Jan-Michael Vincent, Star of ‘Airwolf’ and ‘The Mechanic,’ Dies at 74

The actor died on Feb. 10

jan-michael vincent
Jan-Michael Vincent in 1980's "Defiance" (Photo by American International Pictures /Getty Images)

Jan-Michael Vincent, who starred in the TV series “Airwolf” and movies like “The Mechanic,” died on Feb. 10 at the age of 74 in North Carolina, according to a death certificate obtained by KTLA.

According to CBS, the actor died of cardiac arrest.

Vincent’s other credits including 1970’s “Tribes,” 1975’s “White Line Fever,” 1976’s “Baby Blue Marine.” In 2002, he starred in the drama “White Boy.” Other films include “Bite the Bullet” and “Big Wednesday.”

Vincent was born on July 15, 1944, in Denver. He made his first appearance on screen in the 1967 TV film “The Hardy Boys: The Mystery of the Chinese Junk.” He was found by a talent scout because of his looks as he was finishing a tour of duty in the California Army National Guard, and then made his movie debut opposite Robert Conrad in “The Bandits.”

His career took off in the late 1960s when he was signed to Universal Studios by casting agent Dick Clayton. He also appeared on the “Dragnet 1968” episode titled “The Grenade” and made an appearance in Hanna-Barbera’s “The Banana Splits” series. He then had a starring role in the soap opera “The Survivors” opposite George Hamilton.

Vincent battled with alcohol and substance abuse, having been arrested for possession of cocaine and bar brawls various times. He also received a felony assault charge in 1986 of which he was acquitted, but was arrested for drunk driving and entered rehab in 1988. He was also involved in three car accidents which he barely survived and received severe injuries from, including permanent damage to his vocal cords and three broken vertebrae in his neck.

In 2000, he was forced to pay more than $350,000 as part of a default judgment made against him when his former girlfriend accused him of physical assault that caused her to miscarry their child. That same year, he was sentenced to 60 days in prison for violating his probation for previous alcohol-related arrests.

In 2014, he revealed that his right leg was amputated just below the knee in 2012 after he contracted a leg infection as a result of peripheral artery disease.

Vincent is survived by his wife and daughter.

A spokesperson for Vincent has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.