Perhaps best known to Western fans for his unforgettable portrayal of Texas Ranger Jake Spoon in Lonesome Dove, Robert Urich was a versatile, affable leading man who still holds the record for appearing as a regular in the most television series (13).
Urich attended Florida State University on a four -year football scholarship and got his first break appearing as Burt Reynolds’ younger brother in a stage production of The Rainmaker. Reynolds invited Urich to California, allowing him to stay in his home while he auditioned for film roles.
Urich appeared with Clint Eastwood in Magnum Force, starred as Dan Tana in Vega$ and headlined the enormously popular Spencer for Hire series. He also appeared as a guest star on Gunsmoke, Little House on the Prairie and Kung Fu. Urich was playing the title character in The Lazarus Man, a TV Western, when he was first diagnosed with cancer in 1996. He passed away on April 16, 2002 after a long, courageous battle with cancer. Urich is survived by actress wife Heather Menzies, three children and a host of adoring fans.