The author was found dead at his home in Boston, Massachusetts by his wife Joan on Monday (18Jan10). The cause of death is currently unknown.
Best known for his Spenser series of detective novels, Parker penned more than 50 books. His last, The Professional, was published last year (09).
His tough-guy Spenser character was brought to life for the small screen in 1980s U.S. TV series, Spenser: For Hire, which starred Robert Urich as the title character. The show ran for three years.
Parker won two Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America and a Grand Master Edgar in 2002 for lifetime achievement. More than four million copies of his books have sold globally.
He passed away on Monday (04Jan10) in Chicago, Illinois. No further details regarding the cause of death were provided.
After an accomplished theatre career in Dublin and the West End of London, Donnelly wowed American audiences in 1965 with his British film comedy, The Knack...and How to Get It.
The following year, he starred in Broadway's Philadelphia, Here I Come!, which earned him Tony Award nomination and led to a string of regular appearances on the New York stage.
He also had small roles in films The Dead, Twister and Godfather Part III, and appeared in U.S. TV series Law and Order and Spenser: For Hire.
Donnelly is survived by his wife of 45 years, Patricia, sons Jonathan and Damian, and six brothers and sisters.
We say goodbye to one of television's tough guys.
Robert Urich, the actor known for playing cool detectives in the TV series Vega$ and Spenser: For Hire, died Tuesday in Thousand Oaks, Calif., of cancer. He was 55.
Urich started in television in 1973, starring in the short-lived series Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. He also appeared in the TV series S.W.A.T. and then was cast as Peter Campbell in the hit series Soap.
His big claim to fame, though, came in 1978, when Urich snagged the role of super sleuth Dan Tanna in Vega$, which ran on ABC from 1978 to 1981. This ultimately led to his darker role as Spenser in ABC's Spenser: For Hire, which ran from 1985 to 1988.
Then in 1996, Urich announced he had cancer. The Associated Press reported the actor had been battling synovial cell sarcoma, a rare cancer that attacks the body's joints. During the mid-1990s, he underwent chemotherapy, radiation treatments and two operations to fight the disease.
He and his wife, Heather, became active in cancer research and created the Heather and Robert Urich Fund for Sarcoma Research to help find a cure to the disease.
"Charge forward with hope and get the best medical advice you can," AP reported Urich had told an audience during a public speaking engagement last year in Wisconsin.
"Talk to your friends, neighbors, family, and together, you attack it. We can't always control what happens to us, but we can always control how we react to it."
Urich is survived by Heather and his three children -- Allison, Ryan and Emily -- as well as two brothers, a sister and his mother. A memorial service is scheduled for Friday in Los Angeles.