Airwolf Actor Jan-Michael Vincent Dead at 74

Airwolf Actor Jan-Michael Vincent Dead at 74

AIRWOLF STAR, 80S HEARTTHROB JAN-MICHAEL VINCENT DEAD AT AGE 74

Shoot.  This sucks.  I loved the tv show Airwolf back in the 80s.  But I also loved the movie Hooper, too.  I vaguely remember hearing stories about Jan-Michael Vincent.  But I never really understood how he just disappeared from the scene.  But now there’s the news that he has passed away at the age of 74.  I’m kinda sad about it.  I can hear the Airwolf theme song even now.  Vincent was a bit of a heartthrob back in the day.  That certainly helped make Airwolf a hit.  But Airwolf fans were left with wanting more.  And now that will never, ever happen. 

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VINCENT PASSED AWAY FROM A HEART ATTACK IN A NORTH CAROLINA HOSPITAL

Vincent passed away from a heart attack in a North Carolina hospital in early February.  His career began with the National Guard.  But a talent scout spotted him and he traded his army duty for a life in Hollywood.  He first appeared in The Bandits in 1967.  That led to Universal Studios signing him and appearances in Dragnet and Lassie.  He did a bit of work throughout the 70s.  You might remember him in Hard Country with Kim Basinger.  But Airwolf put him on television screens across the United States, every week.  His big costar on the show was Ernest Borgnine. 

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BATTLE AGAINST DRUGS AND ALCOHOL DERAILED MAJOR STAR’S CAREER, LIFE

So it’s hard to believe now.  But Vincent was a huge star on Airwolf.  At the time, he became the highest paid TV actor, earning $200,000 for each episode.  But his drug and alcohol problems derailed the show as well as his career.  Even though he had a bad reputation for his behavior on set, producers let a lot go because of his fame.  But eventually it ended the show in 1987 and very nearly ended his life as well.  He had a horrible car crash which broke his neck and damaged his vocal chords.  But in 1986 he binged on cocaine, weed and alcohol, which led him to rehab. 

But after Airwolf he couldn’t land any top acting spots.  So he was also plagued by health problems up until his death.  He is survived by his third wife and his daughter from his first marriage.

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