Airwolf and Big Wednesday star Jan-Michael Vincent dies at age 74

Airwolf and Big Wednesday star Jan-Michael Vincent dies at age 74

Airwolf and Big Wednesday star Jan-Michael Vincent dies at age 74

TMZ was the first to report the news. Vincent had fought a high-profile battle with substance abuse for many years, survived two serious auto wrecks, and in 2012 lost a leg to peripheral artery disease.

Vincent's career waned after his Airwolf heyday and he retired from acting in 2009. The show, which aired on CBS from 1984 through 1986, starred Vincent as a military helicopter pilot named Stringfellow Hawke.

Before Airwolf, Vincent appeared in The Mechanic opposite Charles Bronson, and the action thriller White Line Fever among many other productions.

The actor began his rise to fame in the 1960s and 1970s with film roles, including the cult classic surfing/coming-of-age film "Big Wednesday" (opposite Gary Busey and William Katt), and guest spots on numerous TV series. While on the show, Vincent was one of the highest paid people on TV, reportedly getting paid $200,000 per episode.

Vincent and "Airwolf" co-star Jean Bruce Scott.

In 2000 he was ordered to pay over $350,000 as part of a default judgment against him after he physically assaulted a former girlfriend, which caused her to miscarry their child, Variety reported. That same year, he was sentenced to 60 days in prison for violating his probation for previous alcohol-related arrests. His last credit came in 2002, and in 2012 he had his lower leg amputated after an illness.

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