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Home / Life! / Film/Binge / ‘Starsky & Hutch’ star David Soul dies at 80

‘Starsky & Hutch’ star David Soul dies at 80

by City News Service
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Actor David Soul, best known for playing “Hutch” in the popular 1970s television series “Starsky & Hutch,” has died at the age of 80, it was announced Friday.

The actor’s wife, Helen Snell, released a statement Friday saying Soul died Thursday following a “valiant battle for life in the loving company of family.” His place of death was not specified.

“He shared many extraordinary gifts in the world as an 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,” Snell added.

Soul played the role of Det. Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson in the classic crime-solving series, which ran on ABC from 1975 to 1979. He starred opposite Paul Michael Glaser, who played his partner, Det. Dave Starsky.

Their on-screen chemistry helped turn the series into a cultural phenomenon and cultivated a devoted fan following. The show became so popular that it generated merchandise tie-ins, including action figures, lunch boxes and a board game.

Soul and Glaser reprised their roles in the 2004 remake “Starsky & Hutch,” starring Ben Stiller as Starsky and Owen Wilson as Hutch. Stiller paid tribute to Soul by reposting a clip Friday from the original TV series on X, formerly Twitter, with the caption: “Defining 70’s cool. Rest in peace.”

Soul appeared in several movies, including “Magnum Force” opposite Clint Eastwood in 1973.

He was also a singer, charting in the U.S. and the U.K. His biggest hit in America was the 1976 romantic track “Don’t Give Up on Us,” which hit the No. 1 spot on the Billboard charts in the U.S. and Canada. His 1977 song “Silver Lady” hit No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart. From 1976 to 1982, he toured extensively in the U.S., Europe, Far East, and South America.

Soul was born in Chicago in 1943 as David Solberg. He spent his early years living between South Dakota and Berlin. His father was a history professor and an ordained minister who moved the family to Germany, where he was a religious affairs adviser to a U.S. commission.

Soul started his professional career as a folk singer. He had picked up an interest in music as a teenager. When he returned to the U.S., he found some success playing songs around Minneapolis. But it was on television where Soul first gained national attention. He played the role of the “Covered Man” on “The Merv Griffin Show” in 1966 and 1967, and sang while wearing a mask.

In 1967, he signed a contract with Columbia Pictures. That led to a number of television guest appearances, including “Star Trek” on NBC,  “Here Come the Brides” on ABC, and “The Streets of San Francisco,” also on ABC.

But his big breakthrough came when he landed the role of “Hutch.”

“I was Hutch because I was too tall to play Starsky, and I had the wrong color hair,” Soul told The Sunday Post, a Scottish newspaper, in 2019.

Soul also told the publication the show “had a huge impact and there is no doubt it helped raise my profile and paid a few bills while it lasted. I’m truly glad that people liked it, and it still has something of a cult following.”

Soul had lived in the U.K. for many years, performing in several stage roles. He played the titular talk-show host in “Jerry Springer: The Opera” in London’s West End in 2004.

The actor is survived by his wife, Snell, and his six children from previous marriages.

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