Oct 11, 2012

David Soul


David Soul never quite made it as a teen idol.  Maybe because he wasn't visible enough.  He appeared on The Merv Griffin Show in 1966-67 wearing a mask (so people would like him for his music, not his face).


He appeared in a 1967 episode of Star Trek, but in alien makeup that made him unrecognizable.


He appeared on the beefcake-heavy Western Here Come the Brides (1968-70), but his star was almost completely overshadowed by Bobby Sherman.






But he did fine as an adult actor.  In Starsky and Hutch (1975-79), he played the shy, intellectual, gay-coded Detective Hutch to Paul-Michael Glaser's tough, streetwise Detective Starsky.








The duo was explicitly a romantic couple, not shy about displays of physical affection, openly stating that they loved each other.  Producer Aaron Spelling called it "tv's first heterosexual love affair."  And although they investigated the usual 1970s crimes involving strippers, call girls, and various women with large breasts, there were very few girlfriends introduced to distract them from their buddy-bonding.  
Of course, there was also lots of homophobia.  Gay-themed episodes of 1970s sitcoms usually involved a visiting high school buddy announcing that he's gay, but drama series always had a gay murder victim, and in order to investigate, the detectives had to enter  his sleazy underworld, full of pomaded misfits who simper and leer at each other.

During Starsky and Hutch, David found his singing career taking off.  His "Don't Give Up on Us" hit #1 on the charts in the U.S. and in Britain.  Unfortunately, his songs tended to be heterosexist.    In "Silver Lady," which hit #1 in Britain, he's a drifter until he finds salvation in the lady's arms.

He also found time to fall in love with Lance Kerwin in Salem's Lot (1979).

Currently a British citizen, David  does a lot of acting on stage and in film.  He is careful to point out that he is not gay in real life; however, he is a strong supporter of gay rights.