In a poignant post shared on Twitter and her Instagram page, the 75-year-old actress shared a throwback pic of her and Roberts alongside fellow cast member Cheryl Ladd from the final season of the ABC detective drama. The three women were the last Angels to star in the show in its fifth and final season, which wrapped in 1981.
In the caption, Smith, who was the only star to appear in all five seasons of the ABC crime drama, wrote that her late co-star brought “joy” to many fans in her long career. She also revealed that when Roberts was cast for the final season, it allowed the series to finish out its run with a redhead (Roberts), brunette (Smith), and a blonde (Ladd) as was originally “intended.” Previous Angels included Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, and Shelley Hack, none of whom were redheads.
In the comments sections of Smith’s posts, fans reacted to the sad news of her co-star’s passing.
“An angel in Heaven now. Sorry for your loss,” one commenter wrote on Instagram.
“So heartbreaking, can’t believe she’s gone,” another fan wrote on Twitter. “Thinking of her family, you and Cheryl at this sad time, RIP Tanya.”
“So sorry for the loss of a tv family member,” a third person tweeted. “You guys were incredibly iconic and are still loved and remembered today. Prayers for Tanya’s family and friends. ”
In an interview conducted by her publicist and shared on a Charlie’s Angels fansite, Roberts described being the new kid on the block of the iconic series as “great and tough.”
“The stars were tired of the show and knowing the end of the series was coming soon,” she admitted. “I came at the end of the party.”
She revealed that she loved traveling with the cast to Hawaii to film episodes, and she named the 1981 episode “Hawaiian Angels” as her favorite.
Roberts is the second Charlie’s Angels actress to pass away. In 2009, Fawcett passed away following a long battle with cancer.
In addition to her role on Charlie’s Angels, Roberts was best known as a Bond Girl in the film A View to a Kill (1985) and as Midge Pinciotti on Fox’s That ’70s Show in the late 1990s.
Roberts’ death came amid conflicting news reports after her publicist, Mike Pingel, incorrectly reported that she died due to a misunderstanding with her domestic partner, Lance O’Brien.
That in turn, caused That ’70s Show actor Ashton Kutcher to inform co-stars Topher Grace and Debra Jo Rupp that Roberts was indeed alive after they posted tributes to her. Sadly, the actress’ death was confirmed the next morning.