Hasselhoff, David 1952- (David Michael Hasselhoff)

views updated

Hasselhoff, David 1952- (David Michael Hasselhoff)


Born July 17, 1952, in Baltimore, MD; son of Joe (a business executive) and Dolores Hasselhoff; married Catherine Hickland, March 24, 1984 (divorced, 1989); married Pamela Bach, December 8, 1989 (divorced, 2006): children: (first marriage) Taylor-Ann, Hayley Amber. Education: Attended the Academy of Dramatic Arts, Pontiac, MI, and the California Institute of the Arts.


Writer, actor, television producer, director, recording artist, entertainer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Actor on television series, including Young and the Restless, 1975-82, Knight Rider, 1982-86, Baywatch, 1990-2000, and Baywatch Nights. Actor on Broadway and stage in productions such as Jekyll and Hyde, Grease, Chicago, Jesus Christ Superstar, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Actor in films, including the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, Dodgeball, Final Alliance, Fugitive Run, Eurotrip, and Click. Actor in television movies, including Cartier Affair, Lady by the Lake, Shaka Zulu, Nick Fury: Agent of Shield, Nightman, Gridlock, Baywatch: Hawaiian Nights, Baywatch: White Thunder at Glacier Bay, and Avalanche. Judge, America's Got Talent (a reality-based television program), 2006-07. Producer of episodes of television series Baywatch. Guest on television programs, including Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Sharon Osborne Show, Entertainment Tonight, Whose Line Is It Anyway, Access Hollywood, The Kumars at No. 42, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Wayne Brady Show, Hollywood Squares, Rosie O'Donnell Show, Howard Stern, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Wetten, dass?, Saturday Night Live, and Fear Factor. Works with charitable organizations such as Wheels for Humanity and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Ideas that Sell toy Company, founder and owner.


People's Choice Award, favorite male performer in a new television program, 1983; named best-selling music artist in Germany, 1989; awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, 1996; International Star of the Year Award, Bollywood Movie Awards, 2005; TV Land "Who Knew They Could Sing?" Award, 2007; named "Most Watched Star" by the Guinness Book of World Records.


(With Peter Thompson) Making Waves (autobiography), Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 2007, published as Don't Hassel the Hoff, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2007.


Night Rocker, Silver Blue (New York, NY), 1985.

Looking for Freedom, BMG (Germany), 1989.

Dance, Dance, D'amour, BMG (Germany), 1993.

Miracle of Love, BMG (Germany), 1993.

You Are Everything, BMG (Germany), 1993.

David Hasselhoff, Critique Records (Woburn, MA), 1995.


David Hasselhoff is a well-known actor, musical performer, and television producer whose chiseled features, barrel chest, and perfect hair have been seen in such highly popular programs as Knight Rider and the sun-drenched international hit Baywatch.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1952, Hasselhoff aspired to become an actor from a very young age. His parents were supportive and provided lessons in dance, acting, and voice. After playing a number of small roles and bit parts, Hasselhoff landed his first significant acting role in 1975 when he was cast as Dr. Snapper Foster in the long-running daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless. After a successful run on this program, which at one time found him the highest-paid actor on a CBS soap, he took on the role of ex-cop Michael Knight in the prime-time adventure program Knight Rider. Hasselhoff shared billing with KITT, an intelligent, talking sports car that helped him solve crimes. Hasselhoff and the sleek black car attracted many fans. However, when the show ended in 1986, Hasselhoff soon found himself in reduced circumstances and short on work. During this three-year act- ing drought, he established himself as a recording artist, if somewhat of a tongue-in-cheek one. Still, he had a number of international hits and became extremely popular in Germany, where he was invited to perform one of his songs, "Looking for Freedom," on top of the Berlin Wall as it toppled in 1989.

In 1989, Hasselhoff returned to television in what has become his defining role, that of Mitch Buchannon, the head of a group of lifeguards patrolling the California beaches, in Baywatch. At its peak, Baywatch is said to have been the most popular show in the world, with more than one billion viewers. This success, however, could be attributable to many factors, including the seaside locations, the handsome Hasselhoff, and the many beautiful, swimsuit-clad costars who worked with him on the show.

Hasselhoff has consistently displayed a genial sense of humor about the source and nature of his fame, and has made several appearances in movies spoofing himself. In addition to his acting and musical work, Hasselhoff is a philanthropist and humanitarian who devotes considerable time to charity organizations for young people.

Hasselhoff relates his own life and career story in his autobiography, Don't Hassel the Hoff, written with Peter Thompson. He describes his rise through the acting ranks on the television shows that made him famous. He relates his troubles with alcohol and rehab, and family troubles that led to two divorces. Through it all, however, he remains upbeat and optimistic, even when things looked bleak. The book contains a "cheery narrative arc laced with a modicum of self-deprecation and the occasional bit of gossip," commented a Kirkus Reviews critic. Hasselhoff's "self-deprecation and humor mitigate his sometimes self-congratulatory tone," remarked Rosellen Brewer in a Library Journal review.



Hasselhoff, David, and Peter Thompson, Don't Hassel the Hoff, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2007.


America's Intelligence Wire, June 22, 2006, "Firefighters Desperately Trying to Stop Wildfire from Burning Homes in Arizona; Interview with David Hasselhoff."

Bookseller, April 14, 2006, Katherine Rushton, "Up Close with the Hoff: Katherine Rushton Meets David Hasselhoff Ahead of His Autobiography," p. 19.

Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2007, review of Don't Hassel the Hoff.

Library Journal, May 15, 2007, Rosellen Brewer, review of Don't Hassel the Hoff, p. 93.

Newsweek, July 31, 2006, Ramin Setoodeh and Devin Gordon, "Newsmakers: Hasselhoff, Kevin Smith," p. 64.

People, April 25, 1983, David Wallace, "David Hasselhoff Supercharges Knight Rider—But Sorry, Gals, He's Engaged," p. 109; June 20, 1994, David Hiltbrand, "Spotlight On … David Hasselhoff: From Baywatch to Beijing," p. 15; September 11, 2000, "Pop Quiz with David Hasselhoff," p. 22; September 18, 2006, Jennifer Wulff, "The Hoff Talks," interview with David Hasselhoff, p. 89; February 26, 2007, "Backstage with the Hoff," p. 74.

Playboy, May, 1995, David Rensin, interview with David Hasselhoff.

Teen Magazine, November, 1984, "David Hasselhoff: Riding the Road to Success," p. 12.

Time, March 12, 2001, Joel Stein, interview with David Hasselhoff, p. 91; November 15, 2004, "Q&A David Hasselhoff," p. 119.

TV Guide, June 25, 1983, Bill Davidson, "Dog Bites Man … Man Pets Car … Star Is Born," p. 37; October 5, 2002, Mary Murphy, "One Day at a Time," profile of David Hasselhoff, p. 24.

USA Today, June 28, 2006, Ann Oldenburg, "Hasselhoff Sings and Acts, and Has Been Known to Cry," p. 4; June 28, 2006, Ann Oldenburg, "Things Are Clicking Again for Hasselhoff," p. 1; May 15, 2007, Donna Freydkin, "Don't You Scoff at ‘The Hoff,’" p. 3.

Us Weekly, June 5, 2000, David Wild, "David Hasselhoff: Home from the Beach," p. 70.

Vanity Fair, June, 1993, George Wayne, "Beach Blanket Schwingo: Surf's Way up for David Hasselhoff," p. 90.


Biography Channel Web site,http://www.thebiographychannel.co.uk/ (January 17, 2008), biography of David Hasselhoff.

Celebrity Pro,http://www.celebritypro.com/ (January 17, 2008), biography of David Hasselhoff.

Critic,http://www.critic.co.nz/ (April 10, 2007), Nicola Tennant, review of Making Waves.

David Hasselhoff Home Page,http://www.hasselhoff.com (January 17, 2008).

Internet Movie Database,http://www.imdb.com/ (January 17, 2008), filmography of David Hasselhoff.

VH1,http://www.vh1.com/ (January 17, 2008), biography of David Hasselhoff.