Multi-talented entertainer David Hasselhoff drew the attention of the public while playing the character of Dr. William 'Snapper' Foster in CBS's soap opera The Young and the Restless (1975-1982). He gained even more notice for his portrayal as crime fighter Michael Knight in the fantasy action series Knight Rider (1982). Hasselhoff's outstanding performance awarded him with a People's Choice Award for Favorite Male Performer in 1983. He also gained worldwide fame after playing chief lifeguard Mitch Buchannon in Baywatch (1989-2000).
Not only famous for his acting, Hasselhoff is also popular for his singing. His first album, "Looking for Freedom," became number one on the German charts and received gold and triple platinum certification in Europe. He then was named Most Popular and Best Selling Artist of the Year in Germany.
Off screen, and once listed as one of TV's Ten Most Powerful Stars by TV Guide and Most Watched TV Star by the Guinness Book of World Records, Hasselhoff made headlines for a drinking problem for which he entered a rehabilitation program at the Betty Ford Center in 2002. However, his problems with alcohol abuse apparently continued and he was arrested on June 5, 2004, on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
Hasselhoff currently gives support to charity activities like spending time visiting children's hospitals throughout the world, working with terminally ill and handicapped children in America at Race For Life, and is active with the Starlight Children's Foundation and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Childhood and Family:
Baltimore, Maryland native actor and musician David Michael Hasselhoff was born on July 17, 1952. The only son to Joe Hasselhoff (retired Brinks Security executive) and Dolores Hasselhoff (homemaker), David, whose nickname is The Hoff, has four sisters: Diane (born on May 19, 1950), Joyce (born July 1, 1954), Jean (born March 7, 1956) and Lisa (born on July 5,1968).
David discovered his interest in acting when he was seven and began taking acting, singing and dance lessons. Upon graduating from La Grange High School, he continued to study at the Academy Of Dramatic Arts in Chicago. David also studied acting at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. During his time at school, David worked as a waiter and gas station attendant.
As for his private life, David married actress Catherine Hickland in 1984, but they divorced in 1988. He is now the husband of actress Pamela Bach (born on October 16, 1963) and the father of two daughters, Taylor Ann (born 1990) and Hayley Amber (born 1993). In his off time, 6' 4" inch tall David likes such outdoors sports as scuba diving, hiking, white water rafting, tennis, jogging and parachute jumping. He is also a passionate sports supporter and enjoys traveling.
Formerly intending to begin a professional career in musical theater, David Hasselhoff had a chance to start his acting career on the small screen. After working in TV commercials and having an unaccredited part in Police Story, Hasselhoff attracted public attention when he played the role of Dr. William 'Snapper' Foster in CBS's soap opera The Young and the Restless (1975-1982). Though the fans at first did not accept him (he replaced an actor who demanded a too-high salary), Hasselhoff finally got a permanent part in the show and became one of the most popular leading men on daytime television.
During his six-year term in the series, Hasselhoff had his wide screen debut as Boner in Revenge of the Cheerleaders (1976), played the role of Simon in The Adventures of Stella Star (1979), appeared in the made-for-TV Pleasure Cove (1979, played Scott) and landed a leading role as Shake Tiller in the short-lived ABC sitcom Semi-Tough (1980).
Hasselhoff's big break came when NBC's Brandon Tartikoff cast him as crime fighter Michael Knight in the fantasy action series Knight Rider (1982). His spectacular performance handed him a People's Choice Award for Favorite Male Performer in a New Television Series. The high success of the series brought Hasselhoff an international following of fans.
Hasselhoff also demonstrated his acting talent in The Cartier Affair (1984,TV) and Bridge Across Time (1985,TV). He next played a role in Starke Zeiten (1988), Perry Mason: The Case of the Lady in the Lake (1988, TV), Three Crazy Jerks II (1988) and Witchery (1988). After playing roles in the made-for-TV movies Baywatch: Panic at Malibu Pier (1989) and Fire and Rain (1989), Hasselhoff starred and tried his hand in producing W.B., Blue and the Bean (1989).
In 1989, Hasselhoff launched a successful recording career in Europe with the release of "Looking for Freedom." The album stayed in the number one spot on the German charts for three months and went gold and triple platinum in Europe. Due to his success, Hasselhoff was listed as the Most Popular and Best Selling Artist of the Year in Germany and was invited to perform "Looking For Freedom" live on top of the Berlin Wall on New Year's Eve, 1989. Commenting about his singing performance, he said, "It was the first time Germany had been unified, and close to a million East and West German fans stood together in the freezing cold at midnight watching me perform. I was overcome with emotion."
After the launch of his first album, Hasselhoff went back to acting portraying chief lifeguard Mitch Buchannon in the popular series Baywatch (1989-2000). Though the show was very popular, it was aired for only one season. However, Hasselhoff and his partner gained the rights to the show and securing financing, Baywatch was brought back to TV. Through its many years of productions, the show became one of the most popular television series in the world. Being asked about the series Hasselhoff said,"The people who still make fun of the show are unaware of what it's about. We're devoted to action, not violence. Romance, not sex. And issues, but not too heavy."
In the 1990s, Hasselhoff came to the tube with such films as Knight Rider 2000 (1991), The Bulkin Trail (1992), Baywatch: River of No Return (1992), Ring of the Musketeers (1992), Avalanche (1994), Baywatch Nights (1995), Gridlock (1996) and Nick Fury: Agent of Shield (1998). He also had silver screen projects like The Final Alliance (1990) and Legacy (1998).
Entering the new millennium, Hasselhoff left Baywatch Hawaii, but played Mike Grant in One True Love (2000,TV), Dr. Henry John Albert Jekyll/Mr. Edward Hyde in Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical (2001,TV), Dan Morrison in Layover (2001), Mungo Prentice in Shaka Zulu: The Citadel (2001,TV), Clint in Fugitives Run (2003), reprised his role in Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding (2003) and played a German Coach in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004).
In 2000, Hasselhoff could be seen on stage when he took on the starring role in Jekyll & Hyde on Broadway. He also played the lead role in London performances of Chicago for three months in 2004.
Hasselhoff will star in the upcoming Knight Rider (2005) and be seen in Click (2006, starring Adam Sandler, Kate Beckinsale and Christopher Walken).
- People's Choice: Favorite Male Performer in a New Television Series, Knight Rider, 1983.