Robert Urich

Actor, Publisher
The never-ruffled, ruggedly handsome tough-guy star of "Vega$" (ABC, 1978-81) and "Spencer: For Hire" (ABC, 1985-88), Robert Urich, who long played characters who were up to the task no matter how daunting, demonstrated ... Read more »
Born: 12/18/1946 in Toronto, Ohio, USA

Filmography

Actor (127)

Ultimate Explorer 1984 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

Emeril 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

The President's Man: A Line in the Sand 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

First Years 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The Ultimate Auction 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The Mod Squad: The E! True Hollywood Story 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

67th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Evening Shade 1992 - 1993, 1997 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

Love Boat: The Next Wave 1997 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Nanny 1992 - 1993, 1996 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

Invasion America 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Voice

Boatworks 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Close Call: Cheating Death 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Narrator

Marry Me! 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Plugged In: A Parents' Guide to TV 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The Screen Actors Guild Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Vital Signs 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

When Animals Attack II 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

When Animals Attack III 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

When Stunts Go Bad 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Narrator

Family Film Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

The Hidden Secrets of Magic 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

When Animals Attack 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Danielle Steel's 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Houdini: Unlocking His Secrets 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

The World's Greatest Magic 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

A Musical Christmas at Walt Disney World 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Antarctica: Life in the Freezer 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

It Had to Be You 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Made in the USA 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

The 15th Annual CableACE Awards 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Crossroads 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The Canine Connection 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Volga, The Soul of Russia 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Blind Man's Bluff 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Double Edge 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Egypt: Beyond the Pyramids 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The Bat, the Cat and the Penguin 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

American Dreamer 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Fantasies 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Fifteenth Annual Circus of the Stars 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The 17th Annual People's Choice Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The 48th Annual Golden Globe Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Tube Test Two 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

2nd Annual Valvoline National Driving Test 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Blind Faith 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Spooner 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

All-Star Tribute to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Cheers 1988 (Tv Show)

Actor

Spenser: For Hire 1985 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

A Star-Spangled Celebration 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Amerika 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Thanksgiving Day Parade 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The ABC All-Star Spectacular 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The Defiant Ones 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Scandal Sheet 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

The Funniest Joke I Ever Heard 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

The Night of 100 Stars II 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Turk 182 1985 (Movie)

Terry Lynch (Actor)

The Funniest Joke I Ever Heard 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

The Ice Pirates 1984 (Movie)

Jason (Actor)

Endangered Species 1982 (Movie)

Ruben Castle (Actor)

60 Years of Seduction 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Battle of the Network Stars X 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Fighting Back 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Soap 1977 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

A Christmas Special... With Love, Mac Davis 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope in the Star-Makers 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

Merry Christmas From the Grand Ole Opry 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

The Celebrity Football Classic 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

Battle of the Network Stars V 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Battle of the Network Stars VI 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Paul Lynde at the Movies 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Tabitha 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Vega$ 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

S.W.A.T. 1975 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

Tabitha 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Magnum Force 1973 (Movie)

Grimes (Actor)

... And Then She Was Gone (TV Show)

Actor

83 Hours 'Til Dawn (TV Show)

Actor

A Horse For Danny (TV Show)

Actor

April Morning (TV Show)

Actor

Bunco (TV Show)

Actor

Captains Courageous (TV Show)

Actor

Deadly Relations (TV Show)

Actor

Final Descent (TV Show)

Actor

Final Run (TV Show)

Actor

For Love of Olivia (TV Show)

Actor

Gavilan (TV Show)

Actor

His Mistress (TV Show)

Actor

Invitation to Hell (TV Show)

Actor

Killdozer (TV Show)

Actor

Killing at Hell's Gate (TV Show)

Actor

Leave Yesterday Behind (TV Show)

Actor

Lonesome Dove (TV Show)

Actor

Miracle on the 17th Green (TV Show)

Actor

Mistral's Daughter (TV Show)

Actor

Murder By Night (TV Show)

Actor

Night Walk (TV Show)

Actor

Princess Daisy (TV Show)

Actor

Revolver (TV Show)

Actor

Scandal Sheet (Movie)

Ben Rowan (Actor)

She Knows Too Much (TV Show)

Actor

Spenser: A Judas Goat (TV Show)

Actor

Spenser: A Savage Place (TV Show)

Actor

Spenser: Ceremony (TV Show)

Actor

Stranger at My Door (TV Show)

Actor

Survive the Savage Sea (TV Show)

Actor

Take Your Best Shot (TV Show)

Actor

The Comeback (TV Show)

Actor

The Lazarus Man (TV Show)

Actor

To Save the Children (TV Show)

Actor

Vega$ (TV Show)

Actor

When She Was Bad... (TV Show)

Actor

Young Again (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

The never-ruffled, ruggedly handsome tough-guy star of "Vega$" (ABC, 1978-81) and "Spencer: For Hire" (ABC, 1985-88), Robert Urich, who long played characters who were up to the task no matter how daunting, demonstrated the same resilience in his personal life, bouncing back no matter how many TV shows of his got canceled. His biggest challenge, however, came in 1996 when he learned he had a rare form of cancer, and he met the dreaded disease head-on, exhibiting the courage he'd always said he had with a power of positive energy and prayer approach that, coupled with medical technology, rid him of the scourge. Though the cancer cost him a second season of "The Lazarus Man" (TNT, 1996-97), his first show renewed since "Spencer", Urich remained upbeat about losing his favorite series (and first truly heroic) role, saying, "I think we could still be on the air, even with treatment, but maybe that is my destiny, to do something else. I'm still trying to find the full answer to what this has meant."

Relationships

Cecilia Urich

Mother

Heather Menzies

Wife
worked together on "The Hasty Heart" at the Kennedy Center born c. 1950 best known for her role as Louisa in "The Sound of Music" posed for Playboy in August 1973 married in 1975

Barbara Rucker

Wife
divorced in 1974

John Urich

Father

Allison Urich

Daughter
born on April 18, 1998 adopted

Emily Urich

Daughter
born c. 1980 adopted

Ryan Urich

Son
born c. 1978 adopted

EDUCATION

Michigan State University

East Lansing , Michigan

Florida State University

Tallahassee , Florida
had a four-year football scholarship; one of the 'Seven Magnificents', leading offensive linemen from the mid- to late 1960s

Florida State University

Tallahassee , Florida
had a four-year football scholarship; one of the 'Seven Magnificents', leading offensive linemen from the mid- to late 1960s

Milestones

2001

Briefly returned to series TV as co-star of the fall NBC sitcom "Emeril"; cancelled due to low ratings

1999

Starred as Billy Flynn in the touring company of the stage musical "Chicago"

1998

Received the Gilda Radner Courage Award (from Roswell Park Cancer Institute) in recognition of his successful battle with cancer

1997

Hosted 13-part PBS documentary series "Boatworks"

1997

Hosted the short-lived ABC reality-based series "Vital Signs"

1996

Announced he was suffering from a rare form of cancer (synovial sarcoma) and would undergo chemotherapy; though producers cancelled "The Lazarus Man", Ralston Purina stuck by him as their spokesman for their Pure One dog food company; later underwent surg

1995

Received star on Hollywood Walk of Fame on December 12

1993

Co-starred opposite Faye Dunaway on the short-lived sitcom, "It Had to Be You" (CBS)

1985

Acted with Timothy Hutton in Bob Clark's "Turk 182!"

1982

Played the title character on the NBC series "Gavilan"

1977

Played recurring role of tennis instructor and gigolo Peter Campbell on the ABC sitcom "Soap"

1975

Co-starred in the ABC police series "S.W.A.T."

1973

Feature acting debut in "Magnum Force"

1973

TV debut in the short-lived ABC sitcom "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice"; played Bob

Made stage debut in "Lovers and Other Strangers" at Pheasant Run Playhouse (community theater); appeared in Chicago production of "The Rainmaker", as well as numerous plays at Ivanhoe Theatre (Chicago) and Arlington Park Theatre (Illinois)

While working as an account executive at WGN-Radio in Chicago, Illinois, a one-night acting job inadvertently set him on ultimate career path; hired to portray a young soldier and open the local Jewish United Bond drive with a stirring patriotic speech; u

Starred as Dan Tanna on the ABC series "Vega$"

Returned to series work playing the captain of "The Love Boat: The Next Wave" (UPN)

Played Tom Nash on the NBC sitcom "American Dreamer"

Served as host for "National Geographic Explorer" (TBS)

Caught the eye of a talent agent and moved to Los Angeles

Featured opposite Lisa Hartman in the short-lived sitcom "Tabitha" (ABC), a spin-off of "Bewitched"

Returned to series TV in the hour-long "Crossroads" (ABC)

Had title role of the Boston-based detective in "Spenser: For Hire" (ABC)

Formed the publishing house Beaver Dam Press, which focuses on outdoor books

Returned to series TV as star of "The Lazarus Man" (TNT); also syndicated

Bonus Trivia

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Urich co-owns Computer Sentry Software, a Tennessee-based company which creates anti-theft computer software. He also publishes a series of outdoor books based on the writings of Nash Buckingham under the banner of his own Beaver Dam Press.

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He received a Bravo Award (Germany) as Best Actor in 1980 for "Vega$".

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"'Who wouldn't want this guy?', asks his new agent, ICM's Alan Berger. 'He's been in a couple of really big shows and he's just one of those guys Americans like to welcome into their homes.'" --From the LOS ANGELES TIMES, September 15 1993

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The author of the books on which Urich's series, "Spenser: For Hire", was based, noted, "'I was looking for a big, athletic, not-dumb leading man, and if you want one on television and don't want Robert Urich, who are you going to get?', poses the books' author, Robert Parker. 'Was he exactly the Spenser I'd had in mind? No, Robert Mitchum probably would have been, but we're talking TV here.'" --From LOS ANGELES TIMES, September 15, 1993

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And finally, the last word on the subject of Urich's durability on TV through many series and TV-movies (to the point where the LOS ANGELES TIMES called him the "Teflon Television Man"): "I just think my longevity has a lot to do with where I come from, a blue-collar town in Ohio, and how I was raised, to work hard and respect other folks. I know it sounds hokey but I think, ultimately, on television you can't hide who you are. It's why people are always coming up to me, not to talk about my shows but about their families, their pets. They obviously feel comfortable with me. As for why I keep getting opportunities, I think people in the industry understand that so many elements go into making a show succeed--or fail. It can be a time slot, chemistry between actors, even the mood of the country. Hey, most of Robert De Niro's movies haven't made money but people respect his ability." --LOS ANGELES TIMES, September 15, 1993

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About his battle with cancer: "When that call came, it was terrifying. You want to fall apart. But I have always played these guys who are capable, and now I thought, 'Maybe it's time to prove that you are capable.' But those first few days--even though I always had a great prognosis--no doubt about it: It's scary.""So my response was to go at it in a very business-like, professional manner. I needed a weekend to compose myself and put on my game face, my fighting face. But when the doctor said to me, 'When would you like to come in and start treatment?' I said, 'What time do you open?' He said, '6 a.m.' I said, 'I'll be there at 10 to six. I want to be the first one cured every day." --Robert Urich to LOS ANGELES TIMES, February 27, 1997

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In addition to the Gilda Radner Courage Award, he has received the John Wayne Cancer Institute's Three Tyler Award and continues to tour the country speaking with patients and families dealing with cancer.

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One of the most approachable, down-to-earth people in show business, Robert Urich has an official website at www.roberturich.com

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