Bond girl
1985
Succeeded by
Maryam d'Abo