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Robert Urich Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (23) | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 19 December 1946Toronto, Ohio, USA
Date of Death 16 April 2002Thousand Oaks, California, USA  (synovial sarcoma)
Birth NameRobert Michael Urich
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Robert grew up in Toronto, Ohio, where his athletic ability led to a four year football scholarship at Florida State University (FSU). There he earned a B.A. in Communications. He later received an M.A. at Michigan State University and then joined WGN radio in Chicago as a sales account representative. He then briefly appeared as a TV weatherman, and soon realized that he wanted to become an actor.

His big break came in 1972 when Robert played Burt Reynolds's younger brother in a stage production of "The Rainmaker". Burt and Robert were both alumni of FSU. Burt brought him to California and let him stay in his home until he got his acting break. Burt recommended him to producer Aaron Spelling for the TV series S.W.A.T. (1975). Although that series lasted only one season, Spelling remembered Robert and later cast him in Vega$ (1978), which had a longer run.

He was starring in the TV series The Lazarus Man (1996) when he was diagnosed with cancer, which caused the cancellation of the series. The cancer went into remission after treatment and he resumed acting again with his role as Captain Jim Kennedy III on Love Boat: The Next Wave (1998).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: John Sacksteder <jsack@ka.net>

Spouse (2)

Heather Menzies-Urich (21 November 1975 - 16 April 2002) (his death) (3 children)
Barbara Rucker (1971 - 1974) (divorced)

Trivia (23)

He sued Castle Rock Television for $1.47 million (the amount he would have received for the second season of his TV series The Lazarus Man (1996)) on April 11, 2000, saying Castle Rock canceled the show because he had cancer. He alleged he did not receive payments from the company. Apparently Urich and his production company entered into an agreement with Castle Rock in 1995 for Urich to act in the "Lazarus Man" pilot. Under the deal he was to be paid $70,000 per episode for the first season and $73,000 an episode the second season. In July 1996 he informed Castle Rock that he had cancer and would have to undergo treatment, but the suit said at no time was Urich unable to perform his duties. Castle Rock terminated the agreement a month later.

Urich underwent chemotherapy, radiation treatments and two operations in the mid-1990s to seemingly successfully fight synovial cell sarcoma, a rare cancer that attacks the joints.
Daughter with wife Heather Menzies-Urich, Allison Grady, born. [April 1998]
Bachelor of Arts from Florida State University 1968, Master of Arts from Michigan State University in Communications
Son: Ryan Urich, 1979. Daughter: Emily, 1980.
Younger brother of Tom Urich.
Is of Slovakian heritage.
Member of Lambda Chi Alpha.
Graduated from Florida State University in 1967 or 1968
Spent latter years devoted to cancer research and education, and he and wife established the Heather and Robert Urich Fund for Sarcoma Research at the University of Michigan.
Recipient of the Gilda Radner Courage Award from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
In 1992, he won a CableACE Award as Informational Host for National Geographic Explorer (1985) and a News and Documentary Emmy award as narrator for National Geographic Explorer: U-Boats: Terror on Our Shores (1992) (1992).
Wife Heather Menzies-Urich played blonde Louisa, one of the Von Trapp children, in the film version of The Sound of Music (1965).
He was from Toronto, Ohio; his wife was from Toronto, Ontario!
National spokesman for the American Cancer Society in 1998.
Holds the record for having the most series-regular roles on TV: 13. Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1973), S.W.A.T. (1975), Soap (1977), Tabitha (1976), Vega$ (1978), Gavilan (1982), Spenser: For Hire (1985), American Dreamer (1990) Crossroads (1992) It Had to Be You (1993), The Lazarus Man (1996), Love Boat: The Next Wave (1998), and Emeril (2000).
Graduated from Toronto High School in Toronto, Ohio in 1964.
Attended Florida State University on a four-year football scholarship where he earned his undergraduate degree in Radio and Television Communications in 1968.
Graduated from Michigan State University in 1971 with a masters degree in Broadcast Research and Management.
His final film, Night of the Wolf (2002) aired on Animal Planet the same day that he died.
Uncle of actor Justin Urich
Has two grandchildren Michelle (born 2004) and Lana (born 2005)
During his Spenser: For Hire (1985) series, Urich had a special agreement with the execs to fly out of state (from Boston, MA to the West Coast) when needed for his older daughter's medical treatments.
Inducted into the Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame in 2002.

Personal Quotes (3)

"Charge forward with hope and get the best medical advice you can. 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." (Wisconsin speech, 2001)
I know it sounds hokey but I think, ultimately, on television you can't hide who you are. It is 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.
I 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.

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