Monday, February 1, 2010

Thu Feb 4, 2010

Jan-Michael Vincent is an American actor best-known for his role as helicopter pilot Stringfellow Hawke Jan Michael Vincenton  the 1980s U.S. television series Airwolf (1984–1986), which continues to enjoy a large cult fan-base. Vincent had an extensive television and film career that began in the late 1960s and lasted until the early 2000s. 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 Jan-Michael VincentMitchum 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, followed by the notorious 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 of any actor in American television.

1 comment:

  1. Still love Jan-Michael Vincent and would love to see him make a come back. My television hasn't been the same without him on it.