David Hasselhoff starring in 'Peter Pan' in UK, visits children's hospital before Christmas
David Hasselhoff of "Baywatch" and "Knight Rider" fame is spending the holiday season in England, where he is starring in a stage musical of "Peter Pan," playing Captain "Hoff the Hook."
And it isn't his first time, either. The 60-year-old American actor has performed the part in various UK productions since the 2010 holiday season. He began starring in "Peter Pan" the musical comedy, referred to locally as a pantomime, at the Manchester Opera House earlier this month and will end his run on January 13, according to the official website.
"I'm David Hasselhoff and I'm playing Hoff the Hook in 'Peter Pan,'" he says in a promotional video, which shows him pulling up in a car similar to the artificially intelligent 1982 Pontiac Trans Am known as KITT, his trusty partner from the 1980s series "Knight Rider."
In the clip, Hasselhoff wears a traditional Captain Hook costume, complete with a dark, long, curly wig and mustache and a silver hook on his left hand.
"With Tam Ryan as Smee and Amy Bird as Peter Pan, it's the most Hoff-tastic panto in town!" he says. "Don't hold off getting your tickets -- it's going to be Hoff-crazy, Hoff the charts, we're going to Hoff-inity and behond! So you'd better be quick, Hoff the mark. I'm Hoff now -- take KITT for some Hoff-roading. KITT, it's Hoff to Neverland!"
The actor had actually made his theatrical debut in a "Peter Pan" play. He was 7 at the time.
Hasselhoff made his Broadway debut in the musical "Jekyll and Hyde" in 2000 and played the dual title role of Dr. Henry Jekyll and his killer alter ego Mr. Edward Hyde in the production until 2001. In 2004, he made his debut in a musical in the West End, London's theatre district, playing Billy Flynn in "Chicago." He later starred for several months in a Las Vegas production of "The Producers," playing cross-dressing director Roger DeBris.
He left in May 2007, a year after undergoing a divorce. His rep said at the time it was due to the actor's work schedule -- he was also serving as a judge on "America's Got Talent."
That month, a video of Hasselhoff appearing shirtless and drunk and trying to eat a hamburger off the floor surfaced online and went viral. It was filmed by one of his two daughters, who pleads with him to stop drinking. The actor said in a statement after the clip was released that he had had a relapse after recovering from alcoholism.
"HASSELHOFF THE MUSICAL"?
Hasselhoff played hero Michael Knight on "Knight Rider" from 1982 to 1986. He went on to play lifeguard Mitch Buchanan on "Baywatch," from 1989 to 2000. Both shows made him an international star. He has also found success as a singer, namely in Germany. He remains one of the most popular celebrities.
Hasselhoff told BBC News in November that he wants to make an autobiographical musical.
"I always wanted to do 'Hasselhoff the Musical,' based on my life and 'Baywatch' and it looks like it's going to happen now, for the West End," he said. "'Baywatch the Musical' but really kind of like 'David Hasselhoff the Musical.' It's in development now. We're actually doing it from a timeline from where I start off young and get to be my age."
He added that he loves being in the United Kingdom, citing how the people "love to sing" and "love to play." He added that in Manchester, he has to wear a scarf and hat to conceal his face because he gets "mobbed" so often on the street.
Hasselhoff has been spending time in the country over the past year. His girlfriend, Hayley, is from Wales, located about 150 miles from Manchester.
Hasselhoff recently visited patients at the royal Manchester children's hospital and celebrated with them an "early merry Xmas," as seen in a photo he posted on Twitter.
"Loved this little girl ... she gave me ... a ribbon to wear on my finger which I did during the Panto !! God bless her!!" he Tweeted.
PAMELA ANDERSON'S PANTOMIMES
His "Baywatch" co-star, Pamela Anderson, has also appeared in pantomimes in the United Kingdom. She played the Genie in productions of "Aladdin" during the 2009 and 2010 holiday seasons even sang a cover of Christina Aguilera's "Genie In a Bottle" during her performances, as seen in a fan-made YouTube video.
"I thought it was great," the actress told BBC News in 2010, regarding her first pantomime experience. "People always say Americans don't get it, but I think it's terrific. I wish they did more theatre like this in America. I think people would love it."
Hasselhoff praised Anderson during his BBC News interview, calling her a "terrific actress." He said she also plans to star in another pantomime soon The Canadian bombshell actress' rep had no immediate comment.
Meanwhile, Anderson is set to compete in the British ice skating reality show "Dancing on Ice" during its seventh season, which premieres on January 6 (check out a promo video). She has competed twice on ABC's "Dancing With The Stars," most recently on its "All-Stars" season.
In addition to his stage performances in the United Kingdom and his music career, Hasselhoff has over the past few years appeared on shows such as "The Young and the Restless" and "Sons of Anarchy" and films such as "Piranha 3DD."
He was a judge on "America's Got Talent" between 2006 and 2009. In 2011, he assumed the same role on "Britain's Got Talent." In 2010, he and his two daughters starred in their own A&E reality show called "The Hasselhoffs." It was canceled after two episodes aired. Earlier this year, Hasselhoff was a contestant on "The Celebrity Apprentice" in Australia.
Check out a promotional video for the Manchester production of "Peter Pan," starring David Hasselhoff, a clip from one of his 2011 performances in the UK city of Bristol -- during which he sings Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings," a video of Pamela Anderson playing The Genie in Aladdin in 2010 and a promo for the seventh season of "Dancing on Ice."