'Starsky & Hutch's Paul Michael Glaser Shows Closeness with Family at 80 after His Wife & Daughter Died (2024)

  • The "Starsky and Hutch" star turned 80 on March 25, 2023!
  • Paul Michael Glaser survived the death of his wife and 7-year-old daughter due to an infection and almost lost his son.
  • Now he is an adoring dad who spends time with his family.


Released in the 1970s "Starsky and Hutch" was a television series that quickly became popular and amassed a worldwide fanbase. As a result, the stars of the series became well-known worldwide.

One of those stars was Paul Michae Glaser, who played David Starky on the show. He had a successful career in Hollywood, but insurmountable tragedy marred his personal life.

'Starsky & Hutch's Paul Michael Glaser Shows Closeness with Family at 80 after His Wife & Daughter Died (1)

David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser from the television series, 'Starsky and Hutch,' circa 1977 | Source: Getty Images

Glaser starred in "Starsky and Hutch" with many famous names, like David Soul. Each of them went on to have their own life, and Soul even forged a music career for himself. For Glaser, not all his experiences in life were happy.

Glaser has been married twice; his second marriage was to Tracey Barone from 1996 until 2007. He and Barone share a daughter named Zoë, but the pair no longer speaks, and Glaser is not forthcoming about why. Yet he still sees his daughter as often as possible.


When he is not spending time with his children, Zoë and Jake, Glaser loves working. However, he recognizes that as he gets older, there is less demand for him on the film and TV series sets he used to frequent.

'Starsky & Hutch's Paul Michael Glaser Shows Closeness with Family at 80 after His Wife & Daughter Died (2)

Paul Michael Glaser circa 1980 | Source: Getty Images

The actor said that because there is apparent ageism in the entertainment industry, he took matters into his own hands and wrote, illustrated, and published a book. The book is called "Chrystallia and the Source of Light."

Apart from that book, Glaser also worked on a second project, but that book was never published or released for public consumption. When he is not filling his time with his projects, he exercises by playing golf.


Glaser thinks age is "just a number" and said he doesn't feel or look as old as he is. He mused:

"But as I get older, I find myself looking at the world around me, and I'm blown away by this phenomenon called existence."

While he released his first book in 2010, Glaser found he could fill his time by spending time with his family. He often shares social media posts of himself with them.

In 2021, he shared a photo of him holding a phone, flanked by a young family member on each side. They all seemed entranced by what they saw on the phone. In the caption, Glaser emphasized the importance of sharing stories and experiences with younger generations.

The actor enjoys spending time with his grown children and shares photos of them on social media, too. In 2019, Glaser shared a photo with his children, showing him embracing them. He said:

"Family nights are the best nights."


Yet, Glaser's social media space is not only taken up by posts about his family. Often, Glaser shares photos of himself, like in January this year when he shared a photo of himself inside a red truck, stating it was the only color vehicle he would ride in.

In March 2021, Glaser shared a photo of himself excitedly enjoying a dessert decorated with birthday candles for his 78th birthday. In 2023, he turned 80 and is enjoying his age and what it brings for him.

Fans can't believe Glaser is 80 and has said as much on social media. They talk about how good he looks and that he hasn't changed much since his days on "Starsky and Hutch" all those years ago.


Yet two people are notably always missing from these celebrations, his late wife and daughter, Elizabeth and Ariel. These two essential women in Glaser's life passed away from the same disease some time ago.

How Did Glaser's Wife and Seven-Year-Old Daughter Die?

Glaser's career took off in the seventies, and by the 1980s, everything came crashing down around him when his wife and daughter passed away from AIDS. His daughter, Ariel, was only seven at the time.

'Starsky & Hutch's Paul Michael Glaser Shows Closeness with Family at 80 after His Wife & Daughter Died (3)

Paul Michael Glaser holds daughter Zoe at the Kids For Kids AIDS Benefit April 25, 1999 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

The women in Glaser's life got the infection after Elizabeth received a blood transfusion during childbirth with Ariel. The family did not know that Ariel and Elizabeth had the disease until four years later. The couple's son, Jake, was also found to be HIV-positive.


Elizabeth hemorrhaged while giving birth to the couple's daughter two months after the first cases of AIDS were reported in America. She needed seven pints of blood and contracted the virus from the transfused blood into her bloodstream.

Ariel passed away in 1988, and her mother followed shortly after in 1994. While they are no longer with him on an earthly level, Glaser says that he still speaks to them occasionally, asking them how they are doing and telling them he loves them.

'Starsky & Hutch's Paul Michael Glaser Shows Closeness with Family at 80 after His Wife & Daughter Died (4)

Paul Michael Glaser and Elizabeth Glaser at the "Immediate Family" Premiere on October 25, 1989 | Source: Getty Images

The actor says he receives responses from them through a deep knowing and understanding of the women. He thinks he can do this because he experienced their energy when they were alive.

When asked if he thought they would still be married if Elizabeth hadn't passed away in the early '90s, Glaser admitted:


"The whole experience of HIV that my family and I went through changed me markedly. I'm a much different person now than I would have been had that not happened. It's hard to hypothesize or guess as to what might have been."

'Starsky & Hutch's Paul Michael Glaser Shows Closeness with Family at 80 after His Wife & Daughter Died (5)

Paul Michael Glaser and wife Elizabeth Glaser attend the 38th Annual Directors Guild of America Awards on March 8, 1986 at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California | Source: Getty Images

After losing Ariel and Elizabeth, Glaser felt the anger and bitterness that many others feel when they lose their loved ones. Yet he says he has found a way to live with these feelings and not let them get in the way of his daily life.

His Son was Also Ill, but He Survived: His Battle for Life

Jack and his father were both struck by the deaths of Elizabeth and Ariel. In fact, Jake remembers the exact moment he knew his mother had passed. He recalled walking into a room and seeing his father sitting there alone. He knew his mother had died and shared:


"I sat down next to him, and we both cried."


Jake was born in 1984, three years after his mother and sister were diagnosed. This same year, the family learned of their diagnosis and began raising awareness for the disease and how it affects families.


Jake was born when no treatments were available for his disease but has spent his life defying the odds and continuing his mother's legacy by running the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS foundation.

Glaser's son knows his mother would be proud of him if she could see how far he has come with the foundation and how many people they have helped. Yet this positivity came after years of struggling with the deaths of his mother and sisters.

'Starsky & Hutch's Paul Michael Glaser Shows Closeness with Family at 80 after His Wife & Daughter Died (6)

Paul Michael Glaser and son Jake Glaser arrive for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation's 27th Annual A Time For Heroes at Smashbox Studios on October 23, 2016 in Culver City, California | Source: Getty Images

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Jake admitted that he had survivor's guilt when his mother and sister passed away because he wondered how he could have saved them. He also resented them for abandoning him as he was too young to understand what had happened at three years old.


By the time Jake was a teenager, he had access to treatment for his disease but chose to flush his medications down the toilet instead. Yet he remained healthy throughout. Doctors later found that he had the CCR5 gene from his father.

This gene limits HIV's ability to affect the immune system so that Jake could stop treatment altogether. Yet this didn't stop Jake from misbehaving because of his grief and anger.


Despite the fact that he was lashing out, Jake received love and patience from all those around him. Eventually, he said:

"I finally understood how my actions had impacted the people around me, and a lot of that came from the tireless love that everybody in my life has always given me."

Now, he takes to the water to calm his mind and feel his mother's presence around him. He says the ocean is where he feels happiest and hopes his children will share his love for the water someday.

Jake says he can genuinely connect with his mother when surfing on the water and knows his parents would love for their grandchildren to continue the family legacy and make the Glaser name proud.

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'Starsky & Hutch's Paul Michael Glaser Shows Closeness with Family at 80 after His Wife & Daughter Died (2024)
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