Having played "Dr. Snapper Foster" on the soap opera The Young And The Restless for six years, he went on to star as "Michael Knight" in the Glen A. Larson-created series Knight Rider from 1982 to 1986.
His contract stipulated royalties to be paid to him from the rerun profits, which gave him the financial liberty to buy back the rights to Baywatch from NBC.
Baywatch had premiered in 1989, but was cancelled after only one season. Feeling the series had potential, Hasselhoff revived it for the first-run syndication market in 1991, investing his own money and additionally functioning as executive producer.
The success of Baywatch was enormous. Running for another ten seasons, it was also well-received internationally and is said to be the highest-grossing show in syndication worldwide.
Fulfilling his original dream to be a singer, he covered "Looking For Freedom" in 1989, just as the Berlin Wall came down. In Germany, his song became an anthem of sorts at the time, and the accompanying album went gold and triple platinum, topping the charts for three months.
Hasselhoff is married to actress Pamela Bach, with whom he has two daughters, Taylor-Ann and Hayley Amber. He was married to actress Catherine Hickland from 1984 to 1989.