For the readers who were born in the ’70s the name ‘Airwolf’ is unmistakenly linked with Jan-Michael Vincent, the star from the ’80s TV series “Airwolf” and its distinctive synthbased theme. The word is now out that Jan-Michael Vincent is dead, aged 73.
Vincent’s death has remained unreported, he died back on February 10 already, but the word is now spreading fast. Vincent died after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was cremated without letting the sad news leak out to the press.
Airwolf was an American television series that ran from 1984 until 1987. The program centers on a high-tech military helicopter, code named Airwolf, and its crew as they undertake various exotic missions, many involving espionage, with a Cold War theme. The first three seasons main cast consisted of Jan-Michael Vincent, Ernest Borgnine, Alex Cord, and from the second season onwards Jean Bruce Scott was added as a regular.
The show’s distinctive musical score, which was originally orchestral but shifted to more synthesizer-based arrangements early in the second season, was composed and mainly conducted by Sylvester Levay which you can listen to below.
Troubled private life
Vincent battled alcoholism and intravenous drug use for much of his life. During the 1990s, he was involved in three severe automobile collisions, which he barely survived. In an accident in August 1996 Vincent broke three vertebrae in his neck. He sustained a permanent injury to his vocal cords from an emergency medical procedure, leaving him with a permanently raspy voice. The first near fatal accident occurred in February 1992, and the third happened in September 1997.
Although his CBS hit “Airwolf” turned him into a huge star (he was reportedly the highest-paid actor at $200k per episode back then), the series lasted only a couple seasons largely in part to the star’s cocaine abuse. His acting career would ultimately suffer from it.
Jan-Michael already nearly died in 2012 from an infection that required his right leg to be amputated.