Actor David Soul, who was perhaps best known for playing Detective Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson in the television series Starsky & Hutch, died on Thursday at the age of 80.
Soul died at a hospital in London, surrounded by his family, following a long term illness, according to a family member who spoke to TMZ.
The actor reportedly suffered several health issues during his life, particularly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, on which he had blamed a half a century of smoking three packs of cigarettes each day.
Soul’s wife, Helen Snell, told TMZ that the “beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother died yesterday after a valiant battle for life in the loving company of family.”
“He shared many extraordinary gifts in the world as actor, singer, storyteller, creative artist and dear friend,” she added. “His smile, laughter and passion for life will be remembered by the many whose lives he has touched.”
Soul became a 1970s icon starring as Hutch, the blonde-haired, blue-eyed detective opposite actor Paul Michael Glaser — who played Starsky — in Starsky & Hutch.
Soul had appeared in all 92 episodes of the four-season show, which spanned from 1975 to 1979.
After that, the actor appeared in the 1979 TV miniseries Salem’s Lot, as well as the 1980 TV movie Homeward Bound. Soul was also a singer and songwriter, producing a hit single in 1976, “Don’t Give Up On Us.
Soul moved to the United Kingdom in the 1990s and began acting in London’s West End stage performances, as well as in British television shows. He later became a British citizen in 2004.
Soul is survived by his wife and six children from previous relationships.