David Soul: 80-year-old Starsky & Hutch star passes away

David Soul

Actor David Soul passed away at the age of 80. He was most recognized for his part in the television series Starsky & Hutch.

His wife, Helen Snell, said he died Thursday “after a brave fight for life in the loving company of his family.”

“He shared many extraordinary gifts around the world as an actor, singer, storyteller, creative artist and dear friend,” she said.

“His smile, his laugh and his passion for life will be remembered by many whose lives he touched.”

The American-born actor is best known for his role as detective Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson in the classic crime series Starsky & Hutch.

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She starred alongside Paul Michael Glaser in the series, which ran from 1975 to 1979.

David Soul

He and Glaser reprized their roles in the 2004 remake of Starsky & Hutch, with Ben Stiller as Starsky and Owen Wilson as Hutch.

Soul’s roles in Magnum Force, The Yellow Rose, and Here Come the Brides were also well-known.

He also appeared on several British television programs including Holby City, Little Britain and Lewis. In 2004 he received British citizenship.

But he turned down the opportunity and lucrative remuneration of appearing on reality TV shows, telling the Sunday Times: “Everyone’s a celebrity these days and, frankly, there’s nothing to celebrate.”

The five-times married actor and singer was arrested in the 1980s for assaulting his then-wife Patti Carnel Sherman, who was seven months pregnant at the time.

This was his first offense and the charges against him were dropped after he completed a probation diversion program.

Soul then spoke about his regrets and visited prisons to talk to inmates about domestic violence.

He was born David Solberg in Chicago on August 28, 1943 and spent his childhood between South Dakota and Berlin after World War II.

His father, Dr. Richard Solberg, a professor of history and political science and an ordained minister, moved with them to Berlin, where he worked as an advisor on religious affairs to the United States High Commission.

Before achieving fame as an actor, Soul began his professional career as a folk singer, delighting audiences with stars such as Frank Zappa, the Byrds and the Lovin’ Spoonful.

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He became interested in music as a teenager in Mexico, where his father was a professor at a college for young diplomats.

There he befriended a group of radical students who gave him a guitar and taught him the indigenous songs of Mexico.

Returning to the United States, he had some success performing these songs in Minneapolis, but it wasn’t until he donned a mask and hid his face that his career really took off.

Under the name “The Covered Man”, he signed a contract with the William Morris Agency and appeared on television talk shows, including several appearances on the prestigious Merv Griffin Show.

But when he decided to take off the mask and reveal himself, the bookings collapsed and he turned to acting.

Soul appeared in Star Trek, Here Come The Brides, Perry Mason and Johnny Got His Gun in the 1960s and 1970s.

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