He made his name starring in hit 70s television series Starsky and Hutch, but iconic actor Paul Michael Glaser has delved even further into his repertoire for his latest production.
Before he had ever slid over the car bonnet of a red Ford Gran Torino, Glaser played Perchik in the 1971 Oscar-winning film of the musical Fiddler on the Roof.
Now, more than 40 years later, he is starring in the latest stage version of the show, which runs at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre this week. The multi-award-winning production originally opened at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway in 1964 and ran for more than 3,000 performances.
This time around Glaser plays the show’s hero, Tevye, a Jewish dairyman who battles to preserve his family’s faith and religious traditions against a backdrop of Tsarist Russia.
His career has gone full circle, which Glaser says he does not mind one bit.
“This is one of the greatest musicals ever written and Tevye is an iconic role to play for an actor.
“He is such an interesting individual to explore, and like everyone he has numerous aspects to his personality. He is whimsical, sad, funny. He is an everyman, forced to deal with change in his life and things are happening that he has no control over.
“We all have to face these challenges in our lives and Tevye is no different to any of us.”
Glaser has tried his hand at many things since his role as Detective David Starsky came to an end in 1979, but he says he is comfortable knowing he will always be linked with the series.
“I try not to get too caught up in the past, but I came to understand a long time ago that I would always be associated with Starsky.”
As well as acting, the 70-year-old directs and produces film and TV, is a keen photographer and has written a series of children’s books, the first of which was released two years ago.
The self-published adventure story, called Chrystallia and the Source of Light, deals with his own experiences of loss and feelings of helplessness. His first wife Elizabeth contracted HIV from a blood transfusion while giving birth to daughter Ariel, and both died from the illness.
“We can all identify with fear and the emotions that result from it, and the first book was an experiment to see if I could articulate that,” he said.
“I wanted to see if I could share with people everything I had learned about loss and helplessness.”