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‘Starsky & Hutch’ Star David Soul Dies at 80

The actor-singer was best known for playing a hunky detective on the popular ’70s TV series

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Yui Mok - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

Actor-singer David Soul, a 1970s heartthrob who co-starred as the blond half of the crime-fighting duo Starsky & Hutch and topped the music charts with the ballad “Don't Give Up on Us," has died at the age of 80.​

​His wife, Helen Snell, said Friday that “David Soul — beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother — died yesterday after a valiant battle for life in the loving company of family."​

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​“He shared many extraordinary gifts in the world as actor, singer, storyteller, creative artist and dear friend," Snell said in a statement. “His smile, laughter and passion for life will be remembered by the many whose lives he has touched.”​

​Born David Solberg, Soul was a Chicago native whose acting career dated back to the 1960s, when he joined the avant-garde Firehouse Theater in Minnesota. He continued to appear on stage and screen well into the 21st century, but he was best known for his work in the 1970s.​

​Soul portrayed detective Ken “Hutch” Hutchinson alongside dark-haired Paul Michael Glaser as detective David Starsky in Starsky & Hutch, which ran on ABC from 1975 to 1979 and grew so popular it spawned a line of children's toys.​

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David Soul (left) as the intellectual Kenneth "Hutch" Hutchinson and Paul Michael Glaser as the streetwise David Starsky star in the show 'Starsky & Hutch.'
ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

​He also had success as a singer, starting in 1976 with “Don’t Give Up on Us" and following with such hits as “Going in With My Eyes Open” and “Silver Lady.”​

​Soul first gained national fame in the 1960s appearing on The Merv Griffin Show as “The Covered Man,” a singer disguised in a stocking cap who shouted out lyrics such as “That is why I hide my face, because a man has to be free.”​

​His other TV credits included early appearances on Star Trek, All in the Family and I Dream of Jeannie, the miniseries Salem's Lot and a short-lived version of the film classic Casablanca, in which Soul took on Humphrey Bogart's role as nightclub owner Rick Blaine.​

​Soul's movies included Magnum Force, The Hanoi Hilton and a cameo with Glaser in the 2004 big-screen remake of Starsky & Hutch, starring Ben Stiller as Starsky and Owen Wilson as Hutch.​

​By the 1990s, Soul had moved to Britain, where he performed several stage roles. In 2001, he won a libel case against a journalist who called The Dead Monkey, a play that Soul was in, the worst production he had ever seen — without having seen it. He also played the titular talk-show host in Jerry Springer - The Opera in London's West End.​

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