As a seductress in the erotica film genre in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, American actress and producer Tanya Roberts attracted a devoted fan base. She became the go-to femme fatale in Hollywood after playing a Bond girl in the 1985 film A View to Kill. If you want to know what killed her, keep reading.
Tanya Roberts Cause of Death
Actress Tanya Roberts, who starred in the TV sitcom That ’70s Show and the 1985 James Bond movie A View to Kill, died at age 65 on January 4, 2021, from a urinary tract infection (UTI) that spread to other parts of her body.
Bladder infections are the most prevalent cause of UTIs and can typically be treated with medications. However, if the infection spreads to the kidneys, it might be fatal.
When the immune system becomes overactive in an attempt to eliminate an infection that has made its way into the bloodstream, this is known as sepsis.
The European Association of Urology estimates that between 28 and 9.8 million people in the United States and Europe suffer from UTIs each year, with 1.6 million people losing their lives as a direct result of these infections.
“The kidney is a spongy organ filled with blood vessels,” explained Dr. Amin Herati, director of men’s health at the Brady Urological Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Bacteria can more easily enter the bloodstream if they are able to ascend the urinary system.
Don Coscarelli posted a tweet and wrote, RIP Tanya Roberts:
I just heard the sad news that actress Tanya Roberts passed away.
Tanya was a beautiful person, inside and out. I will always remember Tanya for being incredibly sweet and for her genuine love of animals. She was beloved by Beastmaster fans everywhere. RIP. pic.twitter.com/JvqJg2rEAj
— Don Coscarelli (@DonCoscarelli) January 4, 2021
How Frequent Are UTIs, and What Causes Them?
UTIs are more common in women, but anybody can get one. Four in ten women will get a urinary tract infection at some point in their lives, and one in four will get one again.2
“The urinary tract is the term used to include all the parts of the urinary system, which includes the kidneys, ureters (small tubes that connect the kidneys and the bladder), the urinary bladder, and the urethra (the tube that connects the bladder to the outside),” said Benjamin Brucker, MD, director of the Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Program at NYU Langone Health.
Pathogens, mostly bacteria, such as those normally present in the gastrointestinal tract, can infect any of these organs and cause illness. “The bacteria find themselves in the urinary tract and cause inflammation as your body starts to react to the infection,” Dr. Brucker said. Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are most commonly bladder infections, medically known as acute bacterial cystitis. This is the usual cause of burning while urinating (dysuria), as well as increased urine frequency and urgency.
What Happens If the Disease Spreads?
In most cases, antibiotics (in the case of a bacterial infection) or antifungal medication (in the case of a fungal infection) can effectively treat a UTI if discovered early. Additional tests, such as blood work, renal scans, or an ultrasound, may be ordered if the doctor feels the infection has spread.3
The immune system’s response to an infection can be rather severe in certain people. This condition, known as sepsis, is characterized by the following symptoms:4
- Fever Chills
- Unbearable suffering
- Racing heart
- Difficulty in breathing
Dr. Brucker defined urosepsis as “if the infection that causes sepsis begins in the urinary tract.” In the intensive care unit, urosepsis is the second biggest cause of death, behind the cardiovascular illness.5
“This means what might have started in the urinary tract is now having an effect all over the body,” Dr. Brucker said. “When the bacteria spread to other parts of the body during urosepsis, the bacteria growing in the urinary tract can be found in the bloodstream. As this bacteria travels through the blood and body, the body’s inflammatory response, as well as the toxins that the bacteria can release, leads to the dysfunction of our vital organs. When these organs start to fail, this is what ultimately can lead to a patient’s demise.”
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The Career of Tanya Roberts: From Low-Budget Films to Charlie’s Angels and Beyond
Tanya Roberts began her career in the early 1970s appearing in low-budget commercials for products including Excedrin, Clairol, and Cool Ray sunglasses. Tanya had a few substantial roles in off-Broadway companies after that, but she still wasn’t happy with the work she was doing because of the poor money and lack of visibility. She some teaching of dances to supplement her income for a while.
An agency saw potential in her and landed her a part in the 1975 horror thriller Forced Entry. The role in the very sexy cheesy film Fingers was one of her most memorable performances in this genre. Tanya was somewhat unknown even after she was hired for the TV series Charlie’s Angels after appearing in a few more flicks like these.
Tanya Roberts replaced another actress after only a dozen episodes of Charlie’s Angels aired before being canceled. Tanya stayed underground for a while longer, continuing to make sexual films for money. She was given the fantasy adventure picture The Beastmaster in 1982. It was very different from the regular offers she was receiving at the time.
The 1980s were a distinct decade for her since she was able to break away from the world of low-budget B movies. Tanya kept acting in films despite their low budgets since they gave her a chance to show what she could do. In 1983, she was a part of the cast of the Italian adventure fantasy film Heart and Armour.
She made her first TV appearance in the 1983 murder mystery Murder You, Murder Me. She was offered a starring role in a TV pilot, but she turned it down in favor of Sheena: Queen of the Jungle, which was a critical and commercial flop. But 1985 was a breakthrough year since she got cast as Bond girl in A View to Kill. Her performance was roundly panned by critics.
She kept making appearances in sensual thrillers like Night Eyes, Body Slam, Inner Sanctum, and Sins of Desire for quite some time after that.
In 1998, she had her big break on the sitcom That ’70s program, but she had to quit the program in the middle of its second season in 2001 because her husband was dying.
After that, Tanya Roberts played minor roles in a handful of TV shows like Eve and Barbershop but generally avoided the spotlight.
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