In this success story, we will share the biography of David Hasselhoff, the actor best known for portraying on-screen pop culture icons Michael Knight and Mitch Bucannon.
Close to four decades ago, David Hasselhoff penetrated primetime television with arguably one of his most recognizable and most successful roles in the hit series Knight Rider. The TV show was so huge in the United States and worldwide that it turned him into a legitimate household name. With momentum on his back, Hasselhoff went off to produce and star in another iconic television series, Baywatch. As a matter of fact, the show became the most-watched program in TV history back in 1989.
Early Life and Television Break
Before becoming an actor, a director, and a producer – not to mention a recording artist – David Michael Hasselhoff was a big-city kid from Baltimore, Maryland. Born July 17, 1952, he didn’t enjoy his childhood in the Old Line State, as the Hasselhoff family constantly moved from one location to another. With this, David became an introverted, shy boy primarily interested in the performing arts.
David Hasselhoff discovered his acting, singing, and dancing talents, which later led him to pursue the craft. Hasselhoff began in Michigan, where he attended the Academy of Dramatic Arts, before flying to the West Coast to continue at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. Being relatively near the bright lights of Hollywood, David soon landed a regular role as Snapper Foster on the soap opera The Young and The Restless in 1973.
TV Career Turning Points
Nine years after his early break on the small screen, David Hasselhoff moved on to primetime television as a crime-busting protagonist on the 1982 show Knight Rider. He played the title character, Michael Knight, who fought crimes and misdemeanors on the streets along with his supercar, KITT. The show hit so prominent in the US primetime TV ratings – and overseas – that it put Hasselhoff under the spotlight, thus turning him into a bona fide superstar. In a way, this unprecedented success also spurred his music career, mainly flourishing in Europe.
After a fantastic four-year run, Knight Rider went off the air in 1986; however, this did not stop David Hasselhoff from continuing to ride the waves (no pun intended) of his on-screen achievements. David made his television comeback in 1989 when he produced and starred in the show Baywatch. As Mitch Bucannon, he was the leader of a group of lifeguards on the beaches of California. Though the series had its share of ups and downs in the early parts – moving from network to syndicated television during its premier season – it didn’t hinder the crew’s popularity. With beautiful cast members consisting of Carmen Electra, Yasmine Bleeth, and Pamela Anderson and an equally talented production team, Hasselfhoff and the gang enjoyed a cult following overseas. The show covered three decades, from the ‘80s to the ‘00s, and launched several spin-off series, Baywatch Nights and Baywatch Hawaii.
Post-Baywatch: Theater Shows, Reality Shows, and Endorsements
Following the global success of Baywatch, David Hasselhoff went on to tackle a plethora of projects from different platforms. Immediately after finishing Baywatch in 2000, he made his Broadway debut playing the title character in the production of Jekyll & Hyde, which was released on March 10, 2001. This opened up the doors of many theatrical productions, which included an infamous 2007 role in The Producers in Las Vegas. During this time, the “cheeseburger incident” made the rounds on the Internet.
Back in 2006, six years after wrapping off Baywatch, David Hasselhoff – once again – made his TV comeback, this time, as one of the judges in yet another hit reality show, America’s Got Talent. Together with Piers Morgan and Sharon Osbourne, he stayed for four seasons before capping off his stint in 2010. Speaking of reality television, David and his daughters, Taylor and Hayley, head the cast of their program, The Hasselhoffs. Though the show barely made a single season, Hasselhoff was cast in another one, the reality competition Dancing with the Stars. He strutted off his dance floor moves with Michael Bolton, Bristol Palin, and Florence Henderson.
David Hasselhoff continues to dabble in the theater arts television and even has many endorsements worldwide. As a testament to his global accomplishment, in 2012, Hasselhoff was chosen to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and on the Australian version of The Celebrity Apprentice. He was even handpicked to star in the inaugural Facebook show of Gala Bingo, a UK-based online gaming platform. Furthermore, it coincided with the launch of the game mode dedicated to his likeness, according to a news article.
Like a typical Hollywood stud, David Hasselhoff had a couple of fairy tale weddings, ultimately ending in ugly divorce battles. He was first married to actress Catherine Hickland in 1984 before ending their union after five years. A handful of months after the split, Hasselhoff tied the knot with Pamela Bach and ended it in 2006. The former power couple has two children, the aforementioned Taylor Ann and Hayley Amber.
We hope you have enjoyed exploring David Hasselhoff’s biography and his success story and that it has inspired you to make discoveries.
- Figurative and Abstract Sculptures by David Vanorbeek
- Mark Mawson Photography: Capturing the Beauty of Underwater World
- Tyson Ernste Photography: Incredible and Experimental Photographs
- Qi Wei Fong Photography: “Exploded Flowers” or Conceptual Imaging in Practice
- Oprah Winfrey Biography: Success Story of American Media Mogul