The no-nonsense police captain, Bernie Hamilton, of the 1970s TV series Starsky and Hutch, has died of a cardiac arrest at the age of 80.

Hamilton's son, Raoul Hamilton, said his father died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Tuesday.

Hamilton appeared in more than 20 films, including The Young One, The Devil at 4 O'Clock, Synanon, The Swimmer, Walk the Walk and The Organization.

He also had guest appearances on television series before becoming a regular on Starsky and Hutch, the ABC police drama starring Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul. Hamilton played the brusque, by-the-book Capt. Harold Dobey, a role that gave him wide recognition to this day, his son said.

After his acting career he later spent the following 20 years in the music business under the label Chocolate Snowman, producing R&B and gospel records.