'Starsky & Hutch' Star David Soul Dies at Age 80, Leaving Behind His Wife and Six Children

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Jan. 5 2024, Published 12:52 p.m. ET

Helen Snell and David Soul
Source: Getty Images

David Soul and wife Helen Snell

The 1970s gave birth to a slew of police procedurals. Shows like Kojak, CHiPs, and Barney Miller invited viewers into a slightly more traditional version of police work. Obviously they each had their own thing, like Telly Savalas's Kojak and his penchant for lollipops, but on the whole you got buttoned-up men in uniforms or suits solving crimes in a fairly straightforward manner. Then, in 1975, things took an interesting turn in the world of fictional cops.

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Starsky & Hutch burst onto the small screen with a 72-minute pilot, and a bright red two-door Ford Grand Torino which ostensibly served as a third star in the series. This was not your mother's police procedural. These fellas were feisty, fashionable, and hot. Suddenly women were more interested in a show traditionally geared toward men, and a lot of that can be attributed to one of its stars, David Soul, who sadly passed away at age 80 on Jan. 4, 2024. He left behind his wife, six children, and an ongoing legacy.

David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser sitting on the hoods of their cars, from the television series, 'Starsky and Hutch,' circa 1977
Source: Getty Images

David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser from 'Starsky and Hutch' circa 1977

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David Soul married his fifth wife in 2010. Technically, they met at work.

In a February 2015 piece for The Daily Mail, David waxed poetic about his favorite topic: his wife Helen Snell. They met in 2003, though initially the duo did not get along. At the time, David was touring Britain in a play and Helen was tasked with doing PR for the production. David was reluctant to chat with her because he, in his words, "didn't like PR bulls--t." However, as their working relationship progressed, David was able to see Helen for "who she really was."

He describes her as the "most beautiful, wonderful woman I could possibly imagine," but the two were literally separated by an ocean, the Atlantic ocean to be exact. Helen is British and David had a complicated relationship with the United Kingdom. The first time he came to England in 1975 to promote Starsky & Hutch, David was met with 5,000 hysterical fans at Heathrow Airport. He is also a musician who toured the U.K. in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He was struck down by viral pneumonia.

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It wasn't until 1995, while performing in the play Catch Me If You Can, that David decided it was time to leave Los Angeles after 28 years. The London theater scene was calling, and David was ready to answer. "I finally got British citizenship in 2004 because I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life here with Helen," he told The Daily Mail. They eventually married June 26, 2010, in Devon, and were together until David's last breath.

David Soul and wife Helen Snell attend the launch night of 'Top Hat' at Aldwych Theatre on May 9, 2012 in London
Source: Getty Images

Helen Snell and David Soul attend the launch night of 'Top Hat' at Aldwych Theatre on May 9, 2012, in London.

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A cause of death has yet to be revealed for 'Starsky & Hutch' actor David Soul.

According to the BBC, Helen revealed that David died Thursday Jan. 4, 2024, "after a valiant battle for life in the loving company of family." She went on to say he "shared many extraordinary gifts in the world as actor, singer, storyteller, creative artist, and dear friend. His smile, laughter and passion for life will be remembered by the many whose lives he has touched."

David was born on Aug. 28, 1943, as David Solberg and spent much of his childhood in Berlin where his father was a "religious affairs adviser to the U.S. high commission," per BBC. They moved around a bit, eventually landing in Mexico where David discovered his love of music. This would lead to a brief career as a folk music singer, opening for bands like the Byrds and Lovin' Spoonful.

When he returned to the United States, David found that covering his face and taking on a persona he called "The Covered Man" helped book him shows. Unfortunately when he decided to just be himself, gigs disappeared. That's when he made the move to acting, appearing in projects like Star Trek, Gunsmoke, All in the Family, and Johnny Got His Gun in the '60s–'70s. The success of Starsky & Hutch allowed David to release four soft-rock albums in the late '70s.

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