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By Bob Andelman
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Paul Michael Glaser’s life as a public figure is entering its third act by my count.
First, of course, there was his big break as Perchik in the 1971 film adaptation of Fiddler on the Roof, followed by his years as the star of ABC’s long-running action series, “Starsky & Hutch,” in which he played Detective Dave Starsky opposite David Soul’s Detectie Ken “Hutch” Hutchinson. The show was hugely popular in the 1970s when it aired new episodes and reruns propelled it for many years to come.
Glaser’s second act was unplanned: His wife Elisabeth Glaser was tragically struck down by AIDS in 1994. Before dying, she bravely made her illness a campaign for greater public understandng and empathy for AIDS victims, putting a broader face on something many people preferred to see only as something that afflicted the gay community.
PAUL MICHAEL GLASER audio excerpt: “The mind does not want to acknowledge helplessness. Because if you acknowledge helplessness, you’re going to fall down this black hole and it’s all going to be over for the rest of your life… The mind has no way to cope with helplessness.”
You can LISTEN to this interview with actor PAUL MICHAEL GLASER, author of CHRYSTALLIA AND THE SOURCE OF LIGHT, by clicking the audio player above!
Less well remembered in the years since is that his daughter with Elizabeth died very young of complications from AIDS. Their son contracted HIV in the womb but survived.
Glaser has kept his wife and daughter’s spirit alive through his work with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
Now he’s ready for a completely different turn on the celebrity stage, this time as the author of a children’s novel called Chrystallia and The Source of Light.
Some elements of the fantasy story in Chrystallia may ring true for people who have followed the Glaser story over the years, particularly its story of a mother of two adolescents wasting away before their very eyes.
Bob Andelman is the host and producer of Mr. Media® Interviews. He is also the author or co-author of 12 books, including Mind Over Business with Ken Baum, The Consulate with Thomas R. Stutler, The Profiler with Pat Brown, Built From Scratch with the founders of The Home Depot, The Profit Zone with Adrian Slywotzky, Mean Business with Albert J. Dunlap, and Will Eisner: A Spirited Life. Click here to see Bob Andelman’s Amazon Central author page. He is a member in good standing of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (member page).