Paul Michael Glaser is an American actor and director who gained fame in the 1970s for his role as Detective David Starsky in the popular TV series “Starsky & Hutch”. Despite the show’s success, Glaser famously attempted to quit the series during its run.
Born on March 25, 1943, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Glaser grew up in a Jewish family and attended Tulane University before transferring to Boston University to study acting. After graduation, he moved to New York City to pursue his career, and his big break came in 1975 when he was cast as Detective David Starsky in “Starsky & Hutch”.
The show followed the adventures of two streetwise detectives in California who solved crimes with their trusty Ford Gran Torino. Glaser’s performance as the intense and brooding Starsky quickly made him a fan favorite, and the show became a cultural phenomenon.
However, despite the show’s popularity, Glaser became increasingly frustrated with the role and the show’s formulaic nature. He wanted to explore other opportunities and feared being typecast as Starsky for the rest of his career. In 1978, he announced his intention to leave the show.
Glaser’s decision to quit caused a rift between him and his co-star, David Soul, who was reportedly disappointed and angry about the news. However, Glaser ultimately decided to finish out the season and fulfill his contractual obligations.
After “Starsky & Hutch”, Glaser continued to work in the entertainment industry as an actor and director. He appeared in a number of TV shows and movies, including “The Running Man” and “Something’s Gotta Give”. He also directed episodes of popular TV shows like “Miami Vice” and “Judging Amy”.
In addition to his acting and directing work, Glaser has also been involved in humanitarian efforts. He became an advocate for HIV/AIDS research and education after his wife, Elizabeth, died from complications related to AIDS in 1981. He also worked as a director for the Children’s AIDS Fund, an organization that provides care and support to children with AIDS and their families.
As of 2023, Glaser is the last surviving member of the main cast of “Starsky & Hutch”. His co-stars, David Soul and Bernie Hamilton, both passed away in recent years. Despite his initial desire to leave the show, Glaser has spoken fondly of his time on “Starsky & Hutch” and the impact it had on his career. He remains a beloved figure in the entertainment industry and beyond.