RIP David Soul

Actor David Soul, best known for his role as Hutch in the television series Starsky & Hutch, has died at the age of 80. His wife, Helen Snell, said he died on Thursday “after a valiant battle for life in the loving company of family”. With a career spanning five decades, he rose to prominence for portraying Detective Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson, starring along with Paul Michael Glaser as Starsky,¬† in the American television series Starsky & Hutch¬†from 1975 to 1979. His other notable roles included Joshua Bolt on¬†Here Come the Brides¬†from 1968 to 1970 and as the lead actor in the 1979 American TV movie¬†Salem’s Lot.

Soul also had moderate success as a film actor when he portrayed Officer John Davis in¬†Magnum Force¬†in 1973. During his career he also found success as a singer, achieving a number one single on the¬†US Billboard Hot 100¬†with “Don’t Give Up on Us”, which also peaked at number one in the UK and Canada. Soul achieved a further four top 10 entries and an additional number one single on the¬†UK Singles Chart¬†with “Silver Lady”. He used to open for artists like Frank Zappa, The Byrds and The Lovin’ Spoonful. In the 1990s he moved to the United Kingdom and found renewed success on the West End stage. He also made cameo appearances in British TV shows, including¬†Little Britain,¬†Holby City,¬†and¬†Lewis.

Soul was born David Richard Solberg on August 28, 1943, in Chicago, Illinois, United States and was of Norwegian descent. The Solberg family moved around a lot even living in Mexico City for a while. Soul began performing on stage as an actor in the mid-1960s, when he became a founding member of the¬†Firehouse Theater¬†in Minneapolis. Soul first gained national attention as the “Covered Man” appearing on¬†The Merv Griffin Show in 1966 and 1967, on which he sang while wearing a mask and made his television debut on Flipper. Soul appeared in Star Trek, Here Come The Brides, Perry Mason and Johnny Got His Gun, throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

He as in numerous TV movies and mini-series, including Homeward Bound (1980),¬†World War III, and¬†Rage (1980). He starred in the miniseries¬†The Manions of America¬†as Caleb Staunton in 1981. He starred in the short-lived 1983 NBC series¬†Casablanca, playing nightclub owner Rick Blaine and co-starred in the¬†NBC¬†series¬†The Yellow Rose¬†during the 1983‚Äď1984 season. He also starred in the television adaptation of¬†Ken Follett’s wartime drama¬†The Key to Rebecca¬†(1985) directed by¬†David Hemmings. He later starred as the infamous Florida robber¬†Michael Lee Platt¬†in the TV movie¬†In the Line of Duty: The F.B.I. Murders (1988), which depicted the 1986 FBI Miami shootout, subsequently used as an FBI training film. Soul also directed the episode “No Exit” of the 1980s TV series¬†Miami Vice. In 1987, Soul was cast as Major Oldham in the movie¬†The Hanoi Hilton.

In the mid-1990s, Soul moved to the United Kingdom, forging a new career on the¬†West End¬†stage, including the role of Chandler Tate in¬†Comic Potential¬†and The Narrator in¬†Blood Brothers. In 2004, he appeared in¬†Agatha Christie’s Poirot¬†‚ÄstDeath on the Nile¬†in the role of Andrew Pennington (he had also starred in the 1989 film adaptation of Christie’s¬†Appointment with Death). Soul was a guest on the BBC’s¬†Top Gear.[27] He was one of the fastest drivers to have appeared on the show, finishing the lap in 1:54:00, He appeared with¬†Fred Ward¬†and¬†Willem Dafoe¬†in the film¬†Farewell directed by Christian Carion, which received its U.S. release in 2010.

Soul was married five times and had five sons and a daughter. n 1964, Soul’s first marriage was to Mirriam “Mim” Solberg (n√©e Russeth). The couple had one child, before divorcing in 1965. Soul’s second marriage was to actress Karen Carlson, a woman he met when they each were twenty-one years old. They married in 1968, after they met on the set of the television series¬†Here Come the Brides¬†in which Carlson had a role. They had a son together, Jon-Kristjian, before the couple divorced in 1977. During the years he was filming¬†Starsky & Hutch,¬†Soul had an open relationship with actress¬†Lynne Marta. In 1980, three years after his second divorce, Soul married Patti Carnel-Sherman, ex-wife of¬†Bobby Sherman..

A year later In 1987, Soul married Singaporean-American actress Julia Nickson. They had a daughter, China Soul, who is a singer-songwriter. Nickson urged Soul to seek help for his excessive drinking, persuading him to enter a rehabilitation facility in 1989. Soul married his fifth and last wife, Helen Snell, on June 26, 2010, in Devon. Snell, who was 31 years younger than Soul, had been in a relationship with him since 2002 after meeting Soul. Although he had stopped smoking ten years prior to his death, he was seriously affected by COPD and had also had a lung removed due to cancer. Soul died in a London hospital, surrounded by his family, on January 4, 2024, at the age of 80.

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