Robert Urich


LOS ANGELES (AP) – Robert Urich, an Emmy-winning actor best known for his starring roles in “Soap” and “Spenser: For Hire,” has died after battling cancer. He was 55.

Urich died Tuesday morning at a hospital in Thousand Oaks surrounded by family members and friends, publicist Cindy Guagenti said.

Urich announced in 1996 that he was suffering from synovial cell sarcoma, a rare cancer that attacks the body's joints. The cancer went into remission after he underwent chemotherapy, radiation treatments and two operations.

Urich earned his first television role in the 1973 comedy series “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.” He also appeared in the TV series “S.W.A.T” before being cast as Peter Campbell in “Soap.”

One of Urich's most recognizable roles came as private detective Dan Tanna in “Vega$.” He later starred in another detective series “Spenser: For Hire,” which was based on Robert Parker's novels.

More recently, Urich appeared in “The Lazarus Man,” and the brief NBC sitcom “Emeril.”

Born in Toronto, Ohio, Urich won a football scholarship at Florida State University. He later earned a master's degree in broadcast research and management from Michigan State University.

Urich briefly worked in Chicago as a radio sales agent and a television meteorologist. Burt Reynolds helped Urich land his first major role, co-starring as his younger brother in a stage production of “The Rainmaker.”

Urich appeared in several television miniseries and cable specials. He won an Emmy for his narration of the cable documentary “U-Boats: Terror on Our Shores.” He also won a Cable ACE award as host of the National Geographic series “On Assignment.”

Urich spent his latter years devoted to cancer research and education. He and his wife, Heather Menzies, established the Heather and Robert Urich Fund for Sarcoma Research at the University of Michigan to accelerate the pace of research into sarcoma.

He is survived by his wife; three children, Allison, Ryan and Emily; two brothers; a sister; and his mother.

A memorial service is scheduled for Friday in Los Angeles.

Copyright © 2002 The Associated Press

Guest Book

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Sorry for your lost...My condolences to the Family's

We miss him dearly. What a giant loss.

Heather RIP always....

So sorry to hear of the loss to Urich family as now too Robert has been joined by his lovely wife Heather. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time that God will comfort their hearts.

The Urichs are together once again. RIP Robert & Heather!

Mr. Urich, I still think of you as one of my all time favorite actors. I am reminded today on the day after your wife Heathers both left us too soon. God Bless the Urich family.

Always will be my favorite all time actor. My heart hurts when I watch the Spenser DVD series once a week, but it is worth it to enjoy his screen presence. My best wishes for his wonderful family. They lived in my home town, Andover, MA, for a time, of which I'll always be very proud.

Every so often someone posts a memory of Robert here and I often think of the family resemblance but with the passing of Charmain Carr we who loved the Sound of Music remember our love for all of you. My grandparents were Austrian and Grandpa Breckner's sister made the trip by wagon back into Salzburg when the Russians came into her city of Beszterce. My grandfather was here in America by 1907 but his sister remained in what is now the Transylvanian section of Romania. Lived out her life in...