Born December 19, 1946, in Toronto, OH; died of synovial cell sarcoma, April16, 2002, in Thousand Oaks, CA. Actor and producer. Best known for portrayingtelevision detectives, Urich began his acting career in theatre. After making his stage debut in Lovers and Other Strangers, he appeared in a Chicago production of The Rainmaker before moving to Los Angeles. Urich made his television debut in the series Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice in 1973, the same year he made his feature film debut in the Clint Eastwood film Magnum Force. Though Urich appeared in a few other films inthe early 1980s, he made his mark in television, starring in a string of successful series. He gained recognition in the police series S.W.A.T. then appeared in Soap and Tabitha before landing the title role ofprivate detective Dan Tanna on Vega$ in 1978. The show ran for threeyears. Urich's best-known role came in 1985 when he starred as a private detective in Spenser: For Hire. The popular series also ran for three years, and Urich portrayed the detective in several television movies. Throughouthis career Urich appeared in countless television movies and miniseries, including Lonesome Dove and Princess Daisy. He also hosted and narrated a number of television specials and series, such as National Geographic Explorer, Vital Signs, and Boatworks, and produced several television movies. Urich underwent treatment for cancer in 1996, and though the cancer recurred three years later, he continued to work, touring withthe musical production Chicago and starring in the series The LoveBoat: The Next Wave. Urich worked tirelessly as a spokesperson for cancerresearch and established the Robert and Heather Urich Fund for Sarcoma Research. Though his cancer had gone into remission, it returned in 2002. Urich died one day following the airing of the television movie Night of the Wolf, in which he costarred.