The actor’s most well-known performance was in Starsky & Hutch as Detective Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson.
David Soul, an American-born actor and singer best known for his portrayal of Detective Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson in the venerable television crime drama “Starsky & Hutch,” passed away on Friday at the age of 80, his family announced.
UK-based Soul, whose decades-spanning career included work as a director, producer and singer-songwriter, died Thursday “after a valiant battle for life in the loving company of family”, his wife Helen Snell said.
“He shared many extraordinary gifts in the world as actor, singer, storyteller, creative artist and dear friend,” she added in a statement.
“His smile, laughter and passion for life will be remembered by the many whose lives he has touched.”
Heartthrob Soul starred opposite Paul Michael Glaser’s wisecracking tough guy Detective Dave Starsky in the wildly popular 1970s US series that was exported around the world.
The pair had cameos in a 2004 feature film remake of the hit show, starring Ben Stiller as Starsky and Owen Wilson as Hutch, which introduced the legendary characters to another younger generation.
Soul — who had been living in London for more than a decade after marrying Snell, a Briton — was also known for his roles in “Here Come The Brides”, “Magnum Force” and “The Yellow Rose”.
At the height of his acting fame, he also embarked on a music career, recording five albums, as well as later releasing a compilation album.
The tracks “Don’t Give Up On Us”, released in 1976, and “Silver Lady” a year later both topped the singles chart in Britain.
“Silver Lady” was used as the soundtrack to a commercial for Britain’s National Express coach operator in 2014, with Soul — in his trademark aviator sunglasses — singing along at the wheel.
In the UK, among his starring roles was the lead in “Jerry Springer: The Opera”, the controversial stage show about the US television talkshow host which led to a blasphemy case in the courts.
Soul, who was also known for his social activism, particular around animals, had six children from multiple marriages, and seven grandchildren.
The former BBC war reporter Martin Bell, who Soul helped in his successful 1997 UK parliamentary election campaign, spoke warmly of their friendship.
“I like the fact that David seems unaffected by being famous,” he told the Independent newspaper in 1999.
After Starsky and Hutch ended, it must not have been easy for him, but he simply moved on and established a successful singing and theater career.
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