Robert urich was known throughout the world as a tough guy having starred in such television programs as Vegas and spencer for hire. However, many people don’t realize that while Robert was famous for doing battle with tough foes on the screen, he would end up having to fight an even tougher battle later on in his life. Unlike the scripted episodes of the tv programs that made him famous this was a battle he wasn’t going to win. Join facts first as we attempt to uncover the tragic death of Robert urich and his wife.
Robert urich was a tv actor most popular for playing a sleuth in various series including Vegas and spencer for hire. In 1975 he was married to actress heather Menzies who is perhaps best known for playing one of the trapped children in the 1965 film the sound of music. They would stay together for several decades and wouldn’t be driven apart until tragedy struck despite his tragic end things didn’t start out too bad for Robert urich. The Emmy-winning actor saw a good deal of fame at his peak and still managed to receive steady work leading up to his untimely death.
His first role in tv came in 1973 with a minor role on the tv program bob and carol and ted and Alice. From there he would go on to a minor role in the program swat giving him a taste of the more action-oriented roles he would become most known for before long he was given a meatier role in soap a prime-time comedy meant to function as a parody of popular soap operas at the time. His role in that program would only last a season when he was killed off for the first season’s big cliffhanger ending however greater things awaited the aspiring actor and this was merely the first step. After his role on soap ended uric went on to find an even better role for himself that of dan tana a private detective in the series Vegas.
This hit series which ran from 1978 to 81 on abc catapulted him to somewhat of a household name and solidified him as a tough guy who knew how to get to the bottom of a case. Although the series didn’t last a long time the image of uric as a tough guy persisted and he eventually found a similar role as the title character in the tv program spencer for hire this series which was based on the spencer book series by Robert parker aired from 1985 to 88. Solidifying a fairly successful decade for the star after it ended uric would continue to find sporadic work on tv although his toughest case was yet to come and it would be one the actor wouldn’t be able to crack.
Perhaps uric’s most famous role after his peak would come in the form of the Lazarus man in which he played a wandering man suffering from amnesia. It was on the set of this show though where the first signs of uric’s inevitable downfall would first rear their ugly head during production of the Lazarus man he learned he was suffering from a rare type of cancer known as synocial cell sarcoma. He was up front with production about it telling them he would need to undergo treatment but was still willing and able to perform they signed an agreement allowing him to continue working but ended up cancelling the show before its second season.
Feeling that the show was canceled as a result of his diagnosis uric would eventually sue the production company castle rock tv for a sum of around 1.5 million dollars in 2000. Even in the midst of the lawsuit though uric was incredibly cordial and ended up settling out of court for an undisclosed amount according to him it was a simple disagreement and everyone involved was a good person. Sadly, though uric wouldn’t live on to shine his positive outlook for much longer. Robert urich ended up passing away from his sarcoma in 2002. Leaving behind his wife heather who fought alongside him every step of the way the two lasted through over 25 years of marriage and fought the cancer together until the end however uric’s passing wouldn’t be the end of heather and her own personal battle with cancel before we get into that let’s take a look at Menzies herself.
Menzies despite appearing in the sound of music was never quite as big of a star as her husband. But she was every bit as talented when her family moved from Canada to la when she was just a teenager, she began taking a serious interest in show business landing her part in the sound of music when she was only 14. Although that was arguably her biggest role she would continue finding sporadic work in show business afterwards even meeting her future husband on the set of a commercial for libby’s corned beef hash. She was both an actor and ballerina and she used these to the best of her abilities other notable roles she performed included minor roles in bonanza dragnet and the bob Newhart show.
She also managed to get a few feature film credits under her belt including piranha and the computer wore tennis shoes despite her talents and skills when it came to acting and dancing. Menzies found her true passion when she met her husband and subsequently became much more focused on her family than her career. Heather and Robert had three children together and managed to keep one of the most secure and healthy relationships in Hollywood. Despite the hardships they would eventually face. Their close bond made it not at all surprising that Menzies herself would become incredibly passionate about the subject of cancer and she would dedicate her life to forming the Robert urich foundation after her husband’s passing.
The foundation which she founded to help further research regarding sarcoma was a passion project for Menzies and one that would help her fill the void left by her late husband. However, this battle against cancer would eventually go on to take a new meaning for Menzies as she was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017. At which point she only had four weeks left to live. She passed away on Christmas eve of 2017. Surrounded by the family that she and Robert had created together their three children stuck with her until the end just as Menzies had done for her husband 15 years earlier.
It’s an incredible tragedy but one with a lot of light at the end of the tunnel both uric and Menzies will continue to be defined not by their deaths but by the love they left behind both in the form of their children and their passion for battling the devastating illness they both inevitably succumbed to people both famous and non-famous alike will continue struggling with cancer yet hopefully the love and work that europe and Menzies left behind both apart and together will help alleviate some of that pain for future generations. The Robert urich foundation continues to operate in the hands of the two stars as children including their son Ryan urich Ryan grew up to be a doctor after the experiences of his parents in hopes eventually he would be able to make a difference for people destined to a similar fate.
There’s a lot of pain and sadness in the tragic tale of Robert urich and his wife but there’s also a good deal of both love and hope the two loved each other until the end and beyond with the late yurix wife dedicating her entire life to fighting the disease that took her husband. Until her own passing at the hands of a similar fate in their marriage we can see a perseverance and love that is all too rare in relationships especially ones in the public sphere. They lasted together for over two decades of marriage and their love was still going strong after both of their flames went out there’s a lot of darkness in the world but there’s also a lot of light and the tragic tale of Robert urich and heather Menzies is just one small example of both blossoming out of the same place. If you’re a fan of either Robert urich or heather Menzies screen work comment down below to share what your favorite moment from their career was or simply share what you think is the most hope inspiring bit of this tragic Hollywood tale.