Urich played in his youth American football at Florida State University, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree. Then he reached a master's degree at Michigan State University. After finishing his studies, he worked in the short term as moderator of the weather forecast at a local radio station. He first played guest roles in series such as Kung Fu and Gunsmoke and also had a minor supporting role in Dirty Harry II - Calahan. However, his breakthrough as an actor he had in 1975 after the film producer Aaron Spelling cast him for a starring role in the television series The tough five. Although the series was canceled after just two years, but his career he could with recurring roles in soap afterwards - Home Sweet Home and continue Tabitha. From 1978 to 1981 he played the lead role in the series and Vegas 1985 to 1988 the title character in the detective series Spenser.
1996 Urich announced that he had a rare form of cancer that Synovialzellsarkom, had been diagnosed. As a result, he became involved in cancer research and donated several amounts of its assets to the University of Michigan. Despite his cancer suffering he held until the end of his career as an actor and appeared almost every year in several films and television productions. Even in his death in 2002 he was still with in two films.
Urich was married to actress Heather Menzies, with whom he had three children.