Bond girl and Charlie’s Angels celebrity Tanya Roberts has died – after a confusion which saw her death prematurely declared while she was still alive but seriously ill.
Roberts’ death was first verified to several media outlets by her publicist and friend, Mike Pingel, who said on Monday morning that she had died in hospital the last day after collapsing at home in Los Angeles on Christmas Eve.
It seems there was confusion with the news he received, as on Monday the star was said to be in poor health but still alive.
However, Mr. Pingel has now verified “with a heavy heart” that Roberts, 65, died just hours later, on Monday in LA.
Her partner of 18 years, Lance O’Brien, told the Associated Press that he got a phone call from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, who gave him the sad news.
“She was my soulmate, she was my best friend,” Mr. O’Brien told the news agency.
Roberts’ cause of death was from a urinary tract infection which spread to her kidney, gallbladder, liver, and then bloodstream, Mr. Pingel said.
Cause of Tanya Roberts Death
Actress Tanya Roberts died from sepsis. According to initial news reports, Ms. Roberts, 65, died in the hospital, admitted after she collapsed.
Subsequent news reports stated that Ms. Roberts had developed sepsis from a urinary tract infection (UTI).
This new information is essential to note because the journalists explain what sepsis is.
Is UTIs Common?
Between 50% and 60%, many adult women develop at least one UTI in their lifetime, and the older they get, the more familiar the infection is.
Sepsis from a UTI often called urosepsis, is fatal in 30% to 40% of cases, according to a journal article published in November 2020.
Using the word sepsis is essential. It helps the public understand the word and what it means, and it helps them know the seriousness of an untreated or undertreated infection and how severe the condition can become.
The team at Sepsis Alliance offers their condolences to Ms. Roberts’s family and those who knew and loved her and to all the others who have been touched by sepsis.
What Causes Sepsis
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women and girls have increased risk because their urethras are shorter and closer to the rectum, which makes it easier for bacteria to enter the urinary tract.
Other risk factors for a UTI that could lead to sepsis include:
- age (55 and older)
- kidney stones
- other issues that can cause blockage of the ureter
Once bacteria get into the blood, “the body responds aggressively and can cause damage to the brain, kidneys and lungs,” said Dr. Christopher Seymour, a sepsis specialist and an associate professor of critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
“As the immune system responds it can trigger a cascade of proteins that affect blood vessels and tissues.”
Sepsis causes the immune response to get out of whack, Seymour said
“In some areas it’s going too fast and in others it’s going too slow,” said Seymour. “That leads to the threats to the organs.”
About 1 in 5 people who develop sepsis in the hospital doesn’t survive, “even with all of our best medicines,” said Seymour.
Symptoms of Sepsis
There is no clear symptom that signals an infection have turned into sepsis. “The long and short of it is that no single sign or symptom says septic, like chest pain can indicate a heart attack,” said Seymour.
“That’s why we often see people who present late and can succumb to an otherwise treatable infection.”
The warning signs of sepsis include:
- high fever
- low blood pressure
- trouble breathing
Paying Tribute to Tanya Roberts
The actress is best known for her turn as Bond girl Stacey Sutton, the granddaughter of a California oil tycoon, opposite Roger Moore in A View To A Kill in 1985.
She also recreated Midge Pinciotti in That ’70s Show, alongside Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher, from 1998 to 2004, and became a Charlie’s Angel in 1980 with Jaclyn Smith and Cheryl Ladd, playing Julie Rogers in the final season of the hit series.
Roberts was an animal rights activist, and instead of flowers, her family was asking for donations to be made in her name to the ASPCA charity in the US. She lived for her “animal babies,” which included two dogs, Muttley and Socks, a bird, and Koi fish, Mr. Pingel said.
Paying tribute in his initial statement, sent to Sky News, the publicist said: “I’m devastated, I’ve been friends with Tanya for over 20 years. She was full of boundless energy and we always had the best times.
“She was truly an Angel and I will miss her so so much.”
Tarri Markel, another of Roberts’ agents, also paid tribute, describing the star as “one of the kindest people I ever knew.”
She continued: “She was genuine, and very down to earth. She loved her friends and family, and adored her dogs. She was an avid hiker, and I’m sure could be seen frequently hiking the canyons with her puppy.
“She was as beautiful on the inside, as she was on the outside. Incredible heart! And someone I feel honoured to have known and called my friend.”
James Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli were among those to pay tribute when Roberts’ death was first announced, saying: “We are saddened to hear of the passing of Tanya.
“She was a very lovely person and shall always be remembered by Bond fans as Stacey Sutton in A View To A Kill. Our heart goes out to her family and friends.”
Roberts’ screen recognition also included the titular role in Sheena, a female version of the Tarzan story in 1984, and adventure film The Beastmaster in 1982.