David Soul, the actor and singer best known for starring in the 1970s detective show Starsky & Hutch, has died at at 80.
Soul played Sgt. Kenneth Richard “Hutch” Hutchinson, one half of the series’ titular cop duo opposite Paul Michael Glaser.
According to a statement from his wife Helen Snell, the actor died on January 4 after an unspecified health battle, surrounded by family.
David Soul – beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother – died yesterday after a valiant battle for life in the loving company of family,” Snell’s statement reads, per The Independent.
He shared many extraordinary gifts in the world as actor, singer, storyteller, creative artist and dear friend. His smile, laughter and passion for life will be remembered by the many whose lives he has touched.”
Born August 28, 1943 in Chicago, he began his acting career in the 1960s and was a founding member of the Firehouse Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He also had success as a musician, and opened for acts including Frank Zappa and The Byrds. He also achieved some fame as the masked “Covered Man,” frequently performing on The Merv Griffin Show.
Soul got his big break as one half of the crime fighting duo Starsky & Hutch, the buddy cop show that ran for four seasons on ABC from 1975 to 1979.
The series, about a pair of streetwise California police detectives who cruise around in a two-door Ford Gran Torino, became a TV hit and made Soul into a TV star.
“We didn’t have a clue it was going to be so successful. That only happened in the second year,” Soul told the Hollywood Reporter in 2020. “Paul and I basically ran the shoot — the streets were our playground, and we’d be driving around with people shouting, ‘It’s Starsky and Hutch!’”
At the height of his TV fame, Soul also returned to music, releasing the #1 hit “Don’t Give Up on Us” and “Silver Lady” in 1977.
Soul’s other notable acting roles include the western comedy series Here come the Brides, the 1979 Stephen King miniseries Salem’s Lot, the 1973 Clint Eastwood film Magnum Force, and a short-lived TV adaptation of the classic film Casablanca, in which Soul played Rick Blaine, the role made famous by Humphrey Bogart.
Soul continued to act in TV and theater roles through 2013, and even made a cameo in the 2004 comedy film version of Starsky and Hutch, which starred Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.