Actor David Soul, one of the stars of the classic hit TV show “Starsky & Hutch,” has died at 80 years old.
Soul played Detective Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson in the 1970s buddy cop series.
A representative for the actor confirmed that Soul passed away overnight Thursday.
“David Soul – beloved husband, father, grandfather, and brother – died yesterday after a valiant battle for life in the loving company of family,” his wife, Helen Snell, said in a statement.
“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.”
Aside from playing Hutch alongside Paul Michael Glaser’s Detective David Starsky from 1975 to 1979, Soul also performed as Joshua Bolt on “Here Come the Brides” from 1968 to 1970.
He also starred as Officer John Davis in “Magnum Force” in 1973.
As a singer, he recorded one U.S. hit and five U.K. hits with songs including “Don’t Give Up on Us” in 1976 and “Silver Lady” in 1977.
Soul was born in Chicago in 1943.
A biography on his website states his father, Dr. Richard Solberg, was a professor of History and Political Science and an ordained minister.
In 1949, the family moved to Berlin, where Solberg served as Religious Affairs Advisor to the U.S. High Commission and later as Senior Representative for the Lutheran World Federation, a refugee relief organization that assisted with the reconstruction of Germany post-World War II.
As a child, Soul moved between Berlin and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where his father taught at Augustana College.
After graduating high school, he studied there for two years before the family relocated to Mexico City, where he attended the University of the Americas.
According to his biography, Soul found his way into entertainment by pure accident.
A group of Mexican students befriended Soul, gave him a guitar, and taught him to play traditional Mexican folk songs.
He eventually hitchhiked back to the U.S. Midwest.
Needing work, he found a job performing at a coffee house near the University of Minnesota.
Soul later began a stage acting career and became a founding member of the Firehouse Theater in Minneapolis.
He gained national attention as a masked singer known as the “Covered Man” in appearances on “The Merv Griffin Show” in 1966 and 1967.
By that time he had shortened his name to Soul.