Despite an earlier statement from representative Mike Pingel, That 70’s Show and Charlie’s Angels actress Tanya Roberts is still alive and being treated at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles after an undisclosed medical emergency. The actress was “mistakenly announced as dead late Sunday night”, according to Variety.
Tanya Roberts’ rep now says she’s still alive despite releasing a press release earlier saying she had died Sunday, per @TMZ
Roberts’ husband got a call from the hospital this morning saying she’s still alive https://t.co/UxhxZSyGuo
— Fandom (@getFANDOM) January 4, 2021
People reports that Roberts’ hospitalization was not COVID-19-related, rather that the actress collapsed unexpectedly after walking her dogs on Christmas Eve. “Lance, was at the hospital Sunday when he saw Tanya’s eyes close,” Pingel told TMZ “For some reason, he says he thought she was dead so he left devastated.” O’Brien reportedly told Pingel that Roberts had died in his arms, but it appears he had not confirmed this information with hospital staff, via TMZ.
O’Brien shared the news with Robert’s representative and long-time friend Pingel, who then drafted a press release formally announcing the sixty-five-year-old actress’ death on Sunday. Fans of Roberts’ film and television work expressed their grief about the actress’ believed passing on Sunday night. That 70’s Show star Topher Grace (Spider-Man 3, BlacKkKlansman) echoed his own bereavement over the loss of Roberts on Twitter and has yet to make an addendum to his initial tweet, though many fans have replied to share the good news with him.
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
O’Brien first heard the news Monday morning, while conducting an Inside Edition interview about Roberts’ passing. The actress’ partner received a phone call from Cedars-Sinai while taping the program, informing him that Roberts was still alive. Despite this footage, TMZ was the first outlet to break the story that Robert’s was still alive earlier today, which sent the internet aflutter as the bizarre nature of the whole ordeal picked up traction online.
As Roberts would have been one of the first celebrity deaths reported in 2021, many on social media extrapolated hope for the new year in the amended news that she was still alive. Others, such as Rahul Koli (iZombie, The Haunting of Bly Manor), took notice of the odd note on which 2021 has started on with a news story such as this, via Twitter.
oi 2021 is moving differently https://t.co/my8HTzuHx1
— Rahul Kohli (@RahulKohli13) January 4, 2021
Since it’s inception, Twitter has often been a hotbed for celebrity death hoaxes, with figures such as Drake and Jack Black (School of Rock, High Fidelity) finding themselves in the crosshairs, via The Wrap. Roberts’ misreported death marks a novel occasion in which the fraudulent news came directly from sources close to the celebrity.
Despite the relief that Roberts remains alive, Pingel has said the actress remains on a ventilator and that her condition is still “very grim”, via Entertainment Weekly. Hopefully Roberts is able to make a full recovery and can, one day, further illuminate the miscommunication that occurred today herself.