Jan-Michael Vincent: Wikis


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Jan-Michael Vincent
Born July 15, 1944 (1944-07-15) (age 65)
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
Other name(s) Jan Michael Vincent
Michael Vincent
Mike Vincent
Occupation Film, television actor
Years active 1967 - 2002
Spouse(s) Bonnie Portman (1974-75) 1 child (div)
Joanne Robinson (30 August 1986 - 1997) (div)

Jan-Michael Vincent (born July 15, 1944) is an American actor best-known for his role as helicopter pilot Stringfellow Hawke on the 1980s U.S. television series Airwolf (1984–1986), which continues to enjoy a large cult fanbase.[citation needed] Vincent had an extensive television and film career that began in the late 1960s and lasted until the early 2000s.



Early life

Vincent was born in Denver, Colorado, to Doris and Lloyd Vincent. His family moved to Hanford, California, when Jan-Michael was in his teens. Vincent attended Ventura College in Southern California.



Jan-Michael Vincent's first acting job was in the movie The Bandits (aka "Los Banditos"), co-directed by and starring Robert Conrad, in 1967.

His career took off in the late 1960s when casting agent Dick Clayton signed him to Universal Studios. Vincent made an appearance on the Dragnet 1968 episode, "The Grenade," as a muscular high school student who suffered an acid attack by a mentally unstable fellow classmate. He also appeared in the "Danger Island" segments of Hanna-Barbera's Banana Splits series as Link (1968-1969). Finally, in the fall of 1969 Vincent had a starring role in the prime time soap opera The Survivors, alongside Lana Turner and George Hamilton. Unfortunately, the series was canceled at midseason.

He also performed in several movies in that period, like the 1969 Twentieth Century Fox movie The Undefeated (as Bob Wilkes) starring John Wayne, Rock Hudson and Mexican actor Antonio Aguilar. His name appeared as Michael Vincent in the credits of the movie.


Vincent appeared in 1 episode of Marcus Welby, M.D. as Richie, a teen with an alcohol addiction. Vincent co-starred with Charles Bronson in the crime film The Mechanic. In 1970, he garnered critical praise for his role in the made for TV film Tribes, co-starring Darren McGavin, about a tough Marine boot-camp drill instructor dealing with a "hippie" draftee (portrayed by Jan-Michael), who won’t play by "the rules". Other notable films included the Western The Undefeated with John Wayne and the cult surfing film Big Wednesday with William Katt and Gary Busey; he also attracted attention giving a highly complex performance opposite Robert Mitchum in Going Home. In 1972 he starred in a made for TV love story, Sandcastles, and Vincent starred in the 1973 Disney movie The World's Greatest Athlete, with Tim Conway and John Amos. Vincent also starred in the 1974 romance Buster and Billie as the romantic anti-hero Buster Lane, where he startled audiences with his full-frontal nudity. In Hooper with Burt Reynolds, Vincent played a young stunt man. In 1975, he also starred in the cult classic trucker movie White Line Fever,Baby Blue Marine is a 1976 war film directed by John D. Hancock, which also Glynnis O'Connor. Film critic Roger Ebert gave the film 3½ out of 4 stars. Vincent also appeared in Damnation Alley, based on Roger Zelazny's science fiction novel, in 1977.


In 1980, he starred in the gang-themed drama, Defiance, which received only a limited release. In The Return, a little-seen science-fiction film which was released directly to television and video. In 1981, he co-starred with Kim Basinger in Hard Country.

After an acclaimed performance in the 1983 television miniseries The Winds of War, Vincent was cast as Stringfellow Hawke for the action-espionage series Airwolf, in which Vincent co-starred with Ernest Borgnine. It is probably the role for which Vincent is best known and remembered, and one for which he was especially well paid. It was noted, at the time, that Vincent's salary for his work on Airwolf was the highest paid (rumoured to be $200,000 per episode) of any actor in American television.[1][2][3][4] While filming Airwolf, Vincent's alcoholism problems surfaced to the point of him showing up drunk.

After the end of Airwolf Vincent's acting career took a downturn, and he found himself in increasingly smaller-budget and lower-exposure film projects that typically went direct to video.

1990s and 2000s

Jan-Michael Vincent worked with Traci Lords in the 1991 suspense film Raw Nerve. In the latter half of the decade, Vincent was involved in two severe automobile collisions through which he barely survived. As a result of one accident in 1996, in which Vincent broke three vertebrae in his neck, he sustained a permanent injury to his vocal cords from an emergency medical procedure. This has left him with a permanently raspy voice. It was while he was in the hospital that he was committed to a role in Red Line with Chad McQueen. He appeared in the film with a swollen face, scars, and still wearing the hospital ID bracelet. Vincent was involved in another automobile accident in 2008.[5]

In 1997 he had a small guest role on Nash Bridges playing the title character's long-lost brother.

A notable exception to the downward trend in Vincent's post-Airwolf career was his small role in the critically acclaimed independent film Buffalo '66, in 1998.[6]

His last movie role was in the independent film White Boy, also titled Menace (for the US video version), released in March 2002.

In an interview on the TV program The Insider on September 18, 2007, when asked about the 1996 car accident, he answered, "Y'know, I have no idea what you're talking about. I don't remember being in an accident." He later discussed being an alcoholic.[7][8]

As of 2008, Vincent resides in Vicksburg, Mississippi.[9]

Vincent has a daughter, Amber Vincent,[10][11][12][13] from his marriage to first wife Bonnie Poorman.[14]

A recovering alcoholic, Vincent now prefers "O'Douls Iced Tea", a non-alcoholic concoction he created himself.

In popular culture

In 2002, the popular Japanese anime series Battle of the Planets was turned into a monthly comic series by Top Cow comics. In it a group of teenage superheroes called G-Force take on alien invaders. One of them, Jason, appeared in a one-off adventure in 2003. In it he is described as "lookin' like Jan-Michael Vincent in his prime... an underrated star — a guy's guy... Back when they had real actors not these virtual stiffs getting 50 mil per picture".[15]


External links

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