David Hasselhoff, a handsome blue-eyed Baltimore native, is one of the most recognized faces on television throughout the world. Named one of "TV's Ten Most Powerful Stars" by TV Guide, and "Most Watched TV Star" by the Guinness Book of World Records, he is also one of the busiest. Hasselhoff is not only the star and an executive producer of the hit syndicated series Baywatch, but is also a director, an accomplished singer, and popular international recording artist. Moreover, he has recently added 'Broadway star' to his long list of achievements.
Originally intending to start his professional life in musical theater, Hasselhoff instead seized an early opportunity to begin a successful career in television. He first came to the attention of the viewing public when he starred as "Dr. Snapper Foster" on CBS' soap opera Young and The Restless. During his six-year tenure, Hasselhoff became one of the most popular leading men on daytime television and earned a huge fan following, many of whom continue to identify him as "Snapper."
Lured by NBC's Brandon Tartikoff to move from daytime to prime time, Hasselhoff left the cast of The Young and The Restless and went on to star for four years as Michael Knight in NBC's Knight Rider. The role garnered him a "People's Choice Award" for most popular actor. Though production for Knight Rider ended in 1986, the show is still enjoying a national run in repeat airings on the USA Network and has been in strip syndication in more than 100 U.S. markets since the late 1980's. In addition to the show's popularity in America, Knight Rider is a smash overseas (where it continues to run in some 82 plus countries) resulting in Hasselhoff's first major international fan following.
The success of Knight Rider laid the groundwork for Hasselhoff's next foray into episodic television - -Baywatch - - the hour long drama series, which debuted on NBC in 1989, focuses on the adventures of Los Angeles County Lifeguards. Though it enjoyed strong ratings, the network canceled the series after only one season. Undeterred, Hasselhoff and his partners acquired the rights to the show and based on Hasselhoff's popularity overseas, they secured financing and brought Baywatch back to life in 1991. Baywatch, which has served as a model for independent syndication, has become a piece of American pop culture as well as an international phenomenon. In addition to his acting and executive producing duties, Hasselhoff recently tackled the challenge of directing. His first directorial effort "Come Fly with Me," earned the show's highest ratings of the season. Currently in its eleventh year of production, the show enjoys continued success as Baywatch Hawaii.
During his career, Hasselhoff has flexed his acting muscles in numerous other television projects. Hasselhoff's most recent role as a fireman in Orly Adelson's movie of the week, One True Love aired on CBS, October 25, 2000. In 1998, he portrayed Marvel Comics' legendary hero Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Previously, Mace Neufeld and Robert Rehme, producers of the feature films "Clear and Present Danger" and "Patriot Games," hired Hasselhoff to star as the hero of Gridlock (1996), an action-packed made for television movie. Before this, Hasselhoff switched gears to play an evil jewel thief opposite Michael Gross in the Fox movie-of-the-week, Avalanche (1994). Other successful television performances include Knight Rider 2000, The Cartier Affair with Joan Collins, Terror on London Bridge and The Ring of the Musketeers.
Despite his enormous success in television, Hasselhoff's childhood dream of a recording career had, by the late 1980's, yet to be fulfilled. However, that all changed when he recorded "Looking for Freedom," just at the end of the Cold War. The song quickly became an anthem for the German people and it raced to the number one spot on the German charts where it remained for eight consecutive weeks in 1989.
The album, Looking for Freedom, hit the top of the German charts as well, staying there for three months. It went gold and triple platinum in Europe while on its way to becoming Germany's number one selling album of the year. Hasselhoff was named "Most Popular and Best Selling Artist of the Year" in Germany. This honor was followed up by a twenty-city standing room only tour, with Hasselhoff playing to well over 250,000 adoring European fans.
The most thrilling performance of his singing career, however, came when Hasselhoff was invited to perform, "Looking For Freedom," live on top of the Berlin Wall on New Year's Eve, 1989. "It was the first time Germany had been unified, and close to a million East and West German fans stood together in the freezing cold at midnight watching me perform. I was overcome with emotion," said Hasselhoff.
He has toured on two more occasions, in 1992 and 1994, and has since released six more albums in Europe and one in the United States. Currently, Hasselhoff is recording an album to be released in 2001. He is especially excited about this project as it marks the first time he will be singing in Spanish.
In October 2000, Hasselhoff conquered another childhood dream, as he took on the starring role in Jekyll & Hyde on Broadway.
In addition to his time on the set and in the recording studio, Hasselhoff is active with the Starlight Children's Foundation and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He is also a key participant in "Camp Baywatch," which helps disadvantaged youth in Los Angeles.
David Hasselhoff is a multi-faceted entertainer who enjoys his fast-paced work schedule and the constant challenge of new projects. His favorite roles, however, continue to be as husband to actress Pamela Bach and as father to their daughters, Taylor-Ann and Hayley. When their hectic schedules permit the Hasselhoffs enjoy escaping on fun, romantic, exotic vacations, such as their recent trips to Kenya, Micronesia and Italy.