Model and actress is a lethal combination for Hollywood.
Combined with a hit television series, Tanya Roberts went from the ad pages of women’s magazines to front of TV Guide when she became the latest actress to join Charlie’s Angels in 1980.
Victoria Leigh Blum modelled for Ultra Brite, Clairol and Cool Ray sunglasses while acting in off-Broadway productions and working as an Arthur Murray dance instructor.
With her husband wanting to pursue his screenwriting career, the young couple moved to Hollywood in the late 1970s, and Tanya Roberts focused on tv series and films.
Roberts beat out 2000 applicants to replace Shelley Hack as one of the Angels; she became Julie Rogers, a streetwise fighter who used her fists first. Her year on the series would be the last season of Charlie’s Angels.
In 1982, Roberts starred in the film Beastmaster, and to help promote the film, appeared in Playboy Magazine. She was next offered a role of Velda in Murder Me, Murder You, a television movie that due to its success was developed into the series Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer.
The television series wanted her but Roberts focused on her film career with the title role in Sheena: Queen of the Jungle based on a popular comic book. The film was universally panned by critics. Roberts next appeared as a Bond girl with Roger Moore in A View to a Kill in 1985 and as her career slowed in the late ’80s, she appeared in the film Body Slam.
Roberts was always known as a poster girl – from being an Angel to Sheena, this girl was a poster seller of the 1980s. As a young teen, I wasn’t a fan of Roberts, but wondered if her breathy voice was real or if she really always appeared as a bombshell. But her buxom beauty was a lure for nearly any boy I knew, who were the ones who happily populated the movie theatre to see Sheena: Queen of the Jungle, despite it being a terrible movie.
Roberts used her ample credentials – and made her mark in 1980s Hollywood.