Actor David Soul, best known for his role as Detective Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson on the 1970s buddy cop series “Starsky & Hutch” has died. He was 80.
Soul passed away overnight Thursday, a representative for the actor confirmed to Fox News Digital.
“David Soul – beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother – died yesterday after a valiant battle for life in the loving company of family. He shared many extraordinary gifts in the world as actor, singer, storyteller, creative artist and dear friend,” his wife, Helen Snell, said in a statement.
“His smile, laughter and passion for life will be remembered by the many whose lives he has touched.”
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David Soul during the “Starsky and Hutch” London premiere. (Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Aside from playing Hutch alongside Paul Michael Glaser’s Detective David Starsky from 1975 to 1979, Soul also performed as Joshua Bolt in “Here Come the Brides” from 1968 to 1970, and 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 senior representative for the Lutheran World Federation, a refugee relief organization that assisted with the reconstruction of Germany post-World War II.
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David Soul, left, and Paul Michael Glaser sitting on the hoods of their cars from the television series “Starsky and Hutch” circa 1977. (Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Getty Images)
As a child, Soul moved between Berlin and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where his father taught at Augustana College. After graduating from high school, he studied there for two years before the family relocated to Mexico City, where he attended the University of the Americas.
Soul found his way into entertainment by pure accident, according to his biography.
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, needed work, and found a job performing at a coffee house near the University of Minnesota.
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David Soul and former girlfriend Lynne Marta surrounded by photographers and police as they arrive at Heathrow in March 1977. (John Minihan/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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.
Soul portrayed detective Ken “Hutch” Hutchinson alongside Glaser as detective David Starsky in “Starsky & Hutch.” It ran on ABC between 1975 and 1979, and grew so popular it spawned a host of children’s toys.
Soul and Glaser had cameos in the 2004 big-screen remake of “Starsky & Hutch,” starring Ben Stiller as Starsky and Owen Wilson as Hutch.
Paul Michael Glaser, left, and David Soul during a “Starsky & Hutch” premiere in California. (Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.