Jan-Michael Vincent, who achieved stardom as Airwolf’s Stringfellow Hawke, has died. TMZ reports that that the actor died of cardiac arrest on February 10 in a North Carolina hospital. He was 74.
Before establishing himself as one of TV’s highest-paid actors with Airwolf, Vincent starred alongside Burt Reynolds in 1978's Hooper and with Kim Basinger in 1981's Hard Country. He was nominated for Golden Globes for his work in 1971's Going Home and the 1983 miniseries The Winds Of War, and made waves in John Millius’ iconic surfing drama Big Wednesday. He was also a TV regular, appearing in everything from Lassie and Dragnet to Bonanza and Gunsmoke. Some reports say that Vincent was Universal’s choice to play Jaws’ Hooper, the role that eventually went to Richard Dreyfuss. In 1998, he made a cameo in Vincent Gallo’s Buffalo 66, though his final onscreen role was in 2002's White Boy.
Vincent struggled with drug abuse and alcoholism throughout his career and faced allegations of assault on multiple occasions. He broke his neck and damaged his vocal cords in a high-profile car crash in 1996, and saw his right leg partially amputated in 2012 due to an infection.
He is survived by his wife, Patricia Ann Christ.