David Soul - one half of the iconic TV cop duo Starsky & Hutch - has died aged 80, his wife Helen Snell announced.

The US-born actor, who more recntly lived in the UK, best known for his role as Detective Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson in the classic crime-solving series Starsky & Hutch, died on Thursday surrounded by his family.

Ms Snell said in a statement: “David Soul – beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother – died yesterday after a valiant battle for life in the loving company of family.

“He shared many extraordinary gifts in the world as actor, singer, storyteller, creative artist and dear friend. His smile, laughter and passion for life will be remembered by the many whose lives he has touched.”

Soul, who starred opposite Paul Michael Glaser as Detective Dave Starsky in the 1970s US TV series, was also known for his roles in Here Come The Brides, Magnum Force and The Yellow Rose.

He and Glaser reprised their roles in the 2004 remake Starsky & Hutch, starring Ben Stiller as Starsky and Owen Wilson as Hutch.

Born in Chicago on August 28 1943 as David Solberg, he spent his childhood between South Dakota and post-Second World War Berlin.

His father Dr Richard Solberg, a professor of history and political science and an ordained minister, moved them to Berlin where he was a religious affairs adviser to the US high commission.

Starting out as a musician, he sang on The Merv Griffin show and appeared in 1960s’ dolphin series Flipper.

He acted in Star Trek, Here Come The Brides, Perry Mason and Johnny Got His Gun, throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

In 1973, Soul got his break as officer John Davis in Clint Eastwood’s police yarn Magnum Force, the sequel to Dirty Harry, which led to a part in Starsky & Hutch from 1974 to 1979.

After he left Starsky & Hutch he starred in another cult hit - Tobe Hooper's version of Salem's Lot. Soul played writer Ben Mears who uncovers a vampire hiding in the small town of Jerusalem's Lot.

At the height of his fame he released the UK chart-toppers Don’t Give Up On Us and Silver Lady, and the hits Going In With My Eyes Open and Let’s Have A Quiet Night In.

In later years he settled in the UK and became a familiar face appearing in various stage productions and even panto.

He played Bradford at the height of his pop fame and returned in 2002 to star in Death Trap at the Alhambra.

  • Read more about his  time on stage here