In 1982, David Hasselhoff landed in prime time for one of the most recognizable roles of his career, that of Michael Knight on the hit show Knight Rider. The show was a huge success in the United States and overseas and made him one of the most recognizable actors on TV. In 1989, Hasselhoff returned to TV to produce and star in the series Baywatch, which became the most watched show in TV history.
Early Life and Career
Actor, director, producer, musician. Born David Michael Hasselhoff on July 17, 1952 in Baltimore, Maryland. As a child, Hasselhoff and his family moved frequently and the relatively shy youngster became interested in acting, singing and dancing. He attended the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Michigan and the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. In 1973, he landed a regular role on the soap opera, The Young and The Restless.
Night Rider and Baywatch
In 1982, Hasselhoff moved to prime time to star in Knight Rider. He played Michael Knight on the show, and his character fought all types of crimes and misdeeds with the help of a super car called KITT. Veteran actor William Daniels provided the voice for KITT. The series quickly became a huge success in the United States and overseas and made him one of the most recognizable actors on television. The acclaim helped Hasselhoff launch his music career, which has been particularly successful in Europe.
Knight Rider ended in 1986, but Hasselhoff wasn't off the air for long. In 1989, he returned to television to produce and star in the series Baywatch. He played Mitch Bucannon, who oversaw a group of lifeguards in California. The beachy adventure show had a rocky start, and it moved from network television to syndicated television after its first season. But it soon developed a following, especially overseas. In addition to Hasselhoff, Baywatch also featured Yasmine Bleeth, Carmen Electra and Pamela Anderson. The series ran until 2000 and even launched two spin-off series, Baywatch Nights and Baywatch Hawaii.
Since the end of Baywatch, Hasselhoff has tackled a variety of projects. He made his debut on Broadway in Jekyll and Hyde in 2000, playing the title character. Since then, Hasselhoff has appeared in a number of different theatrical productions, including a run in The Producers in Las Vegas in 2007. It was during this time that his daughter Taylor created the now infamous video of a drunk Hasselhoff trying to eat a cheeseburger. Soon after the incident, Hasselhoff reportedly worked to get sober. He told People magazine that "Thanks to the tape, I realized this was a problem that I needed to deal with."
In 2006, Hasselhoff returned to the small screen as a judge on the summer competition series America's Got Talent. He sat alongside Piers Morgan and Sharon Osbourne for four seasons before leaving in 2010. Hasselhoff was replaced by comedian Howie Mandel. With his daughters Taylor and Hayley, he branched out into reality television on The Hasselhoffs, a short-lived series in 2010. That same year, Hasselhoff showed off his fancy footwork as a contestant on Dancing With the Stars. He competed against the likes of Bristol Palin, Florence Henderson, and Michael Bolton.
Hasselhoff continues to work in television and theater. In 2012, he performed a show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Hasselhoff also appeared in Australian version of The Celebrity Apprentice that same year.
Hasselhoff was first married to actress Catherine Hickland in the 1980s, but their union ended in divorce. He then married actress Pamela Bach in 1989; the couple has two daughters, Taylor Ann and Hayley Amber. Hasselhoff filed for divorce from Bach in January 2006, which dissolved into a bitter dispute that took some time to finalize.
In November 2015 Hasselhoff claimed he officially changed his last name to "Hoff" via social media, but soon after, his rep clarified that the actor was only making such statements for an ad campaign.
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