What happened to Starsky? How Paul Michael Glaser suffered double tragedy when HIV killed seven-year-old daughter and wife who was given infected blood during childbirth – pays tribute to on-screen partner David «Hutch» Soule

The death of his on-screen partner David Soul is the latest tragedy to happen in the life of Paul Michael Glaser.

Glaser, 80, played Detective Dave Starsky opposite Soul Detective Ken ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson in the 1970s hit TV series Starsky & Hutch.

The duo are known for cruising the streets of California in their distinctive red and white Ford Torino, looking infinitely cool despite their penchant for belted cardis.

But Glaser’s off-screen life was full of suffering and heartbreak. The actor-director lost his seven-year-old daughter, Ariel, and his beloved wife, Elizabeth, to HIV, contracted through a blood transfusion after Ariel’s birth.

He eventually remarried, but split from his second wife Tracy Barone in 2007, ending their 10-year union due to «irreconcilable differences».

Glaser also spent many years «fearing for his safety» after being stalked by an obsessed fan he found «lurking» in his Los Angeles apartment. He claims the woman even followed him to the UK when he starred in Peter Pan.

Paul Michael Glaser, 80, played Detective Dave Starsky alongside Seoul Detective Ken ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson in the 1970s hit TV series Starsky & Hutch. They are in the photo together

Paul Glaser lost his seven-year-old daughter, Ariel, and his beloved wife, Elizabeth, to HIV, contracted during a blood transfusion after Ariel’s birth. He is pictured with Elizabeth and their toddler daughter

Glaser eventually remarried, but split from his second wife, Tracy Barone, in 2007, ending their 10-year union due to «irreconcilable differences». He and Tracy are pictured together in 1997

Glaser and Elizabeth welcomed their first child, daughter Ariel, in August 1981.

Elizabeth bled during childbirth and received a transfusion of seven pints of blood, which was not screened for AIDS at the time.

About four years later, concerned about their daughter’s persistent and severe stomach pains, the couple took Ariel to the doctor. She tested positive for HIV.

It turns out that Elizabeth contracted HIV from a blood transfusion and, unaware that she was carrying the virus, began breastfeeding Ariel, passing the virus to her daughter.

Three years later, still unaware that Elizabeth was HIV positive, the Glasers gave birth to a son, Jake, who was also infected with HIV in utero. Paul was the only one who tested negative.

In 1988, at the age of seven years and one week, Ariel died. Elizabeth also died of HIV in 1994 at the age of 47 – although not before vigorously campaigning for further research into the virus.

Jake survived and was previously reported to be taking medication to combat the effects of the virus.

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He continued to advocate for his mother through the Pediatric Aids Foundation and revealed in 2021 that he experienced survivor’s guilt as a teenager.

«I hated my mom and my sister for what I saw as abandonment,» he told People Magazine. ‘And I beat myself up thinking, «Why couldn’t I save them?»

Glaser also experienced guilt, bitterness, and grief over the deaths of Elizabeth and Ariel. He told The Daily Mail 11 years ago: “I started with a huge amount of anger and rage directed mainly at myself because I wasn’t able to do anything about it all. And guilt too.

“But going through the experience of losing my wife and daughter meant that I was probably more open to knowing helplessness, fear and where we are in this life.

«I’m a completely different person now than I would have been if none of this had happened, so I consider myself very lucky to have been able to learn these things and end up in a place I never would have imagined.»

In 1996, he married his second wife, film producer Tracy Barone. The couple had one daughter together, Zoe.

The couple divorced in 2007, with Glaser citing «irreconcilable differences» in court documents filed in Los Angeles as the reason for ending their marriage.

Glaser and Elizabeth’s son, Jake, was infected with HIV in the womb. Paul Michael Glaser and Jake Glaser are pictured together

Glaser rose to fame as Detective Dave Starsky on the cop series, which ran from 1975 to 1979. The duo are pictured together

Shortly before she died, Elizabeth wrote a moving book called In the Absence Of Angels, in which she noted that after the diagnosis, which the Glasers had kept secret for a long time, «we still seemed to many to be the perfect family.»

«Privately, after the diagnosis, I said, ‘Why me?’ Why me? «Why me?» Glaser admitted in 2013, «but the only answer to that question is, ‘Well, why not me?’

«In my darkest moments (after Ariel and Elizabeth’s deaths), I probably thought about ending it,» he admits, «but I never had…» he trails off. «It never made sense. How do you do something like that?

So it never occurred to me. But over time I discovered that we are all powerless in the face of our mortality.

«We try all these illusions of empowerment: ‘I built this… I own this… I can buy this…'» but there is an ugly truth that we have no power over our own mortality, or anyone else’s, and that is our only real fear.

“I still get furious or angry or hurt or sad or depressed, but now it takes me a lot less time to deal with it. So I consider myself extremely lucky because I have a much greater measure of peace than I could have ever imagined.”

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In the mid-1980s, a climate of AIDS fear prevailed. Elizabeth wrote movingly about how some schools would not accept their children, and how some school friends were not even allowed to come to the Glaser house to play.

Undaunted, she founded the Pediatric AIDS Foundation to help further research into the virus and even lobbied Congress for more funding.

When Princess Diana heard of the Glasers’ plight, she contacted Elizabeth and later admitted that Elizabeth’s courage in the face of adversity helped inspire her own work for AIDS charities in Britain.

Glaser, now an abstract artist, is the honorary chairman of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. The charity was named in honor of his wife and daughter.

The actor was also forced to ask a Los Angeles judge to issue a restraining order against the woman who ran his official website in 2011.

Glaser filed for a restraining order to protect himself from the unnamed woman, who he claims is «lurking» in his apartment.

He claimed she followed him to the UK when he starred in Peter Pan in 2007 and attended panto 23 times.

The actor also claimed that she sent him over 500 emails over two years. In the stream of emails, the woman displayed «both a rational and a very irrational side,» according to the documents.

Glaser said at the time, «I fear for my safety.»

Soul as Detective Ken ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson alongside Detective Paul Michael Glaser Dave Starsky

In 2017, Glaser was seen pushing his old colleague David Soul in a wheelchair at Liverpool Comic Con.

Glaser rose to fame as Detective Dave Starsky on the cop series that ran from 1975 to 1979.

Soul co-star David Soul, who achieved cult status for his role on the show before hitting the top of the charts with the hit ‘Don’t Give Up On Us’, has died aged 80 today.

His heartbroken wife Helen Snell said the British-American star died surrounded by his family after a «brave battle for life».

In a statement, she said: “David Soul – a beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother – passed away yesterday after a brave fight for his life in the loving company of his family.

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

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Soul played Detective Ken ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson alongside Glaser’s Detective Dave Starsky. The pair have remained friends and in 2017 Glaser was seen pushing his old colleague in a wheelchair at Liverpool Comic Con.

Soul married five times and left behind five sons and a daughter. First, he married an actress Mirriam ‘Mim’ Solberg in 1964, but that only lasted a year.

Other unions followed Karen Carlson, whom he met on the set of the television series Here Comes the Brides; Patti Carnel Sherman, ex-wife of 1960s pop idol Bobby Sherman; and actress Julia NIckson.

Soul described how he «fell in love» with Britain after spending time working there and living in Maida Vale for many years – becoming a devoted Arsenal fan. He obtained citizenship in 2004. In 2002, he met Helen Snell, a PR manager, in a production of Deathtrap and they married in 2010.

David Soul has died at the age of 80, his wife Helen Snell announced in a heartfelt statement this afternoon

David Soul as Hutch along with Paul Michael Glaser as Starsky in the third season of Starsky and Hutch

Soul met Helen Snell, a PR manager, in 2002 at a stage production of Deathtrap and they married in 2010. They are seen together in London in 2015

Soul became an international star and pin-up thanks to Starsky and Hutch during the show’s four-year run from 1975 to 1979.

He had a cameo in the 2004 feature film remake starring Ben Stiller as Starsky and Owen Wilson as Hutch, which introduced the legendary characters to another younger generation.

The original series ran for four seasons on ABC from 1975 to 1979 and followed the title characters, detectives who fought crime on the streets of fictional Bay City, California in a bright red Gran Torino, with Antonio Fargas playing their informant, Huggy Bear.

Soul also enjoyed a brief pop career, scoring a number one hit in the US and UK in 1976 with the catchy ballad Don’t Give Up On Us Baby.

More chart-toppers would follow in 1977 with the singles Going In With My Eyes Open and Silver Lady, but Soul’s foray as a singer ended 12 months later with the release of It Sure Brings Out The Love In Your Eyes – his fifth and final. single.

Other memorable film roles included a vigilante cop in the Dirty Harry sequel The Enforcer and the lead role of nostalgic writer Ben Mears in the 1979 adaptation of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot.

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