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David Michael Hasselhoff (born July 17, 1952) is an Americanmarker actor, singer, television producer and businessman. He is best known for his lead roles as Michael Knight in the popular 1980s U.S. series Knight Rider and as L.A. County Lifeguard Mitch Buchannon in the series Baywatch. Hasselhoff also produced Baywatch for a number of seasons in the 1990s up until 2001, when the series ended with Baywatch Hawaii. Hasselhoff also crossed over to a music career during the end of the 1980s and the early 1990s. He was noted for his performance at the Berlin Wallmarker in 1989. He enjoyed a short lived success as a singer primarily in German-speaking Europe. More recently, Hasselhoff has been involved with talent shows such as NBC's America's Got Talent in 2006. Hasselhoff's autobiography, Making Waves, was released in the United Kingdom in September 2006.


Early career

Hasselhoff in 1986
Hasselhoff portrayed Dr. William "Snapper" Foster, Jr. on the soap opera The Young and the Restless from 1975 to 1982. In 1979 he played the role of Simon in Starcrash. He later went on to star as Michael Knight in the Glen A. Larson-created series Knight Rider from 1982 to 1986 (a role he would reprise in Knight Rider 2000 (1991) and cameo in 2008's Knight Rider TV film).

Hasselhoff describes Knight Rider as more than a TV show: "It's a phenomenon. It's bigger than Baywatch ever was." On the success of Knight Rider — "It's because it was about saving lives, not taking lives, and it was how one man really can make a difference. And we had a blast making it, and we made sure nobody died on the show; [just as] we made sure nobody ever drowned on Baywatch." (However, in the 1982 two hour pilot "Knight Of The Phoenix", Michael Long's partner Mugsy is shot and dies in the parking lot.) He describes the acting he has done as "a little more difficult than if you had a regularly well-written script – like, if I was going to be in, say, Reservoir Dogs, or The Godfather, or Dances with Wolves or Lawrence of Arabia or ER, I had to talk to a car."

European popularity

While his star rose, fell and rose again in the US, Hasselhoff's popularity remained a little longer in Europe during the end of the 80s. Hasselhoff had one number-one hit in the Germanmarker pop charts in 1989 ("Looking for Freedom"), which very much resonated with the fall of the Berlin Wall at that time, and two more top-ten hits in 1989 and 1993.


Hasselhoff returned to television on Baywatch which premiered in 1989. Although it was canceled after only one season, he believed the series had potential, so Hasselhoff revived it for the first-run syndication market in 1991, investing his own money and additionally functioning as executive producer. His contract stipulated royalties to be paid to him from the rerun profits, which gave him the financial liberty to buy back the rights to Baywatch from NBC.

In its second incarnation, Baywatch was much more successful. It ran in syndication for another ten seasons. It was also well received internationally and has been shown in over 140 countries around the world. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Baywatch is the most watched TV show in the world, with over 1.1 billion viewers. Hasselhoff on the appeal of Baywatch: "I believe the camera photographs your aura, and it also photographs your heart. And I cast Baywatch that way. If you look at Baywatch, just about everybody on that show — even Pamela Anderson — has got a great heart."

This success combined with his royalties and his other ventures have placed Hasselhoff's fortune at more than $100,000,000.

Later career

In 1994, Hasselhoff was inducted into the Lyons Township High Schoolmarker Hall of Fame.

Also in 1994, Hasselhoff was scheduled to perform a concert on pay-per-view from Atlantic City. The concert was expected to help reignite his singing career in the United States. On the night of his concert, O.J. Simpson was involved in a police chase in southern California. Viewership of the concert was significantly lower than expected, due to the live coverage of the chase. Since then, Hasselhoff has not attempted another concert.

In 1996, Hasselhoff was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Famemarker. In 1997, he did a duet with Asia's Songbird, Regine Velasquez. The song was used as the main theme for his 1998 movie Legacy. In the film, he was joined by Filipina actresses, Donita Rose and Chin Chin Gutierrez. The film was shot in the Philippinesmarker.

Hasselhoff made his Broadway debut in 2000 in the title role of Jekyll & Hyde. In August 2001 he hosted an event at the Conga Room, in Los Angeles honoring the Latin rock band Renegade for record sales in excess of 30 million units worldwide, taking the stage with the Latin rockers and singing in Spanish. Beginning in July 16, 2004, he played the lead role in London performances of Chicago for three months.

Hasselhoff has made several self-parodic appearances in movies. He had a major appearance in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, released November 19, 2004, starring as himself (though very much in bygone Baywatch character) and meeting SpongeBob and Patrick (His full name is heard once in the movie. He is referred to as "Hasselhoff"). Hasselhoff also had another short appearance in the movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story as the dodgeball coach to the German national dodgeball team. Berating his team after being eliminated from a tournament, he shouts "Ihr seid alle Schweine!" (translated: "You are all pigs!", a common German insult) and smashes a photo of himself in his Baywatch attire. In 2004's Eurotrip, Hasselhoff appears in a fantasy sequence performing his early 90s hit single "Du". In a cameo as himself in John Waters' 2004 effort A Dirty Shame, Hasselhoff defecates in an airplane's washroom. The 2006 Adam Sandler film Click is the first film in which Hasselhoff plays a character, as Sandler's despicable boss. Hasselhoff also appeares in an episode of Wildboyz. In 2007 he again played himself in the Jamie Kennedy comedy Kickin' It Old Skool, teaching Kennedy's character (who revives from a coma he entered at age 12) how to make out with his girlfriend and loaning him KITT for his date.

In his music video for "Jump in My Car", Hasselhoff again demonstrates a penchant for self-parody, this time of his performance as Michael Knight in Knight Rider. The car in the video was a black Pontiac Trans Am with a pulsing LED and an interior nearly identical to that of K.I.T.T. (this video was shot in Sydney, Australia and used a right hand drive KITT replica), including an aptly-timed use of K.I.T.T.'s seat ejection system. The video plays to a skit where he asks one of three girls to "jump in his car" to take her home. The girl initially refuses but then gets in so long as he behaves politely. She suggests that he should drive quickly, because she lives down south, "about 84 miles". When she insists she is not joking, he asks her to leave the vehicle, but she refuses, so he resorts to using the ejector seat to cause her to exit.

David Hasselhoff, 2005

Hasselhoff presented a musical award with Gretel Killeen for the Australian Recording Industry Association on Sunday October 23, 2005 in Sydneymarker. He was recently signed to Pepsi appearing in a massive outdoor campaign in January 2006.

Hasselhoff has also become something of an Internet phenomenon, mostly as a subject of fun. Numerous websites have appeared and there is currently a campaign to get him a number one single in the UKmarker.

In May 2006, Hasselhoff returned to the spotlight after he was mentioned in an interview of Dirk Nowitzki, an NBA star playing for the Dallas Mavericks and a native of Germany. Nowitzki was asked what he does to concentrate when shooting foul shots. Dirk replied that he sings "Looking for Freedom" to himself. He meant this as a joke but it was thought to be a serious answer. Shortly thereafter, Hasselhoff attended the May 26, 2006 Mavericks home playoff game where they faced the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Western Conference Finals. Interviewed by Craig Sager, Hasselhoff stated he was as much a fan of Nowitzki as Nowitzki was a fan of him. In The 2006 NBA Finals, fans of the Miami Heat in the American Airlines Arenamarker held up facial photos of Hasselhoff and chanted his name when Nowitzki went to the foul line.

Late 2006, a musical based on his life called David Hasselhoff: The Musical will open in Australia before moving to the United States. Hasselhoff describes it as "totally campy".

On August 2, 2006, Hasselhoff proclaimed himself king of the internet in a tongue-in-cheek advertisement commercial for Pipex.

In September 2006 he appeared in a radio interview with Gerard Gilroy on The Breakfast Show on Dublinmarker's Newstalk 106, pushed his book on The Tubridy Tonight Show on RTE1, and sang and spoke to Grant Lauchlan of, where he revealed that he would like to play a concert in the future at Scotlandmarker's Edinburgh Castlemarker.

In November 2006, Mel Brooks announced Hasselhoff would portray Roger DeBris, the director of the Nazi musical Springtime for Hitler, in the Las Vegasmarker production of The Producers.

Throughout the summer of 2006, Hasselhoff, along with Grammy-winning singer/actress Brandy Norwood and disgraced former British tabloid editor Piers Morgan was a co-judge on NBC's America's Got Talent, a show that showcases America's best amateur entertainers. He has been on the show's jury for all four seasons so far. He judged in the second, third and fourth seasons alongside Sharon Osbourne and Piers Morgan. On the 2007 season finale, Hasselhoff sang "This is the Moment."

In 2007, it was announced that Hasselhoff is starring in a television series pilot for E! called Tales from the Hoff. Executive produced by American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, the comedy follows an aging international star trying to navigate Hollywood life and re-energize his professional and personal life. Although Hasselhoff is portraying a fictional character, elements of the show's concept parallel Hasselhoff's real life.

In 2008, Hasselhoff was a featured guest in a Volkswagen commercial, where he talked about the company selling more cars in Europe and the rest of the world than any other brand. In response, the black Beetle commented that Hasselhoff is "not so big" in Brazil. In late October of that same year, Hasselhoff played a bit part in the EA real time strategy video game Red Alert 3 as vice president of The United States, while also starring in its promotional microsite, The website featured several tongue-in-cheek videos as well as a Hasselhoff soundboard.

In December 2008, Hasselhoff sang the national anthem at the NCAA Las Vegas Bowl. Although the game was televised live by ESPN, the station chose not to broadcast Hasselhoff's performance.

According to, Hasselhoff will appear in the videogame "Ready 2 Rumble Revolution" along with other celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Justin Timberlake and Simon Cowell.

In 2009 David took part in "The Hoff: When Scott Came to Stay" for UK television channel Living. During the two part special, BBC Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills lived with David for 4 days at his rented California mansion. Amongst other things they went jetskiing, visited Vegas and went to see "The Hoff Drops" (David's daughters) recording in the studio. The two are good friends and David regularly visits Scott on his radio show when in England. Scott played David in Scott Mills The Musical at the Edinburgh Festival.

Get Hasselhoff to Number 1 campaign

On April 21, 2006 fans of David Hasselhoff launched a tongue-in-cheek website "Get Hasselhoff to Number 1" in an attempt to get the 1989 hit "Looking for Freedom" to the top of the UK music charts through Internet downloads of the single. The campaign attracted attention on British radio and television broadcasts, in the national press and on the Internet. Over 40,000 people signed up to receive the "Hoff Alert" email when the time had come to purchase the single.

The focus of the campaign shifted to "Jump in My Car", when that was actually released as a single, and BBC Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills lent his support. On October 3, 2006 the Hoff Alert was sent out, and Hasselhoff promptly gained his highest ever UK chart entry (number 3) on October 8, 2006.


Hasselhoff has launched a MySpace-like social networking site, known as "HoffSpace." He did so in part as a response to people opening false social-networking pages in his name, as well as those of his children.

Personal life

Hasselhoff was born in Baltimore, Maryland to homemaker Dolores and business executive Joe Hasselhoff. He spent his pre-teen years in Jacksonville, Floridamarker and later lived in Atlanta, Georgiamarker where he attended Marist High School. He graduated from Lyons Township High School in La Grange, Illinoismarker and then studied at Bates Collegemarker in Lewiston, Mainemarker; Oakland Universitymarker in Rochester, Michiganmarker; and graduated with a degree in theater at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. He can speak German fluently and has spoken in German on various appearances throughout Hollywood media.

Hasselhoff was married to actress Catherine Hickland from March 24, 1984 to March 1, 1989. Their marriage was recreated in Knight Rider Season 4 (Episode The Scent of Roses which first aired on January 3, 1986).Hasselhoff married actress Pamela Bach on December 9, 1989 and the couple had two daughters, Taylor Ann Hasselhoff born May 5, 1990 who attends the University of Arizonamarker and Hayley Amber Hasselhoff born August 26, 1992.

On January 13, 2006 Hasselhoff announced he was filing for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. His publicist stated the couple had agreed to an amicable settlement. Then on March 9, 2006 Bach accused Hasselhoff of violent behaviour towards her. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark Juhas signed the order on March 6, 2006 ordering Hasselhoff to stay at least 100 yards from Bach except for 'peaceful contacts related to court ordered visitation' of the children. On June 15, 2007 Hasselhoff's attorney Melvin Goldsman stated Hasselhoff was awarded primary physical custody and full legal custody of the two girls.

Hasselhoff's autobiography Making Waves was released in the United Kingdom in September 2006. In an interview in April 2006 Hasselhoff promised the book would present the 'last chapter' regarding controversial elements of his personal life.

On May 3, 2007 a home video clip surfaced of Hasselhoff apparently in mid-stupor. The video showed him shirtless, lying on the floor, drunkenly trying to consume a Wendy's hamburger in a Las Vegasmarker hotel room. His daughter Taylor Ann who shot the video can be heard saying 'tell me you are going to stop, tell me you are going to stop'. The daughter also warns her father he could be jeopardising his spot on the Las Vegas production of The Producers. In the wake of the leaked clip, Hasselhoff issued a statement saying it was filmed by Taylor Ann so that he could see how he behaved when intoxicated and was deliberately released.

As a result of the video Hasselhoff's visitation rights with his two daughters were suspended on May 7, 2007 for two weeks until the video's authenticity and distributor were determined. On 14 May 2007 a news report headlined "Pipex in a pickle: David Hasselhoff drunken antics last straw for $1 billion sale of UK ISP" questioned whether the video had impacted negatively on the sale of the UK broadband and hosting company Pipex: a major advertising campaign in the UK for featured Hasselhoff as 'King of the Internet'.

On May 3, 2009, Hasselhoff was rushed to hospital. Radar Online attributed this to alcohol poisoning, reporting Hasselhoff's BAC at 0.39. Although Hasselhoff has publicly admitted past treatment for alcoholism, his representatives denied the reports that alcohol poisoning was the reason for hospitalization. On September 21, 2009, Fox News reported that he was again hospitalized for alcohol-related reasons; Hasselhoff's representatives again denied the allegation. On 27 November 2009 Radar Online reported that Hasselhoff was rushed to hospital after suffering a seizure at home.


Stage work

Television work



Year Album Chart positions
AUTmarker GER SWImarker
1985 Night Rocker 1
1987 Lovin' Feelings 11
1989 Knight Lover 17
Looking for Freedom 5 1 3
1990 Crazy for You 1 1
1991 David 1 12 7
1992 Everybody Sunshine 16 21 17
1993 You Are Everything 10 20 27
1994 Du 21 43 41
1995 Looking for … the Best 50
David Hasselhoff
1997 Hooked on a Feeling 49 41
2000 Magic Collection
2004 David Hasselhoff Sings America 11 27
The Night Before Christmas
2005 David Hasselhoff Sings American Gold Edition
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Year Single Peak chart positions
1989 "Looking for Freedom" 1 12 1 31 1
"Our First Night Together" 14
"Is Everybody Happy?" 8 8
1990 "Freedom for the World" 30 48
"Flying on the Wings of Tendern" 22
"Crazy for You" 4 18 21
1991 "Do the Limbo Dance" 1 12 19
"Gipsy Girl" 12
"Hands Up For Rock 'n' Roll" 30
1992 "Everybody Sunshine" 26 27
1993 "Wir zwei allein" (with Gwen) 4 10
"If I Could Only Say Goodbye" 35
"The Girl Forever" 78
1996 "Hooked On A Feeling" 36
2005 "Limbo Dance" 98
2006 "Jump in My Car" 61 3 50
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


  1. "Former 'Baywatch' Hunk Hasselhoff Files for Divorce",, 13 January 2006
  3. David Hasselhoff Introducing Renegade at 30 Million Platinum Sales Award event
  5. The Powered By Pipex commercial featuring David Hasselhoff
  6. stv interview
  8. E! News - Seacrest Taps into the Hoff's Tales - David Hasselhoff | Ryan Seacrest
  9. Oh Say Can You See the Hoff?, December 22, 2008
  10. Justin Timberlake and David Beckham are “Ready 2 Rumble”, January 23, 2009
  11. Fans hassle for new Hoff pop |
  12. Campaign to get 'The Hoff' to number one | Mail Online
  13. Hoff fans push for number one slot | News | Mansized
  15. Forum
  16. BBC - Radio 1 - Scott Mills
  17. David Hasselhoff social networking site finally arrives
  18. David Hasselhoff's social networking site is booming
  19. GETV: Don’t Hassel the Hoff, David Hasselhoff
  22. "Hasselhoff 'violent' claims wife", BBC, March 9, 2006
  23. McDonald, Ray., "Actor David Hasselhoff Wins Custody of Daughters",, 2007-06-19, Retrieved on 2007-06-30.
  25. "Drunk Tape Bad for cock Hasselhoff, but Is It Worse for His Daughter?" ABC
  26. Tabloid article alleging drunkenness and CNN article denying the claim.
  27. AP, "Hasselhoff's visitation rights suspended",, 2007-05-03, Retrieved on 2007-06-30.

External links

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