David Starsky

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Name: David Michael Starsky
Occupation: police detective
Relationships: partnered with Kenneth Hutchinson
Fandom: Starsky & Hutch
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David Starsky is half of the crime-fighting duo Starsky & Hutch. He was portrayed by Paul Michael Glaser [1].

"What is a Dirtball?" by Todd Hamilton in 1979's Blond Blintz Bulletin

Some Brief Canon Facts

  • went to the police academy with Kenneth Hutchinson, his partner
  • devoted to his car, The Torino
  • looks good in red long johns
  • has a brother named Nick
  • is left-handed
  • spoke of having kids with Helen, proposed marriage to Terry Roberts, but in the end is pretty much married to Hutch


  • Starsky's father was a police officer who was killed in the line of duty.
  • Starsky's father was some sort of minor organized crime figure.
  • Starsky was in the Vietnam War.
  • Starsky's mother sent him to live in California after his father died to keep him out of trouble.

His Devotion to Hutch

[oh, where to start]

Some Starsky Tropes

Is Starsky Jewish?

While never specially stated in canon, Starsky's ethnicity and religion was assumed to be Jewish in fanon. It was, and is, a subject of fannish debate.

Some early discussion in 1979. All comments below are from S and H #4 and #5, responding to the the Discussion Topic "Is there any justification in aired S&H for Starsky being Jewish?":

  • "Paul Michael is of the Jewish environment, so his coloring of Starsky is from his background."
  • "Perhaps most of us see him as Jewish because Paul Michael Glaser is Jewish. Or maybe because 'Starsky' sounds like a Jewish name. I don't think he's Polish. Remember the episode, "The Committee'? Ginger asks: 'Starsky, what is it, Polish?' and Starsky replies, 'Something like that (not yes). He's not Catholic because in 'Terror on the Docks' he tells Nancy's mother that he's not Catholic. As for being Italian, (the question makes 'Italian' sound like a religion) his grandmother lived over an Italian restaurant and Starsky loves Italian food, but that doesn't prove anything. He looks Italian to me (Dark hair, expressive face...)."
  • "There is plenty of mild justification for Starsky's being Jewish. I feel the series played it down to avoid specific arguments, but mention was made of chicken soup as a cure-all, Starsky did pick up the Mezuzah from Huggy's sidewalk stand while Hutch picked up a cross, and Starsky looked stunned when Nancy's mother asked him if he were Catholic in 'Terror on the Docks,' to which he replied he was not. Even 'Little Girl Lost' does not discredit the Jewish idea as he's like a little kid who loves presents, and all the Christmas songs he sang were non-religious festive ones. His Polish name agrees with the general bio suggested."
  • "We were never directly told that Starsky is Jewish. We never saw him at temple or wear a star of David, and so on. I'm told there was menorah on the bookcase in his apartment, but I've looked for it in every episode and never seen it. I think there are various little hints... in the series, though, that seem to indicate he was Jewish. In "Dandruff," Huggy greeted him with Shalom when he was working in the hotel beauty shop... In 'Vampire,' Huggy offered Starsky the anti-vampire kit 'for those of other persuasions' after showing him one with the cross. There are other sly references, but I can't think of them now.... I have always been of the impression that Starsky is Jewish, but he certainly isn't Orthodox... he whines about working on Sunday, not Saturday, and he sure doesn't eat kosher."
  • "All you have to do is take a look at that face." [2]


Examples of Starsky-Centric Fiction

Fan fic for Starsky focuses on his intense relationship with his partner. Other topics: a rough-and-tumble upbringing in New York City, time in the Vietnam War, the relationship with his brother, his grief and guilt after the murder of his almost-fiancee Terry, the ordeal of Hutch's near-death experiences, helping Hutch with various canonical misfortunes and emotional problems, his recovery from being shot in the last episode, and how he copes after his devastating injury.

Family and Background: Canon and Fanon

Starsky in his red long johns, artist is Suzan Lovett
  • A murky and inconclusive conversation in the episode "The Set-Up" is the source of most of Starsky's canonical family background. East-Coast mobster Joe Durniak calls Starsky "Little Davey" and claims that as a child, Starsky didn't know whether to love him or hate him. He also mentions that he paid for Starsky's father's funeral, yet also asserts that Starsky's father fought against everything Durniak represented. None of this confusing information is ever clarified. Fanfics have taken these facts and ran with them in many different directions, so that the Starsky Family's troubled past and tangled associations with the New York mafia (some fanfics portray the Senior Starsky as in cahoots with the mob, others as one of the mob's major enemies) have made them one of the most fanfic-fodder-laden fictional families in the history of fandom. Several action/adventure or hurt/comfort stories feature a villain who was a criminal who was wronged by Starsky's father, was associated with the men who murdered Starsky's father, or who was associated with Durniak. Many other fics portray Starsky's father as a cop who perhaps had a friendship/uneasy alliance with Durniak.
  • Mother: Starsky calls his mother every week; she used to cook him pot roasts (and later gave her recipe to Hutch so that he could cook it for Starsky) and claimed Starsky resembles actor Paul Muni.
  • Brother: Starsky has a troubled younger brother Nick; see that page.
  • Friends: Starsky's best friend when he was a child was Laura Anderson, who was apparently killed in a car crash when she was eleven, but turns up alive in "Targets Without A Badge," having actually been in the Witness Protection Program for the past 21 years under the name Allison May. Despite the two childhood friends having a heartfelt reunion in canon, she is nearly non-existent in fanfic.
  • Extended family: In canon, Starsky has an aunt and an uncle who live in Bay City (while they are mentioned in separate episodes, fanfic often presumes that they are married), although he originates from "back east" (presumably New York City) and moved to California at a fairly young age. A nearly-ubiquitous piece of fanon is the idea that after his father's death, Starsky became a highly troublesome teenager who hung with a bad crowd and was sent to California to be raised by his aunt and uncle. In the episode "The Trap", Starsky tells a series of rambling stories about his extended family members, who all met with grotesque misfortunes or were killed in wars. This may be the source of the common fanfic portrayal of the Starsky clan as sprawling and eccentric.

Examples of Starsky-Centric Vids

Examples of Starsky-Centric Art


  1. ^ IMDB
  2. ^ This same fan complained that the actor that portrayed Nicky "looked too Italian". She also speculated that Hutch was Episcopalian.