Sunday, December 19, 2010

In Memoriam

Everyone's gaga nowadays for Robert, Taylor and Zac. But back in the day, it was guys like Tom. And Robert Urich, who would've been 55 today. We lost him in April of 2002 to cancer. Not fair, but who says the universe is fair?

His career started in his late '20s, when he starred in the TV version of Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice in 1973. Late, by today's teen standards. But though the series lasted only one season, he was always working after that.

I must've seen him first in '77 on Soap as bisexual tennis instructor Peter Campbell. His character was sleeping with everyone before he got murdered. Kind of like a certain Captain did years later.

Then he did Vega$ from '78 to '81. So, right up to when I left Miami. Dan Tanna, mmm. And I'm surprised. I thought Magnum, P.I. came first. But it started in 1980. So maybe Vega$ inspired Magnum, not vice versa like I thought.

Then he did a classic. The deliberately campy, so-bad-it's-good Ice Pirates in '84. If you haven't seen it, rent it, watch it, be one with the cheesiness. Gawk in amazement that not only Robert was in it, but also John Carradine, Ron Perlman and Anjelica Huston! And how can one gloss over Bruce Vilanch's biggest film role.

Following that, he was in probably my favorite thing he did, Spenser: For Hire from '85 to '88. And some made-for-TV movies afterward. Mom was a fan of the show, too. Not only was Robert great (it was his favorite role as well), but it also co-starred a pre-DS 9 Avery Brooks. In fact, I remember when I first saw him on DS 9, I thought, "That's Hawk!"

There are a couple of nice tribute sites for him. Also check out the site of his wife, Heather Menzies.

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