Robert Michael Urich was born on 19 December 1946, in Toronto, Ohio USA, to Cecilia and John Urich, of Rusyn and Slovak descent. He was an actor and television producer, best known for his role as Dan Tanna in the television series “Vega$”. He passed away in 2002.
So just how rich was Robert Urich? According to sources, Urich had accumulated a fortune of over $3 million, earned during his acting career which spanned over 30 years.
Robert Urich Net Worth $3 million
Urich grew up in Toronto, but attended Florida State University in Tallahassee, on a football scholarship, obtaining his BA in Radio and Television Communications. He later earned an MA in Broadcast Research and Management from Michigan State University. After completing his education, Urich began working at Chicago’s WGN-radio as a sales account representative, and briefly appeared as a weatherman, establishing his net worth.
His acting career started in the early ’70s, appearing in a production of “The Rainmaker”, after which he moved to Los Angeles. He made his foray into television with a guest starring role in the series “The F.B.I” in 1972, then the following year he landed a lead part in the short-lived comedy series “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice”, and went on to land his first film part, playing a police officer in the Clint Eastwood action thriller “Mangum Force”. Paving his way to recognition and fame, Urich’s net worth began to increase.
In 1975 he got his first major TV role, playing Officer Jim Street in the ABC action/crime drama series “S.W.A.T.” until the show’s cancellation in the following year, but gaining a decent amount of recognition and improving his wealth. By the end of the decade he had appeared in series including “Soap”, “Tabitha” and “The Love Boat”, and in a few TV films. In particular, in 1978 Urich was cast as private detective Dan Tanna in the ABC detective television drama series “Vega$”, which quickly became a hit, enabling Urich to gain huge popularity, earning him two Golden Globe Award nominations. He remained on the show for three seasons, until its cancellation in 1981. The role of Tanna has remained his best remembered one, and it significantly added to Urich’s net worth.
Work continued to flow in steadily in the ’80s. Aside from starring in the series “Spenser: For Hire” and “Gavilan”, he also had starring roles in the films “The Ice Pirates”, “Invitation to Hell” and “Turk 182”, and appeared in numerous television films. All contributed to his wealth.
The ’90s saw the actor further collecting praises for his television roles, such as those in the series “American Dreamer”, “Crossroads” and “It Had to Be You”, as well as in the TV films “Stranger at My Door” and “Deadly Relations”. In 1986 he starred in the TNT western series “The Lazarus Man”. However, the show was canceled after one season, as Urich announced that he had been diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer.
However, after beating cancer the actor successfully returned to television in the following year, hosting the medical reality series “Vital Signs”, and in 1998 he starred in the series “Love Boat: The Next Wave”, reinforcing his reputation of a true star and improving his fortune.
Urich went on to make his Broadway debut in 2000, playing Billy Flynn in the musical “Chicago”. The following year saw him starring in the sitcom “Emeril”, after which he appeared in a few TV films.
In his private life, Urich was married twice, firstly to actress Barbara Rucker (1968-74), then in 1975 he married actress Heather Menzies, with whom he adopted three children, and with whom he remained until his death, after the cancer returned and he passed away in 2002, aged 55.
The actor was involved in philanthropy. Along with his wife, he raised money for the Eccles Performing Arts Centers at the Park City High School in Utah, which later launched the Robert Urich Scholarship fund in his honor. The couple also formed the Robert and Heather Urich Fund for Sarcoma Research at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Inducted into the Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame in 2002.
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.
Has two grandchildren Michelle (born 2004) and Lana (born 2005)
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.
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.
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.
"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)