Robert grew up in Toronto, Ohio, where his athletic ability led to a four year football scholarship at Florida State University (FSU). There he earned a B.A. in Communications. He later received an M.A. at Michigan State University and then joined WGN radio in Chicago as a sales account representative. He then briefly appeared as a TV weatherman, and soon realized that he wanted to become an actor.
His big break came in 1972 when Robert played Burt Reynolds’s younger brother in a stage production of “The Rainmaker”. Burt and Robert were both alumni of FSU. Burt brought him to California and let him stay in his home until he got his acting break. Burt recommended him to producer Aaron Spelling for the TV series S.W.A.T. (1975). Although that series lasted only one season, Spelling remembered Robert and later cast him in Vega$ (1978), which had a longer run.
He was starring in the TV series The Lazarus Man (1996) when he was diagnosed with cancer, which caused the cancellation of the series. The cancer went into remission after treatment and he resumed acting again with his role as Captain Jim Kennedy III on Love Boat: The Next Wave (1998).
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