Charts & Graphs

Decline and Fall

David Hasselhoff works hard for the money.

David Hasselhoff
c. 1959 Inspired to act after seeing local performance of Rumpelstiltskin
c. 1970 Studies at the Academy of Dramatic Arts, Pontiac, MI
1975 Cast as Dr. William “Snapper” Foster on The Young and the Restless
c. 1980 Highest-paid actor on a CBS soap opera
1982 Lands lead role in Knight Rider, the story of Michael Knight, an ex-cop who fights crime with the help of his talking car
1985 Releases first album, Night Rocker, which goes to No. 1 in Austria but fails to chart in the U.S.
1989 Lands role of Mitch Buchannon on beach-rescue drama Baywatch, but the show is cancelled after a season; plays New Year’s Eve concert atop rubble of the Berlin Wall, dressed in a light-up jacket and singing his hit “Looking for Freedom”
1991 Baywatch resurrected in syndication with Hasselhoff as part owner (the series continues for ten seasons); dangers encountered at the beach include shark attacks, jewel thieves, and ecoterrorism
1995 Stars in Baywatch spinoff Baywatch Nights, a detective show that morphs into a sci-fi drama in an effort to ameliorate poor first-season ratings
1996 Given star on Hollywood Walk of Fame; Baywatch wins Guinness World Record for “Largest TV Audience—Series” for more than 1.1 billion viewers in 142 countries (the record still stands)
1999 Releases Hooked on a Feeling; the video for the title track features Hasselhoff in front of a blue screen jumping with natives, flying off a motorcycle, snowboarding in an Inuit outfit, and biting into a whole raw fish
2000 Leaves Baywatch at end of season 10, his character presumed dead; debuts on Broadway, playing lead role in final run of Jekyll & Hyde—the show closes at a loss of more than $1.5 million
2005 Named “International Star of the Year” at Bollywood Movie Awards in Atlantic City
2006 Takes judge’s seat in America’s Got Talent; remake of “Jump in My Car” reaches number 3 on the UK charts
2010 Briefly reprises role of “Snapper” Foster on The Young and the Restless; roasted on Comedy Central; first contestant voted off Dancing with the Stars