What is left of Jan-Michael Vincent, the seductive wolf from the Airwolf series?
He is famous for his role in Airwolf, The Mechanic and Big Wednesday. What happened to the handsome young man from the 80s?
A promising beginning
Spotted by Dick Clayton during his youth (former James Dean’s agent), Jan-Michael Vincent was making all girls’ and boys’ heads spin. Tall, fair-haired, muscular and with good acting skills, he had the perfect face for a Young leading man.
In 1967, when he was 23, he was filming for the first time in two feature films, and the same year, he played a role in the TV series Dragnet. The following year, he acted in the series Bonanza, which propelled him to stardom thanks to the role of Little Joe.
But it was in 1984, with the Airwolf series, that the actor experienced his biggest success. Put in the spotlight, he quickly became the highest-paid television actor in the world with a $200,000 salary per episode. A short-lived happiness. The producers decided two years later to dismiss the latter, arriving frequently drunk on the TV set. Along with the disappearance of the hero on TV, the series stopped quickly, thus making glory and intrigue fade away.
On the Highway to Hell
From that point on, his drug and alcohol addiction problems were disclosed to the general public. Despite several rehabilitation treatments over the years, none has worked out and the actor’s career has the effect of an ice cube in a glass of rum: it melts.
It was then that the actor was rarely seen on the screen until falling into oblivion in the 2000s, having nevertheless his moments of glory in the 80s. Debts, a stay in prison, divorces and other stories definitely transformed Apollo. On the health side, Mother Nature did not spare him. After one of his two spectacular car accidents, his vocal cords are highly damaged following intubation. In 2012, he was cut half his right leg as a result of septicemia. A walker, a wheelchair or a prosthesis would act as a new leg. As you can expect, in the scarce interviews he gives, he appears as a man bruised by life, demolished by alcohol and drugs and with great difficulty to speak. It would even appear that his memory is flawed and that he would have but a few brief memories of his past glory. Hopefully, his health does not match that of Malcolm Young.
When we look back to Jan-Michael’s life, we wonder how a boy who is not deprived of charisma and physical beauty could fall that low. And yet, his life was so promising! Playing in 85 films and series, he was nominated for his performances twice at the Golden Globes in the category of best actor in a supporting role a first time in 1972 and a second time in 1984. Having filmed alongside John Wayne, Charles Bronson, Gene Hackman and Kim Basinger, it is now known that the actor owes a $ 70,000 debt.
Kim has financial worries more serious than him. We realize that many stars such as Prince or Nicolas Cage have been in great financial difficulties for a few years.
For Jan-Michael Vincent, life has not always smiled but moments of joy still linger with his wife Anna. He also has a daughter, Amber, born in 1973.