The charitable side of... David Hasselhoff

Graham Willgoss

When he's not getting drunk and disorderly, The Hoff does his bit for disabled children on both sides of the pond.

Thanks to David Hasselhoff's endorsement of a broadband internet company, the British public are constantly reminded that the actor has "a lot of Hoff to share with the world". But the former Knight Rider and Baywatch star has given more than just untold hours of laughter from forwarded emails of him in hot pants. Beyond his online empire, The Hoff has visited children's hospitals in more than 40 countries, including London's Great Ormond Street.

"I've found that being with the Knight Rider can make a child forget about their pain," he explained in a recent interview to promote his autobiography.

"It's been one of the reasons God has blessed me with such great success.

I believe that, if you are blessed, it is your moral obligation to give that blessing to someone else."

In the UK, The Hoff has carried out his moral obligation by endorsing React, a charity for terminally ill children, and lending his support to the Teenage Cancer Trust by writing a story for its Christmas Stories book in 2004.

Back in his native US, The Hoffmeister has founded Race for Life, an Indianapolis-based charity for terminally ill and disabled children.

He also launched Camp Baywatch, a foundation to bring inner-city children to the beach, where they are taught to swim and learn life-saving techniques.

However, Hasselhoff's heroics have come at a price. After a stint in rehab and a drink-driving charge, this summer he allegedly appeared drunk and disorderly at Wimbledon and was too inebriated to board a plane at Heathrow.

"You have choices to make," said the king of kitsch. "The biggest choice that I made is I tried to save the world and forgot to save myself."

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