Birthday: July 15, 1945
Died At Age: 73
Sun Sign: Cancer
Also Known As: Jan Michael Vincent, Michael Vincent, Mike Vincent
Born in: Denver, Colorado
Famous as: Actor
Height: 5'10" (178 cm), 5'10" Males
Spouse/Ex-: Patricia Ann Christ (m. 2000), Bonnie Poorman (m. 1968 - div. 1977), Joanne Robinson (m. 1986 - div. 1999)
father: Lloyd Vincent
mother: Doris Vincent
Died on: February 10, 2019
place of death: Mission Hospital, Asheville, North Carolina
U.S. State: Colorado
Cause of Death: Heart Attack
Who was Jan-Michael Vincent?
Jan-Michael Vincent was an American actor who garnered fame for portraying helicopter pilot Stringfellow Hawke in the television series ‘Airwolf’ and the protagonist Matt Johnson, in the 1978 film ‘Big Wednesday’. He is also known for his performance as Byron Henry in ‘The Winds of War’. A native of Colorado, Vincent served in the California Army National Guard for a period. He began his acting career in 1967, in the Mexican-American film ‘The Bandits’. However, his first released project was the telefilm ‘The Hardy Boys: The Mystery of the Chinese Junk’. Over the course of his 38-year-long career, Vincent accumulated over 80 film and TV credits. The son of an alcoholic father, Vincent was a heavy drinker as well and had several run-ins with the law. In February 2019, he passed away at the age of 73 after suffering a cardiac arrest. His final outing as an actor was in the 2003 drama film ‘White Boy’.
Childhood & Early Life
Born on July 15, 1945, in Asheville, North Carolina, USA, Jan-Michael Vincent was the oldest of three children of Lloyd Whiteley Vincent and Doris Jane (née Pace). His father hailed from a family of career criminals. He became a painter after serving as a B-25 Bomber pilot during the World War II.
After graduating from Hanford High School in 1963, he enrolled at Ventura College, where he studied for the ensuing three years before dropping out.
Like his father, Vincent carried a severe mistrust of authority, and like his father, had to endure the rigid system of the US military when he was enlisted in the California Army National Guard. He was discharged in 1967.
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Jan-Michael Vincent’s first job as an actor was in the 1967 Mexican-American film ‘The Bandits’, in which he worked with Robert Conrad. However, he made his formal screen debut in the telefilm ‘The Hardy Boys: The Mystery of the Chinese Junk’.
In the 1960s, he appeared in a number of TV shows produced by Universal Studios. His performance in the 1970 telefilm ‘Tribes’ earned him critical acclaim. In 1974, he surprised the audience with full frontal nudity in the crime romance film ‘Buster and Billie’.
He was cast as the protagonist 1st Lt. Jake Tanner in the 1977 science fiction film ‘Damnation Alley’, which was based on Roger Zelazny’s novel of the same name. In 1981, he starred opposite Kim Basinger in the drama film ‘Hard Country’.
Vincent portrayed Byron "Briny" Henry in ABC’s 1983 miniseries ‘The Winds of War’. Directed and produced by Dan Curtis, the series was adapted from the book of the same name by Herman Wouk.
He shared screen space with Clint Howard in the black comedy horror film ‘Ice Cream Man’. Despite a limited theatrical release, the film has since gained a cult status.
Vincent had signed to play Keller in the 1996 action film ‘Red Line’ when he suffered a vehicular accident. He subsequently portrayed the character with a swollen face and scars, and with his hospital ID bracelet still around his wrist.
In the final days of his professional career, Vincent appeared in films like ‘Buffalo ’66’ (1998), ‘Escape to Grizzly Mountain’ (2000), ‘The Thundering 8th’ (2000). His last role was Ron Masters in the indie movie ‘White Boy’ (2003).
In the 1978 coming-of-age film ‘Big Wednesday’, Jan-Michael Vincent starred as Matt Johnson, a rebel surfer trying to dodge the Vietnam War draft. While the film was a box office failure, it garnered positive reviews and has gone down as one of the most important films in Vincent’s career.
Between 1984 and 1986, Vincent essayed the role of helicopter pilot Stringfellow “String” Hawke in CBS’ action-adventure series ‘Airwolf’. Created by Donald P. Bellisario, the show revolved around a high-tech aircraft military helicopter, code-named Airwolf, and its crew. CBS cancelled the show after three seasons. A fourth season aired on USA Network in 1987, but it had a completely different cast.
Family & Personal Life
Jan-Michael Vincent had been married three times in his life. His first wife was Bonnie Poorman, to whom he was married from 1968 to 1977. They had a daughter together, Amber Vincent (born 1972), who is Vincent’s only child.
His second wife was Joanne Robinson. Married on August 30, 1986, the couple was together until 1998 when Robinson accused him of abusing her and got a restraining order against him. They divorced in the following year.
He exchanged wedding vows with his third and final wife, Patricia Ann Chris, in June 2000. They were married until his death on February 10, 2019, due to cardiac arrest.
Alcoholism & Legal Troubles
For the most part of his life, Vincent dealt with alcoholism and intravenous substance abuse. He was apprehended three times, in 1977, 1978, and 1979, for possession of cocaine and was jailed twice more for bar brawls, in 1984 and 1985.
In the 1990s, he got into three terrible automobile collisions, barely surviving each time. In 2000, he was sentenced to 60 days in jail for a probation violation.