'Starsky and Hutch' actor David Soul dies at 80.

LONDON— David Soul, a 1970s heartthrob who played the blond half of "Starsky & Hutch" and topped the charts with "Don't Give Up on Us," died at 80.

Helen Snell, his widow, announced Friday that "David Soul – 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," stated Snell in a release. "His smile, laughter and passion for life will be remembered by the many whose lives he has touched."

Chicago born Soul began performing in the 1960s at Minnesota's avant-garde Firehouse Theater as David Solberg. Well into the 20th century, he appeared on stage and cinema, but his 1970s work was most notable.

Soul and dark-haired Paul Michael Glaser played detectives Ken "Hutch" Hutchinson and David Starsky in ABC's 1975–1979 hit "Starsky & Hutch," which inspired a range of children's toys.

The cast of "Starsky and Hutch" from the 1970s attend the British premiere of the new film of the same name in London on March 11, 2004.

He also sang, starting with "Don't Give Up on Us" in 1976 and performing "Going in With My Eyes Open" and "Silver Lady."

On "The Merv Griffin Show" in the 1960s, soul became famous as "The Covered Man," a vocalist with a stocking cap who shouted "That is why I hide my face, because a man has to be free."

Soul also appeared in "Star Trek," "All in the Family," "I Dream of Jeannie," the miniseries "Salem's Lot," and a brief cinematic adaptation of "Casablanca," playing nightclub owner Rock Blaine.

Soul's movies includes "Magnum Force," "The Hanoi Hilton," and a 2004 version of "Starsky & Hutch," starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.

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