Actor Jan-Michael Vincent, best known for his role as a pilot on 80s TV series Airwolf, has died. His death certificate said Vincent died of cardiac arrest on February 10 in a North Carolina hospital, but his death was just reported Friday by TMZ.
According to The Guardian,
Vincent played a stuntman opposite Burt Reynolds in 1978’s Hooper, and starred in renowned surfer film Big Wednesday (1978) and alongside Kim Basinger in Hard Country (1981). He earned Golden Globe nominations for his roles in Going Home (1971) and 1983 television mini-series Winds of War.
But his best-known role was in the television action-adventure series Airwolf, which lasted for several seasons after launching in 1984. Vincent played Stringfellow Hawke, a rugged pilot who could pull off aerobatic crime-fighting manoeuvres in an helicopter – but also play the cello.
Vincent once said in an interview,
“The character is stiff, but as we’ve gone along we’ve been able to loosen him some. Now you’ll sometimes see him crack a smile and say something funny. Even Clint Eastwood is mellowing, although I’ll never be Burt Reynolds.”
Vincent lived a troubled personal life from to a drunk-driving accident in 1997 that left him with a broken neck and confined him to a wheelchair. He was sentenced to a rehab program and to 60 days in jail in 2000 in California after he admitted to violating his probation by appearing drunk in public and assaulting his then-girlfriend.
Jan-Michael Vincent was 74.
(Photo, YouTube; via The Guardian)