David Michael Hasselhoff (born July 17, 1952), nicknamed “The Hoff”, is an American actor, singer, producer, and businessman. He is best known for his lead roles as Michael Knight in the popular 1980s US 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 Wall at New Year’s Eve 1989; he enjoyed a short-lived success as a singer primarily in German-speaking Europe.
More recently, Hasselhoff has been involved with talent shows. He was the first celebrity eliminated from the eleventh season of Dancing with the Stars on September 21, 2010. He was also a judge on NBC’s America’s Got Talent from 2006 to 2009. In 2011, he joined the Britain’s Got Talent judging panel, alongside Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Michael McIntyre. He appeared as himself in the 2004 film The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and also Piranha 3DD and Hop.
1 Early life
2.1 Early career
2.1.1 Knight Rider
2.1.2 German popularity
2.2 Later career
2.2.1 Get Hasselhoff to Number 1 campaign
2.2.3 Comedy Central Roast
2.2.4 The Hasselhoffs
3 Personal life
3.2 Health problems
3.3 Drunk videotape
3.3.1 The Hoff online casino on Facebook app
5 Stage work
6 Television work
8 See also
10 External links
Hasselhoff was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Dolores Therese (née Mullinex), a homemaker, and Joseph Vincent “Joe” Hasselhoff, a business executive. His father was of half German and half Anglo-Irish descent, and his mother had English ancestry. His great-great-grandmother, Meta, immigrated with her family to Baltimore from Völkersen, 30 kilometres from Bremen, in 1865. Hasselhoff spent his pre-teen years in Jacksonville, Florida, and later lived in Atlanta, Georgia, where he attended Marist High School. At Marist High School, he was coined with the nickname “Hooves”. He graduated from Lyons Township High School in La Grange, Illinois, in 1970. He was a member of speech team, senior discussion leaders, president of choir, captain of the volleyball team and held roles in several plays (including one lead role as Matt in The Fantasticks). He studied at Bates College and Oakland University and graduated with a degree in theater at the California Institute of the Arts.
Hasselhoff in 1986
Hasselhoff portrayed Dr. William “Snapper” Foster, Jr. on the serial The Young and the Restless from 1975 to 1982. In 1979, he played the role of Simon in Starcrash. He launched his singing career with guest appearances on the first season of children’s program Kids Incorporated, performing ‘Do You Love Me.’ He guest starred on an episode of Diff’rent Strokes as himself in 1984.
Hasselhoff starred in the science-fiction series Knight Rider from 1982 to 1986. He has described 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 Muntzy is shot and dies in the parking lot. Also a female character died in the “Nobody Does It Better” episode and a gang member was killed by Michael Knight in the “Short Notice” episode.) 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.”
While his star status rose, fell and rose again in the US, Hasselhoff’s popularity endured a little longer in Germany during the end of the ’80s. Hasselhoff had one number-one hit in the German pop charts in 1989 (“Looking for Freedom”). In 1989, David trained with Patsy Swayze (mother of Patrick) at Debby Reynolds Studio in North Hollywood, California for the Austrian segment of his Knight Rider tour.
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.
In 1991, Hasselhoff reprised his role as Michael Knight in the television film Knight Rider 2000 as a sequel to the original series. The movie served as a pilot for a proposed new series, but despite high ratings, the plan was abandoned.
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. However, on the night of the 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.
In 1996, Hasselhoff was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1997, he performed a duet with Filipino singer Regine Velasquez, which was used as the main theme for his 1998 movie Legacy.
In 2001, he was nominated for rector of Dundee University but declined, citing work commitments.
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 on 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, Team Hasselhoff. 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 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.
Hasselhoff in 2005
Hasselhoff presented a music award with Gretel Killeen for the Australian Recording Industry Association on Sunday October 23, 2005, in Sydney. He was signed to Pepsi appearing in a massive outdoor campaign in January 2006.
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 Arena held up facial photos of Hasselhoff and chanted his name when Nowitzki went to the foul line.
On August 2, 2006, Hasselhoff proclaimed himself “King of the Internet” in a tongue-in-cheek advertisement for Pipex.
In September 2006, he appeared in a radio interview with Gerard Gilroy on The Breakfast Show on Dublin’s Newstalk 106, pushed his book on The Tubridy Tonight Show on RTE1, and sang and spoke to Grant Lauchlan of stv.tv, where he revealed that he would like to play a concert in the future at Scotland’s Edinburgh Castle.
In November 2006, Mel Brooks announced Hasselhoff would portray Roger DeBris, the director of the Nazi musical Springtime for Hitler, in the Las Vegas production of The Producers.
In 2006, Hasselhoff, became a co-judge on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, a show that showcases America’s best amateur entertainers. He also 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.” He was replaced by comedian Howie Mandel for season five.
David Hasselhoff waving the checkered flag at the 2008 Gumball 3000.
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 Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 as vice president of the United States, while also starring in its promotional microsite, conquerthislife.com. The website featured several tongue-in-cheek videos as well as a Hasselhoff soundboard.
In February 2008, towards the end of the TV Movie Knight Rider 2008 (AKA Knight Rider SG), David reprised his career-making role as Michael Knight as he walked on to introduce himself to his on-screen son, Mike Traceur (Justin Bruening).
On November 12, 2008, “The Hoff” became the first celebrity downloadable character for the PlayStation Network’s video game Pain.
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 CelebTV.com, 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, Hasselhoff took part in “The Hoff: When Scott Came to Stay” for UK television channel Living. During the two part special, Scott Mills lived with Hasselhoff for four days at his rented California mansion. Amongst other things they went jet skiing, visited Vegas and went to see “The Hoff Drops” (Hasselhoff’s daughters) recording in the studio. The two are good friends and Hasselhoff regularly visits Mills on his radio show when in England. Mills played Hasselhoff in Scott Mills The Musical at the Edinburgh Festival. Also in 2009, Hasselhoff took part in a ghost hunting experience at Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire with his daughters and Mills. 2011 sees David return to British TV as a judge on Britain’s Got Talent.
In September 2009, he featured on a radio podcast for Compare the Meerkat, part of the advertising for British website, Comparethemarket.com. He was also the subject of an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom as a result of his support for the re-opening of Morecambe Winter Gardens.
In 2010, Hasselhoff guest hosted professional wrestling’s WWE Raw in London, England. On August 15, 2010, Comedy Central aired a special “roast” of Hasselhoff. Hasselhoff returned to The Young and the Restless, reprising his role as Dr. William “Snapper” Foster Jr. for a short arc that aired in mid-June 2010. Hasselhoff appeared as a contestant on season 11 of Dancing with the Stars . His professional dance partner was Kym Johnson. On September 21, 2010, they were the first couple eliminated from the competition. Coincidentally, Hasselhoff competed against Brandy Norwood, who judged alongside him in the first season of America’s Got Talent. In October 2010, it was announced that he would be playing Captain Hook in the New Wimbledon Theatre production of the pantomime “Peter Pan” from December 2010 to January 2011. He has reprised his role of “Hoff the Hook” for 2012 at the Opera House, Manchester.
In 2011, he was a guest judge at the Belgian Idols competition. Hasselhoff became a judge on Britain’s Got Talent in 2011 alongside Amanda Holden, Michael McIntyre and Simon Cowell. However, Hasselhoff was axed after only one series on the show. In 2011, he relived his music career with a short tour across Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In the same year, Hasselhoff is featured in the trailer of the spin-off downloadable game, Burnout Crash!. On October 1, 2011, David Hasselhoff attended Knightcon 2011 at Xscape, Castleford, UK, with girlfriend Hayley Roberts. The event was also attended by former Knight Rider cohorts Rebecca Holden (April Curtis in Season 2) and Peter Parros (Reginald Cornilius III (RC3) in Season 4) and Michael Scheffe, the designer of KITT. In 2012, he was a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice Australia . He appeared on ‘8 out of 10 Cats’ on May 11, 2012, and entertained the audience by using the word ‘willy’.
On February 24 2014 he opened his own 10-week talkshow in Sweden on TV3, in English.
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” e-mail 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 with journalist Irina Slutsky promoting social networking venture HoffSpace.
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.
Comedy Central Roast
In 2010, Hasselhoff was the subject of a Comedy Central Roast hosted by Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy. He was also reunited with William Daniels, who returned to portray KITT and poke fun at Hasselhoff. Other roasters included his former Baywatch co-star Pamela Anderson and professional wrestler Hulk Hogan.
Hasselhoff and his daughters, Taylor-Ann and Hayley, starred in a reality series on A&E called The Hasselhoffs. The series launched on Sunday, December 5, 2010, and focused on Hasselhoff’s attempts to resuscitate his career and launch his daughters onto the Hollywood stage. On Friday, December 10, 2010, A&E confirmed in a statement that, after airing just two episodes, The Hasselhoffs had been canceled. According to Nielsen Co. ratings, the first episode was seen by 718,000 viewers. Viewers dropped to 505,000 for the second installment, which aired on the same evening. A&E stated that they planned on airing the other eight completed half-hour episodes at a later date, however that never took place. The full series aired in the United Kingdom on May 30, 2011 on The Biography Channel.
Hasselhoff’s autobiography Making Waves was released in the United Kingdom in September 2006. In an interview in April 2006, he promised the book would present the “last chapter” regarding controversial elements of his personal life.
Hasselhoff is a practicing Lutheran.
Hasselhoff was married to actress Catherine Hickland from March 24, 1984, to March 1, 1989. Their wedding was recreated in the 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. The couple had two daughters, Taylor Ann Hasselhoff born May 5, 1990, who attended the University of Arizona and actress Hayley Hasselhoff born August 28, 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. However, on March 9, 2006, Bach accused Hasselhoff of violent behavior towards her; his publicist stated that he denied the violence allegations. On June 15, 2007, Hasselhoff’s attorney Melvin Goldsman stated Hasselhoff was awarded primary physical custody and full legal custody of the two girls.
On June 30, 2006, Hasselhoff severed a tendon in his right arm while shaving in the bathroom of a gym in the Sanderson Hotel in London. The actor hit his head on a chandelier, which showered his arm with broken glass.
On May 3, 2009, Hasselhoff was rushed to the hospital. Radar Online attributed this to alcohol poisoning, reporting Hasselhoff’s blood alcohol content (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 Channel reported that he was again hospitalized for alcohol-related reasons; Hasselhoff’s representatives again denied the allegation.
On November 27, 2009, Radar Online reported that Hasselhoff was rushed to the hospital after suffering a seizure at home.
On May 26, 2010, he was once again rushed to hospital following a three-day drinking binge.
On May 3, 2007, a home video clip surfaced of Hasselhoff apparently in an alcoholic stupor. The video showed him shirtless and drunk, lying on the floor, trying to eat a cheeseburger in a Las Vegas 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 jeopardizing his spot on the Las Vegas production of The Producers. In the wake of the leaked clip, Hasselhoff issued a statement saying it was recorded by Taylor Ann so that he could see how he behaved while intoxicated and the footage 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 May 14, 2007, a news report questioned whether the video had impacted negatively on the sale of the UK broadband and hosting company Pipex, as a major advertising campaign in the UK for the company had featured Hasselhoff as “King of the Internet.”
The Hoff online casino on Facebook app
Hasselhoff stars in a casino-style game series online, produced in partnership with Eric Bischoff with Europe being among the first markets to roll out the game. In keeping with internet and online gambling culture in the UK, “The Hoff” series of games includes video slots and scratch-card type games, all played for real money in Europe’s online casino environment. The first in the series of games launched on Valentine’s Day in early March, 2013, with media and promotional activities commencing in early February.
Still the focus of major popularity across Europe, Hasselhoff had taken the sector on with an eye towards profit. This new game features the Hoff in the flesh, digitized via green screen.