Jan-Michael Vincent, star of TV's Airwolf, has died. Vincent reportedly passed away on February 10 at his home in Asheville, North Carolina after suffering cardiac arrest. However, news of his death is only just now coming to light, as the result of a death certificate that has been obtained by several media outlets. Vincent was 74-years-old at the time of his passing.
Though viewed as a heartthrob during his heyday in the 80s, Jan-Michael Vincent had a complicated life. While he was a successful and well-known actor on both the big and small screen for a number of years, his issues with alcohol and substance abuse led to off-screen issues, violence, domestic abuse and various legal troubles that would eventually derail his career during his later years. Vincent had a previous, major health scare prior to his passing in 2012 when he had to have his lower leg amputated as the result of another illness.
The late actor was born in Denver, Colorado in 1944. In 1967, just after a stint in the California Army National Guard, Jan-Michael Vincent was spotted by a talent scout, which set his acting career in motion. His first credit came in The Hardy Boys: The Mystery of the Chinese Junk that same year. His first major, breakout role came in The Bandits, as directed by Robert Conrad. That led to a string of movie and TV roles throughout the remainder of the 60s and during the 70s.
In 1969, Jan-Michael Vincent starred alongside John Wayne and Rock Hudson in The Undefeated. That led to a string of major big screen roles in the ensuing decade. Some of these include 1971's Going Home, 1972's The Mechanic alongside Charles Bronson and 1975's Bite the Bullet, which also starred Gene Hackman.
It wasn't until 1984 that he would land the role that he would go on to become known for. Jan-Michael Vincent was cast as Stringfellow Hawke, or String for short, in the CBS series Airwolf. The series centered on his character flying dangerous missions in an advanced helicopter and ran for three seasons. It also saw him become one of the highest-paid actors on TV for his day, earning $200,000 per episode.
However, it was around this time that his issues really began to catch up to him. During his stint on Airwolf, Vincent began seeking help for drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately, none of that help seemed to do the trick. The star was arrested several times over the years for alcohol-related charges and assaulting his then fiance. Things came to a head in 2000 when Vincent was found guilty of physically assaulting his former girlfriend, who was pregnant at the time, which caused her to have a miscarriage. He was ordered to pay $350,000 as part of the judgment made against him.
That same year, Jan-Michael Vincent was arrested and spent 60 days in jail for violating his probation agreement. Due to his issues, Vincent acted sparsely throughout the 90s, with roles in Nash Bridges and Buffalo '66 during that time period. Vincent's final acting credit came in 2002's White Boy. This news was first reported by TMZ.