Actor Jan-Michael Vincent, who starred on the big screen in the 1970s and in the hit TV series “Airwolf” in the 1980s died Feb. 10 of cardiac arrest.
His death went unreported until Friday, when TMZ published his death certificate. Conflicting media reports have his age as 73, 74 and 75, but the death certificate posted by TMZ lists him as 73.
Vincent was a patient at a South Carolina hospital at the time of his death.
Born in Colorado and raised in Hanford, California, he went to Ventura College in Southern California after high school.
Vincent’s good looks attracted the attention of Universal Studios, which put him into its training program in the late 1960s, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
He appeared in a variety of TV shows and films, but it wasn’t until the early 1970s that he really made a name for himself, starring in films like “The Mechanic” and Disney’s “The World’s Greatest Athlete,” then “Baby Blue Marine,” the cult surf film epic “Big Wednesday” and the Burt Reynolds comedy “Hooper.”
In 1984, Vincent was cast as pilot Stringfellow “String” Hawke for the CBS series “Airwolf,” in which he co-starred with Ernest Borgnine.
Vincent was one of TV’s highest-paid actors during his three-season stint, earning a reported $200,000 per episode.
However, he suffered drug and alcohol problems while he was on the show, according to Variety.
In 1996, Vincent broke his neck in a car accident and permanently damaged his vocal cords, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
In 2000 he was ordered to pay over $350,000 as part of a default judgment against him after he physically assaulted a former girlfriend, which caused her to miscarry their child, Variety reported.
That year, he was also sentenced to 60 days in jail for violating his probation for alcohol-related convictions.
In 2008, Vincent was in another car crash and contracted an infection that led to his lower right leg being amputated.
He is survived by his third wife, Patricia Ann Christ, and a daughter from his first marriage.
TMZ said no autopsy was performed on Vincent, who was cremated.