ASHEVILLE, NC (CelebrityAccess) — Jan-Michael Vincent, an actor best known for his portrayal of helicopter pilot Stringfellow Hawke in the 1980s television show Airwolf, has died. He was 74.
According to TMZ, Vincent actually died on Feb. 10 at a North Carolina hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest, but his death was not disclosed until March 8th.
A native of Denver, Vincent began his film career in the 1960s, after a stint in the California National Guard. His first role was in the 1867 film The Bandits, starring Robert Conrad.
He continued in minor film and television roles, including The Mechanic, Shadow of the Hawk, Big Wednesday, and Damnation Alley.
In 1983, he landed a role in the 1983 television miniseries Winds of War and parlayed the profile into a lead role of Stringfellow Hawke on the CBS television drama Airwolf. While the show only lasted for three years, it earned Vincent $200,000 per episode, making him the highest paid television actor at the time, according to Vincent in a 2007 interview.
However, as he found success on screen, he faced challenges in his personal life, including struggles with drug and alcohol addiction. He was arrested multiple times on drug charges as well as multiple drunk driving charges.
As well, he suffered a trio of catastrphopic accidents in the 1990s that left him with serious injuries, including broken vertebrae and permanent injury to his vocal cords after undergoing emergency surgery.
In a 2014 interview, he revealed that he had his right leg amputated in 2012 due to an infection related to complications from peripheral artery disease.
He was charged with spousal abuse multiple times, including in 2000 which led to him spending 60 days in jail. In 2000 je was also hit with a $374,000 default judgment after his former girlfriend alleged he had physically assaulted her after their breakup and caused her to miscarry their child.