That ’70s Show Stars Who Are No Longer With Us05/20/2021
For eight years, fans waited anxiously for every episode release of the iconic, coming of age comedy, “That 70’s Show.”
From 1998 to 2006, fans discussed everything from who Jackie should end up with to debating which hair color they liked most with Donna. The show went through a lot of unexpected turns like Topher Grace leaving in season seven, Laurie being recast, and even adding Randy into the show’s final season. But nevertheless, fans ate up every minute of it (via IMDb). While most of the cast members went on to super stardom, like Mila Kunis (Jackie Burkhart) starring in Oscar nominated films, Ashton Kutcher (Michael Kelso) getting his own show, and even Laura Prepon (Donna Pinciotti) starring in “Orange is the New Black.”
“That 70’s Show” continues to be a cult favorite to this day. However, there’s a dark cloud over the show as some of fans favorite characters passed away in recent years.
Lisa Robin Kelly had a tragic decade after That 70s Show
Either you loved her or you hated her, but either way, your eyes were glued to the screen when Laurie Forman came on the screen. Lisa Robin Kelly, who played Eric’s devious older sister Laurie, quickly became a fan favorite and was even one of the main stars in Season 2.
Laurie brought an extra level of spice into the “That 70’s Show” world with her quick wit and promiscuity. For awhile, Laurie even hooked up, and later dated, Kelso while he was with his on-and-off girlfriend, Jackie Burkhart. However, after the second season, Laurie wasn’t seen as much. Laurie’s last stint was when she decided to marry Fez to help with his green card, before Kelly got recast, (via CBR).
The reason Kelly’s character was seen less and less is because of a sad story that most fans don’t know about. Kelly suffered with depression and alcohol abuse after a miscarriage, and decided to leave. “I had lost a baby,” she revealed, (via ABC News). “As a result of that I lost it. I lost everything and I was abusing alcohol.”
Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. In August 2014, Kelly died at the age of 43 in her sleep, due to an accidental overdose while at a rehab house (via Westside Today).
Tanya Roberts passed away suddenly in 2021
Former Bond girl and Charlie’s Angel, Tanya Roberts also became a fan favorite for her role of Midge Pinciotti. The airheaded mother of Donna Pinciotti was working on becoming a strong feminist throughout her time on the show, frequently putting her husband Bob in his place.
The boys of “That 70’s Show” were all either in love with her, or desperately wanted something more frisky to happen. And fans just loved her ridiculous one-liners throughout her time on the show, (via The Famous People). However, the bombshell actress ended up leaving the show after Season 3 to care for her terminally-ill, now late husband, Barry Roberts (via Meaww).
On December 2020, Roberts started feeling difficulty breathing and was soon taken to the hospital. Less than two weeks after being admitted, it was confirmed that Roberts passed away from an infection that entered her blood stream. She died at the age of 65, (via The Famous People).
Mary Tyler Moore had decades of health problems
Mary Tyler Moore was a titan of television long before guest starring as Christine St. George, the host of a local TV program.
Throughout the 1960’s she starred as Laura Petrie in the hit series, the “Dick van Dyke Show,” and later starring in her own show, the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” in the 1970s. She made headlines as the first woman to wear pants on TV. For a few decades, she snagged an Oscar nomination and appearing in multiple Broadway plays. Then in the final season of “That 70’s Show” she had a three episode arc, where she played Jackie’s mean boss, (via Biography).
Unfortunately, Moore had a slew of health problems throughout her life starting in 1969, when she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (via Washington Post). Throughout the final decades of her life, she had kidney, heart, and vision problems. In 2017, she died at the age of 80 after complications with her heart and pneumonia.
Tom Poston's role was quickly a fan favorite
Tom Poston’s character, Burt Sigurdson, was probably one of the most relatable guest stars on “That 70’s Show” with his nonchalant attitude and chill personality.
Poston played Kitty’s father, who ended up having a heart attack in Season 5, Episode 13, (via IMDb). His character was the first major death, and it brought on a lot of character development for everyone. Now Poston has had an extensive television career with over 100 acting credits that spanned for over 50 years. Along with his role in “That 70s Show,” he guest starred in hit series like “Family Matters,” “Coach,” and “Will & Grace” to name a few. He also starred in shows like “Newhart” and “Mork & Mindy,” (via IMDb).
His final role was in 2006, and on April 2007, Poston died of respiratory failure at 85 years old, (via New York Times).
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