Following a tumultuous week for family, friends, and fans of Tanya Roberts (That 70s Show), the actress’ cause of death has officially been revealed, as reported by NBC News. After being falsely reported dead on Sunday evening by her representative, Mike Pingel, it was announced on Monday morning that Roberts was still alive, until she passed due to a urinary tract infection that developed into sepsis later that day.
Best known for her roles in the 1984 James Bond film A View to a Kill and the TV show That 70s Show, Roberts mysteriously collapsed on December 24 and was transported to Cedars-Senai Medical Center in Los Angeles. When news of her falsified death was initially revealed, Pingel told CNN, “I’m devastated, I’ve been friends with Tanya for over 20 years. She was full of energy and we always had a wild time together. She was truly an Angel and I will miss her so much.” Roberts suffered from a UTI which eventually spread to her kidneys and gall bladder, as her long-time partner, Lance O’Brien, and Pingel stated.
While UTIs can typically be treated through antibiotics, it can be fatal when the infection spreads to the kidneys. When the body’s immune system begins its attempts to fight the infection which has now spread through the bloodstream and organs, sepsis occurs. These issues are more common than what was once thought, specifically among older women, as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention report. Women aged 55 and older, diabetes, kidney stones, and any issue that results in blockage of the ureter can put one at an increased risk of a UTI that could lead to sepsis.
Sepsis specialist and professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Dr. Christopher Seymour, explained that once bacteria enters the bloodstream, “the body responds aggressively and can cause damage to the brain, kidneys, and lungs,” via NBC News. Seymour continues to state that about 1 in 5 people who develop sepsis does not survive.
The former bond girl was arguably best known for her role in That 70s Show as Midge Pinciotti, the ditzy mother of Donna Pinciotti, portrayed by Laura Prepon (Orange is the New Black). Former cast-mate from the show, Topher Grace (BlackkKlansman), who played Eric Forman, paid his respects via Twitter early on Monday morning when the premature news first broke.
I was so sad to hear that Tanya Roberts has passed away. She was a Bond girl, one of Charlie’s Angels, and truly a delightful person to work with. I had never acted before and, to be honest, a little nervous around her. But she couldn’t have been kinder. We’ll miss you Midge. pic.twitter.com/ewqDS3Radb
— Topher Grace (@TopherGrace) January 4, 2021