David Hasselhoff has become one of the most recognizable faces on television and throughout the world. Aside from starring in Knight Rider (1982) and Baywatch (1989), he is also an accomplished singer and popular recording artist.
David Michael Hasselhoff was born on July 17, 1952 in Baltimore, Maryland, to Dolores Therese (Mullinex) and Joe Hasselhoff (Joseph Vincent Hasselhoff), a business executive. He is of German (from his paternal grandfather), English, and Irish descent. The acting bug first hit when David was seven and so he took acting, singing and dancing lessons. He was very shy off stage in front of girls because he was tall and thin, but when he was on stage he was in his element. Due to his father's work, his family (he has four sisters) moved around frequently. He initially thought his career was going to go in the direction of musicals and Broadway.
American audiences first came to know Hasselhoff when he portrayed the popular "Dr. Snapper Foster" for six seasons on CBS's soap opera, The Young and the Restless (1973). Lured by NBC's Brandon Tartikoff to move from daytime to prime time, Hasselhoff went on to star as "Michael Knight" in NBC's hit series Knight Rider (1982). The role garnered him a "People's Choice Award" for most popular actor and the show became a huge success overseas. The success of Knight Rider (1982) resulted in Hasselhoff's first major international following. When the show ended, Hasselhoff launched a successful recording career in Europe. In 1989, "Looking for Freedom" remained in the number one spot on the German charts for eight consecutive weeks. He has continued to perform regularly in concert and has released nine albums to date.
Hasselhoff returned to episodic television as Mitch Buchannon on Baywatch (1989) when the show debuted on NBC in 1989. Though it enjoyed good 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 were able to secure financing and revive "Baywatch" in 1991. Now a piece of American pop culture and an international television phenomenon, Baywatch (1989) was at its peak seen in 140 countries by over one billion viewers each week. During his lengthy career, Hasselhoff has flexed his acting muscles in numerous other projects. He starred in the epic miniseries Shaka Zulu (1986), shot on-location in Morocco.
Hasselhoff is an outdoor sports enthusiast whose interests include scuba diving, hiking, white water rafting, tennis, and jogging. In addition, he has parachuted with the US Army Parachute Demonstration Team, The Golden Knights, and flown with the US Navy's Blue Angels. He is an avid sports fan, and has attended the World Cup Soccer Finals, the NBA Finals, the Olympics, the Indy 500, and the Kentucky Derby. Hasselhoff has traveled throughout Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean. He spends many hours visiting children's hospitals throughout the world. His charity, "Race For Life", works with the terminally ill and handicapped children in America.
He was married to the beautiful actress Pamela Bach-Hasselhoff, with whom he has two daughters, Taylor-Ann and Hayley Amber.