David Soul (The ORIGINAL 'Hutch'!)
David Soul [b. David Solberg, 28 August 1943, Chicago, Illinois, USA] was an icon of the 1970s. He was the "blond one" [Ken Hutchinson] in the 'Starsky & Hutch' phenomenon that created the mould for a new style of detective show. He could do no wrong. The programme rocketed in ratings, and when he released his records they shot to the top of the charts.
So his subsequent years away from the limelight, only to re-emerge in English theatre and "grass roots politics" in the leafy suburbs may well have come as a shock to fans all over the globe.
Catching up with him recently just as the Hollywood version of 'Starsky & Hutch' is about to hit the big screen, we asked the cult icon a few 'S & H' questions ... and some other less formal ones!
With the recent Hollywood trend being to find classic '70s TV shows and remake them into big-screen blockbusters, do you think that Ben and Owen did a good or bad job with their movie version of 'Starsky & Hutch'? "Pretty much they're only done to make money, in this case by Warner Brothers, but Ben [Stiller] and Owen [Wilson] are both fine actors. However, Paul and I have written a treatment and are looking for the finance to do our own version of 'Starsky & Hutch' with the two guys hooking up again, 25 years down the road. We'll see what happens!"
What are your memories of those heady days back on the set of 'Starsky & Hutch'? "When we started 'Starsky & Hutch' we had no idea how popular it would become. It was never packaged in that way, but I believe an audience will come and find you if you are good enough. It was made at a time when television and films were made by film makers. Now lawyers run the shows. They were happy days."
Do you still see Paul Michael Glaser [Starsky] on a regular basis? "Sure, he's my best friend. We all got on so well. There was also an enormous respect there. At first we really did not want to do television, but thought we might as well make the best of it."
How did the singing career come about? "Well, I actually did start out as a singer, but never viewed myself as a pop star. I always thought of myself as a folk singer!"
After all this time, just who is David Soul? "I'm an actor, which simply means I do a job when I can get one. But it's a job I've done for 35 plus years. When I get one, I go to work and then, try to live my life as a normal or abnormal human being, just like the rest of us."
After the very last episode of the TV series 'Starsky & Hutch' I always wondered what the crime fighting duo did when they went home. With that in mind, what do you think Hutch's at-home hobbies were? "What were Hutch's at home hobbies? Well, he probably collected stamps and butterflies, looked after his plants and his tank of tropical fish and went to a knitting class twice a week!"
On a more light-hearted note, a friend of mine recently bought a vintage 1970s tan-coloured leather jacket in a second-hand store in Bath, England. David, it is IDENTICAL to the one you wore in 'Starsky & Hutch'! Did you ever visit Bath, England and misplace a jacket at the Roman Baths or The Pump Room?! "I don't remember the many different jackets I wore in ‘Starsky & Hutch,' but yes, my long, soft, dark brown leather coat was stolen from the cloakroom at the theatre in Bath and the local police tracked it down and returned it to me! The capper to the story is that in May of 2002, I went back to Theatre Bath and played 'Deathtrap' as part of the UK National Tour!"
Lastly, what's your all-time favourite movie? "First, 'Gone With the Wind,' which is also the first film I ever saw and then 'Casablanca'."
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