David Soul, who made his home in North London for many years, has died at the age of 80, his wife Helen Snell announced.

The US-born actor, best known for his role as Detective Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson in Starsky & Hutch, died on Thursday (January 4) surrounded by his family.

Ms Snell said in a statement: “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. His smile, laughter and passion for life will be remembered by the many whose lives he has touched.”

Soul, who starred opposite Paul Michael Glaser as Detective Dave Starsky in the 1970s US TV series, moved to London in the 1990s to work on the West End musical Blood Brothers after battling alcoholism and claiming he was "burnt out" by Hollywood.

Hackney Gazette: David Soul who was best known for his role in 70s cop drama Starsky and Hutch died on January 4 surrounded by familyDavid Soul who was best known for his role in 70s cop drama Starsky and Hutch died on January 4 surrounded by family

He became an Arsenal supporter and lived in Maida Vale, Highgate and Hampstead, where he was a regular at Bernardo Stella's La Gaffe restaurant in Heath Street, and The Roebuck pub.

A long-term friend of the journalist Martin Bell, he went on to appear in Holby City, Poirot, and Dalziel And Pascoe and as the talk show host in Jerry Springer the Opera.

He even performed a play, The Dead Monkey, at Hampstead's tiny New End Theatre in 1998, and met his wife in 2003 when she was the PR for a play he was touring called Deathtrap. He described her as his “soulmate”.Hackney Gazette: David Soul in his 70s heydayDavid Soul in his 70s heyday (Image: PA)

The following year, at the age of 61 he became a British citizen in a ceremony at Haringey Civic Centre, describing his decision as a "simple desire to belong".

In an interview with The Independent, he said: "Who would have imagined nine years ago when I first arrived in London to fulfil a dream of playing on the English stage that I would end up a minted British citizen?

"After years of wandering the planet I have finally found a home and a community that I can embrace and that has embraced me."

In recent years he had suffered ill health. In 2019 he told The Sunday Times: “I spent 72 days in intensive care, including twice being put on a ventilator and undergoing a tracheostomy. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t do anything, I was in delirium. As a last resort I was moved to the Royal Free Hospital, where I underwent treatment that saved my life. Bless the Royal Free, I tell you. The NHS is just the best."

Hackney Gazette: The actor David Soul has died.The actor David Soul has died.
Soul was also known for his roles in Here Come The Brides, Magnum Force and The Yellow Rose and he and Glaser reprised their roles in the 2004 remake Starsky & Hutch, starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.

Born in Chicago on August 28, 1943 as David Solberg, he spent his childhood between South Dakota and post-Second World War Berlin.

His father Dr Richard Solberg, a professor of history and political science and an ordained minister, moved them to Berlin, where he was a religious affairs adviser to the US high commission.

Starting out as a musician, he sang on The Merv Griffin show and appeared in 1960s’ dolphin series Flipper. He acted in Star Trek, Here Come The Brides, Perry Mason, and Johnny Got His Gun, throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

Soul got his break as officer John Davis in Clint Eastwood’s police yarn Magnum Force, about Inspector Harold Callahan, which led to a part in Starsky & Hutch from 1974 to 1979.

At the height of his fame he released the UK chart-toppers Don’t Give Up On Us and Silver Lady, and the hits Going In With My Eyes Open and Let’s Have A Quiet Night In.

He also went on to appear in TV series Salem’s Lot, an adaption of Stephen King’s novel, as Ben Mears, who returns to his hometown after it is taken over by vampires.

Soul was married five times, including to actresses Mirriam Solberg, Karen Carlson, Patti Carnel Sherman and Julia Nickson, and had six children.