Starsky and Hutch was a classic 1970s series that not only permeated the world of pop culture in that decade, but it has also had a fair amount of staying power over the years. Passion for the show and the fun world it inhabited was reignited in 2004 with the movie adaptation starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. And with a TV reboot on the way, we’re sure to be talking a lot more about this fun and action packed show for a while. In this video, we’re taking a look at the main cast of the original Starsky and Hutch, to find out what they’ve been up to since the show ended in the ‘70s, and what they’re doing these days. So stay tuned, as Facts Verse presents: Starsky and Hutch Cast Then and Now (1975 to 2023.)
The Original Series
Starsky and Hutch followed the stories of two detectives living in a fictional city in Southern California called Bay City. The two worked together to solve crimes in the city, often clashing with, but respecting their police caption, Harold Dobey. Dobey, portrayed by Bernie Hamilton, was a classic TV police captain who insisted on doing things by the books, and would often get frustrated at the antics and style of Starsky and Hutch. The other primary role we consistently saw was Huggy Bear, an informant they utilized to help them get the low down on what types of crimes were going down on the streets of Bay City.
The show had many stylistic choices it was known for, perhaps most notable being the red Ford Gran Torino that the duo cruised around in. It was also an important show in terms of the way it looked at male partnerships and personalities. Starsky and Hutch, while being macho detectives, were, at the same time, very affectionate and caring towards each other. This was certainly ahead of its time, and played against the stereotypical tropes of machismo and toxic masculinity. It also potentially led to the show’s downfall, as it was the precursor to lessening the amount of violence on the show. And perhaps while this had good intent, fans still wanted a show about police detectives to be fairly straight ahead with its depictions of violence and action.
Paul Michael Glaser – Starsky
Paul Michael Glaser was a working actor when he was cast in the role of David Starsky, but it was certainly the role that turned him into a star. Prior to it, he’d been cast in a variety of TV shows, stage productions, and movies. Notably, he played Perchik in the film adaptation of the classic musical “Fiddler on the Roof.” He also had parts in shows like Kojack, The Rockford Files, and The Waltons. But when Starsky and Hutch started to take off, he became a household name. Glaser had a complex relationship to the show and to his newfound stardom.
He loved getting steady work, and feeling like his career was continuing on the path upwards to stardom. But at the same time, he wasn’t super comfortable with some of the more invasive aspects of becoming a famous celebrity. He also wasn’t particularly fond of his role, and he began to make it clear before too long that he wanted to get out of his contract. Though the show did afford him the opportunity to try his hand at directing. He directed five episodes during its run, and that’s something he was able to continue pursuing after the show was cancelled.
The Running Man
Among his directing work was the movie The Running Man, which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was a sci-fi action movie that has developed a cult following over the years. He also directed some other somewhat popular flicks like The Cutting Edge, and Shaquille O’Neal’s Kazaam. Plus, he continued to direct TV episodes, trying his hand in series such as Judging Amy and Las Vegas. He has continued to act as well. In recent years he’s been seen gracing the screen in popular shows like Ray Donovan and Grace and Frankie.
Glaser had also expanded his artistic ventures over the years, adding works of art to his body of work. He had a solo exhibition of his art in 2018, and continues to sell his stuff online on his website and via Instagram.
Sadly, Glaser has also had his share of tragedies over the years. In 1980, his wife, Elizabeth received a blood transfusion while giving birth to their daughter, Ariel. Tragically, both mother and daughter ended up contracting HIV from the transfusion. Both of them lost their life to the disease, which was of course a traumatic and horrible time in Glaser’s life as well. Before dying, Elizabeth had actually become friendly with Princess Diana, who was a well known advocate for people with HIV and AIDS.
Eventually Glaser did remarry. He married Tracy Barone, and the pair had a daughter together. Sadly, their union only lasted until a 2007 divorce.
David Soul – Hutch
Like Paul Michael Glaser, David Soul was a working actor before joining the cast of Starsky And Hutch. And similar to Glaser, his role in Starsky and Hutch was the one that catapulted him to stardom. He had been on a handful of great TV shows ranging from sitcoms like I Dream of Jeannie and All In the Family, to sci-fi shows like Star Trek, to a starring turn on the short lived Western series “Here Come the Brides.”
Once Starsky and Hutch became a hit, Soul found himself a household name as well. He matched his costar’s decision to also direct some episodes of the show. That continued after the show ended, with directing credits including shows like Miami Vice and China Beach. Like Glaser, his acting work also continued through the years. One of the biggest of his post Hutch roles was as David Mears in the mini-series, Salem’s Lot. It was a horror series based on the novel from Steven King. In it, Soul played a man who comes back to his hometown after being away for a while. He’s surprised and horrified to find out that the town now consists completely of vampires. It was a far cry from his role as a police detective, but Soul shined in it.
Soul had a simultaneous career going on with his acting and directing, and that was in music. Prior to landing the tole of Hutch, he’d spent time on the Merv Griffin show as the “Masked Musician”, where he’d play the guitar and sing with his face covered up. In 1976, in the middle of Starsky and Hutch’s run, Soul released a solo album. On it was the song, “Don’t Give Up on Us” which ended up being a massive hit. The song went to number one on the Billboard charts in the US, as well as on many other countries around the world. He even ended up performing the song in 1977 for the 25th Jubilee celebration of Queen Elizabeth.
Soul released four more albums, touring to support them, and in 2020 put out a ‘best of’ album as well.
In addition to artistic endeavors, he has spent his time advocating for causes close to his heart. These include things like Native American land rights and water quality. He’s been involved in producing documentaries on these issues as well.
Now in his late 70’s, Soul was last seen on screen in the movie Filth, which starred James McAvoy. In it, he even sings a song of his – Silver Lady – in a scene featuring some car karaoke.
These days Soul lives in London with his wife, Helen Snell. He was in an assortment of marriages over the years, with six kids in total. He has also come a long way from his troubled past. In the 1980’s he ended up serving time in prison after he domestically abused his third wife.
Bernie Hamilton – Captain Dobey
Bernie Hamilton won praise for his stellar work on Starsky and Hutch, in particular for not falling into some of the stereotypes that were expected at the time for black actors. This was something he’d made a career out of already, having played Jackie Robinson in “The Jackie Robinson Story” as well as a role in One Potato, Two Potato, which was groundbreaking in that it had Hamilton playing a black man with a white wife.
The producers of Starsky and Hutch were so enamored of his prior work that they offered him the part of Captain Dobey without an audition process. But after the show ended, he soon shifted away from acting. His final role was in a 1985 episode of The Love Boat. Like David Soul, Bernie had a love for music, and made a career shift to that industry. He founded a record label which he called Chocolate Snowman. The label put out gospel and soul records, and occasionally Bernie would produce and sing on albums as well. He occasionally worked with his brother, the talented jazz drummer, Chico Hamilton. Sadly Bernie died in 2008 from cardiac arrest.
Antonio Fargas – Huggy Bear
Antonio Fargas was a staple of early blaxploitation films, appearing in famous titles like Cleopatra Jones, Foxy Brown, and Shaft. On the back of these roles, he scored the part of Huggy Bear. He quickly became a fan favorite, and was able to parlay his success on Starsky and Hutch into many years of solid acting work. He’s been able to work in a variety of genres, from a long stint on soap opera All My Children, to work on action shows like Charlie’s Angels and MacGyver, to comedic parts on shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Living Single. More recently he was a series regular on the popular Everybody Hates Chris. It was announced in late 2022 that he’d be in the cast of Murder City, a new show on Tubi.
Fargas has four kids from two different marriages. One of his kids is Justin Fargas, who had a successful career as a player in the NFL.
Now it’s time to hear from you. Who was your favorite character from Starsky and Hutch? Let us know in the comments section below!