Nothing is known of Ursa's origins, perhaps not even by him. He once painted a picture of his home for Darius, with mountains and caves. MacLeod suggested that Ursa grew up alone in the woods. Although he can speak, he does not talk much.By 1634, Ursa was living in a cave in a French forest. The farmers of the surrounding villages took him for a demon, because they could not kill him. He was known among them as the "beast with no name." When the peasants hunted him in April 1634, their hunt was interrupted by Duncan MacLeod. He recognized Ursa as an Immortal. Ursa was killed in the fight, and MacLeod lead the villagers to believe he was buried in a manner which would prevent his return. MacLeod took Ursa to the Abbey of St. Gobain, so that he would be safe on holy ground.
Ursa, who had a strong feeling for the beauty of things around him, worked as a gardener at the Abbey. The monks learned of his immortality, but protected him as one of God's creatures and taught him to sing. Sometime between 1634 and 1789, Darius visited the Abbey of St. Gobain and met Ursa. Around the time of the French Revolution, the abbey of St. Gobain was demolished. Ursa fled to the catacombs under Paris. In 1993, he was still living in there.
Because he loved singing, he felt drawn to the opera. He became enamored with the singer, Carolyn Lamb. When she had an argument with her manager, Ursa killed, feeling him as a danger to Carolyn. Carolyn then tried to manipulate Ursa into killing her perceived rival, Jenny Harris. But while he captured Jenny, he refused to kill her as Carolyn wanted. When Carolyn accused Duncan MacLeod of trying to kill her, Ursa attacked him. Their struggle shifted to the roof of the Opera, where ultimately Ursa fell from the roof.
Duncan then goaded Carolyn into admitting that she had manipulated Ursa and had never cared for him. A recovered Ursa moaned in despair. Startled, the terrified Carolyn ran off, and was struck and killed by a taxi. Ursa recovered and cradled her body, but Duncan told him she was dead.
MacLeod took Ursa to another monastery, the Abbey of St. Bernard. There the Watchers assigned Father Jean-Patrick to Ursa. At the monastery, he could once again focus on beauty.