|Mitchell "Mitch" Buchannon|
|First appearance||Season 1 Pilot (1989)|
|Last appearance||Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding (2003)|
|Portrayed by||David Hasselhoff|
|Occupation||Lieutenant lifeguard (1989-1997)
Captain Lifeguard (1997-2000)
Mitchell "Mitch" Buchannon is a fictional character from the TV series Baywatch. He was played by David Hasselhoff in every season of Baywatch and Baywatch Nights plus in the first season of Baywatch Hawaii. He also appeared in the 2003 reunion movie Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding.
Mitch was the main character for most of the show's run and represented a father figure at Baywatch headquarters.
Before Season 1
Mitch was the youngest son of Al and Irene Buchannon. He was born c. 1954. He had an older brother named Buzz and the two got along quite well despite their very different personalities. While Buzz was the carefree brother who did what he wanted, Mitch was much more responsible.
Mitch did not have a good relationship with his father. He felt his father did not love him and was disappointed in him. This was due to Al's wish that Mitch would follow in his footsteps and become an architect. For a while Mitch went along with his father's requests and even studied architecture in college but it wasn't for him and he decided to become a full-time lifeguard instead, something he had dreamt of doing since he was a young boy.
In high school Mitch met Gayle and the two began to date. They eventually married and had a son, Hobie Buchannon. While the two loved each other they eventually divorced. Gayle felt Mitch was too invested in his work and she couldn't handle it. Mitch did not want to break up and he continued to love Gayle for years later.
Shortly after his divorce from Gayle, Mitch entered into a relationship with Stephanie Holden. The two quickly became serious but Stephanie left Mitch. He didn't realise until years later that she was married at the time and went back to her husband to work things out.
Mitch was also a Navy SEAL who trained people in hand-to-hand combat. He made use of this training in his job as a lifeguard when appropriate, for example defusing bombs.
As the series began Gayle and Mitch were having difficulties working out the custody agreement over Hobie. Gayle wanted Hobie to come live with her full-time in Ohio. Mitch was devastated over this, but after realising how much Hobie wanted to stay with his father Gayle agreed to let him stay in California.
- Season 3 episode 12, "A Matter of Life and Death"
- Season 3 episode 3, "Tequila Bay"
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