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David Hasselhoff rides wave of success

With a new series and a new movie, the ‘Baywatch’ star is back on top
/ Source: Access Hollywood

Regis Philbin may be the enigmatic host of “America's Got Talent.” But David Hasselhoff is the judge.

The former Baywatch star's career was on life support, and he realized the new variety show could put him back on the map.

“Two years ago I was walking around my back lawn going, ‘Anyone wanna play tennis?’” David laughed. “And now, it's just kind of turned around.”David is hoping for a 180!

Bouncing back from divorce and alcohol rehab to judging on “America's Got Talent” and co-starring with Adam Sandler in the comedy “Click,” can be pretty heady stuff.

“This is going to open up a lot of doors, I hope, because it gives me an opportunity to show that I can do this, and it's just a bigger screen,” David explained.

While on the small screen, it was David's old friend, Simon Cowell, who tapped the strapping star to work his mojo on the “Talent” set.

But the last thing people might remember about “the Hoff” was when 43 million viewers watched him get choked up during the “American Idol” finale.

“In the finale, you had tears in your eyes, why was that?” Access' Tim Vincent asked.

“I see Taylor Hicks win, he bends over, he gets a little emotional,” David said. “His parents are in front of me, they're crying. I turned to my best friend sitting next to me, who has brain cancer, who had two months to live, and it was his birthday, and my present was to bring him to ‘American Idol,’ and he lived. And he turned to me and said, ‘Isn't it great to be alive?’” David explained. “And I just lost it. I said, ‘Wow!' And then, bam, camera is on me!”

And bam! Now the Hoff is everywhere.

In ‘Click,’ David plays Sandler's demanding boss, a part he got because he knew Sandler 10 years ago from “Saturday Night Live.”

It was during filming that the two became really close.

“My mother was actually on a respirator and dying,” David told Tim. “They wanted to pull the plug. I said to Adam, ‘She's barely hanging on.’ He said, ‘Get outta here. We'll shoot your scene tomorrow.’

“About six months later I went, ‘Hey man, she lives.’ And mom's home, and I took her to the premiere!”