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Airwolf star Jan-Michael Vincent has passed away at 73

Jan-Michael Vincent, death, Airwolf

According to a death certificate first obtained by TMZ, Jan-Michael Vincent, best known for playing the lead role in the 1980s CBS series AIRWOLF, passed away on February 10th after suffering cardiac arrest. He was 73.

Born in Denver, Colorado, Vincent began his acting career in 1967, upon being noticed by a talent scout promptly after completing his duty as a solider to the California Army National Guard. Vincent's career began in the late 1960s with guest roles on notable TV series the likes of DRAGNET, LASSIE, BONANZA and GUNSMOKE. In time, he landed his first feature role as Jimmy Graham for director Herbert B. Leonard's GOING HOME (circa 1971). He then co-starred alongside Charles Bronson in Michael Winner’s 1972 crime thriller THE MECHANIC. Vincent's career then picked up in the mid-'70s with parts in films like WHITE LINE FEVER, BABY BLUE MARINE, and John Millius’ surfing drama BIG WEDNESDAY.

After being nominated for two Golden Globe awards in the category of Best Supporting Actor for both GOING HOME and THE WINDS OF WAR miniseries, Vincent went on to one of his most notable roles ever as Stringfellow Hawke for the Donald P. Bellisario-created series AIRWOLF. The show soared for three seasons on CBS in 1984-86, and for a fourth courtesy of USA Network in 1987. As Hawke, Vincent's character piloted an advanced prototype supersonic helicopter for secret government-sanctioned missions. During his time on the program, Vincent rose throughout the ranks to become one of the highest-paid actors in American television, earning a reported $200,000 per episode. However, an addiction to alcohol and drugs soon landed him in counseling, in addition to a series of legal troubles as well.

In 2006, Vincent was involved in a car crash while in pursuit of a girlfriend he'd been fighting with. The accident landed Vincent with a broken neck. After he'd recovered, Vincent noticed that his career had taken a hit, and in 2012, an infection resulted in a partial amputation of his right leg.

In his time, Vincent was married twice and brought a daughter into the world with his first wife, Bonnie Poorman.

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