It was my great good fortune to have been a fan of Robert Urich through his entire career, and to have enjoyed his work on SWAT, Tabitha, Soap, Vegas, American Dreamer, Crossroads, and It Had To Be You as well as Spenser. I even went to see the infamously bad movie Ice Pirates (although I can’t say I enjoyed it, in spite of Bob’s performance).
Oh, and I forgot his role as the Captain of The Love Boat: The Next Wave. His T.V. series and movies weren’t always of the highest quality, but I loved every one of his performances.
I also got the chance to see him perform live in Chicago.
And then there were the T.V. movies, which I could never resist, as cheesy as some of them were. I particularly liked Take Your Best Shot, Blind Faith, and His Mistress.
When I heard that he had been cast as Spenser, I had not yet read Robert Parker’s novels, and I was concerned that the character of Spenser might have too hard an edge for Bob to play. But as soon as I started reading the books, I realized that he was the perfect choice for Spenser, who is tough on the outside, but a bowl of emotional mush inside.
Robert Urich is one of only two actors who were ever truly believable as heroes to me (the other is Harrison Ford).
Damn. I’ll miss him.