David Hasselhoff was born in Baltimore, Maryland. David used go out for school plays as a shy and awkward teen. What can you say about the big guy! David's big break came when he was cast as 'Dr. Snapper Foster' the daytime Soap 'The Young & The Restless' (CBS). Portraying the character for six years had earned him a huge following with fans.
David was lured by NBC's Brandon Tartikoff to make the move from daytime television to prime time. David left the cast and security of 'The Young & The Restless' to star as 'Michael Knight' in NBC's hit series 'Knight Rider.' The role garnered him a 'People's Choice Award' for 'Most Popular Actor.' The production for 'Knight Rider' ended in 1986. The show is still shown in reruns on 'USA Network' and has been in syndication in more than 100 U.S. markets since the late 1980s. It is popular overseas (It is shown in more than 82 countries) resulting in David's first major international fan following.
The success of 'Knight Rider' paved the way for David's next TV project. 'Baywatch,' the hour-long drama series focused on the adventures of the Los Angeles County Lifeguards, debuted on NBC in 1989. It was cancelled after one season. Not wanting to cancel 'Baywatch,' David and his partners acquired the rights to the show and, based on his popularity overseas, they were able to secure financing. The show was now a syndicated one.
In 'Baywatch's' eighth season, David's character Lifeguard Mitch Buchannon was promoted from Lieutenant to Captain. 'Baywatch' is seen in 140 countries by over one billion viewers each week (as estimated by 'The Guinness Book of World Records'). The show's overwhelming international popularity led 'Entertainment Weekly' to proclaim that 'Baywatch' as 'The Most Popular Television Series in the History of the Planet' in an October 1993 cover story.
David is one of the most recognizable faces on television throughout the world. TV Guide has named him as one of 'TV's Ten Most Powerful Stars.' David is also one of the busiest stars around. He is a singer and popular recording artist.
'Baywatch Nights' was produced as a 'Baywatch' spin-off series. David was also an executive producer here. His character Mitch wanted the adventure of a private investigator. In the first season (1995-1996), he went into business with 'Baywatch' buddy Garner Ellerbee (GregAlan Williams) and a lawyer named Ryan McBride (Angie Harmon). 'Nights' premiered in the U.S. in September 1995. In the second season (1996-1997), the show had changed greatly, taking on more of an 'Ex-Files' supernatural type format. Garner was gone with no explanation and Ryan was now suddenly a scientist. The show was not like 'Baywatch' at all. It was unseemly that Mitch Buchannon would be fighting forces like vampires, telepathy and evil possessive spirits. The fans did not accept this, and the show was cancelled after its second season. David later admitted that it was a mistake to do two shows at the same time.
While the second season of 'Nights' was in production, 'Baywatch' had suffered greatly in script quality and new underdeveloped characters. But after 'Nights' was cancelled, the attention was placed back where it belonged, on 'Baywatch.' The writers, directors and executive producers must all be commended for the quick turnaround in quality for the show in time for its 8th season (1997-1998). The show shines once more.
David's other credits include his role as an evil jewel thief opposite Michael Gross in the TV Movie-of-the-Week, 'Avalanche' (1994/FOX). He has also starred in 'The Cartier Affair' with Joan Collins, 'Terror on London Bridge' and 'The Ring of the Musketeers.'
Other television performances include David's reprisal of the role of 'Michael Knight' in NBC's highly rated Movie-of-the-Week, 'Knight Rider 2000.' David appeared NBC's 'Perry Mason: The Case of the Lady in the Lake.' The show ranked number one in the ratings for that week, and was the network's highest rated 'MOW' for 1989. He has appeared on Oprah where she did a show on 'Baywatch' before it began its 7th season. He gave her an interview along with those of Pamela Lee (when her baby was a newborn), and Jeremy Jackson's.
David spends many hours visiting children's hospitals throughout the world. David founded the charity, 'Race for Life,' which works with terminally ill and handicapped children in Indianapolis. He is also plays a key role in 'Camp Baywatch,' which helps disadvantaged youth in Los Angeles. In addition, he is active with the 'Starlight Foundation' and the 'Make-A-Wish Foundation.' David has said, 'God has given me so much, I have to give back.'
David finished 1996 by acting as the Grand Marshal of the 'Hollywood Christmas Parade.' In November of 1997, when he finished his eighth season of 'Baywatch,' David will traveled to the Philippines to star in the feature film, 'Legacy,' for Quantum Entertainment. David is scheduled to appear as Marvel Comics' legendary hero, 'Nick Fury' in a TV movie on FOX early in 1998.
Despite his enormous success as an actor, David's childhood dream of being a pop singing star had, by the late 1980s, was not yet fulfilled. However, when he crossed paths with noted German record producer, Jack White, his dream soon became a reality. The timing of the release of the single, 'Looking for Freedom,' came as the end of the Cold War was to hit central Europe simultaneously. The song quickly became an anthem for the German people. The single 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 (Madonna's album was runner-up). David was named 'Most Popular and Best Selling Artist of the Year' in Germany. This honor was followed up by a 20 city standing-room-only tour, with David playing to well that two German newspapers ran front page banner headlines screaming 'Hasselhoff, Not Since Elvis!' and 'Hasselhoff, Not Since The Beatles!' He has toured on two more occasions-in 1992 and 1994, and has since released six more albums in Europe including 'You Are Everything,' produced by Grammy-winning engineer/producer, Bruce Swedien.
The most thrilling performance of his entire career, however, came when David was invited to perform 'Looking for Freedom' live on top of the Berlin Wall, 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 David.
A superstar in Europe, David is now bringing his music home to the U.S. His latest album, 'David Hasselhoff,' was recently released in the United States, and he premiered the album's single, 'Fallin' in Love' during a live performance on 'The Tonight Show' (NBC). During the Fall of 1996, while production for 'Baywatch' was in full swing, he took to the road on weekends and completed a hectic tour schedule, performing at several state fairs across the country.
In November, David traveled to Taipei and gave a live performance at 'The Hard Rock Cafe.' His performance was be broadcast on the 'Star Network' which carries programming throughout Asia, India and the Middle East to approximately 220 million viewers.
When he is not working, David relaxes at home with his wife, actress Pamela Bach Hasselhoff and their precious daughters, Taylor-Ann and Hayley Amber. When their hectic schedule permits, the Hasselhoffs enjoy escaping on romantic, exotic vacations.
David hopes that one day that he will be able to return early acting roots by performing in musical theater.