Starsky & Hutch Were Based On These Two Awesome Cops

By | August 27, 2019

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Left: David Soul (L) and Paul Michael Glaser talk outdoors in a still from the television series, 'Starsky and Hutch,' circa 1977. Right: NYPD cops Telano and Sepe subdue a perp. Sources: Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Getty Images; courtesy Lou Telano

The TV cops Starsky and Hutch, played by Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul from 1975-79, were best friends, with a professional relationship that was more like a brotherly bond. It was a different kind of cop show, and the characters were based on a pair of Brooklyn policemen who took a unique approach to fight crime. The exploits of Lou Telano, now a radio host, and his late partner John Sepe served as the inspiration for Starsky & Hutch -- well, at least according to Lou Telano.

Stranger Than Fiction

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Lou Telano (right) with his partner John Sepe. The Original Starsky And Hutch. (Courtesy Lou Telano)

In the ‘60s and ‘70s, crime in the Big Apple was spreading like wildfire. Murders rose from 1,185 in 1968 to 2,100 in 1979 and two officers decided they needed to get creative in order to stem the tide of crime. For John Sepe, A.K.A “The Lone Ranger” and Lou Telano who was naturally nicknamed “Tonto,” ordinary police methods weren’t getting the job done.