Jan-Michael Vincent was born in Colorado near the end of World War II but he was raised in California. He was in the National Guard when he was discovered by a talent scout that was struck by his good looks. He first appeared on-screen in The Hardy Boys: The Mystery of the Chinese Junk (1967). This was followed by Journey to Shiloh (1968) and then on “Danger Island” a Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning TV show that was part of “The Banana Splits Adventure Hour” 1968.
Vincent was a handsome young actor that was a force to be reckoned with from the 1970-1980s. However, his star power seemed to wane as quickly as it rose. He was often cast as a lone force fighting the system. He worked in movies such as The Undefeated (1969) with John Wayne and Rock Hudson. In Tribes (1970) where he played a young Marine recruit in conflict with his drill instructor. In White Line Fever (1975) he took on a corrupt trucking company with Slim Pickens. One of his finest early film was Baby Blue Marine (1976) where he returned home as a washout from basic training but was forced into the role of Marine protector and defender of an innocent Asian American. Later he played the same character in Vigilante Force (1976) and The Winds of War (1983). He was worked with other major stars of the era such as Charles Bronson in The Mechanic (1972) and with Robert Mitchum in Going Home (1971).
In 1978 Vincent played a surfer in Big Wednesday which prophetically foreshadowed his real life trouble with booze and self-doubt and really never being able to reach his full potential. Big Wednesday which stared Gary Busey and William Katt is a fantastic movie.
In 1984, he was cast in the TV show Airwolf. After 3 years staring on this show with Ernest Borgnine, Vincent’s star power was gone. Mostly to blame was his addition to alcohol and drugs. He had several wrecks that ruined his voice and his good looks. Following Airwolf he only appeared in low budget B-movies such as Alienator (1990), The Divine Enforcer (1992), Deadly Heroes (1993) and Lethal Orbit (1996). His last film, White Boy was released in 2002.
As of 2014 Vincent was living north of Vicksburg in Mississippi he has had medical issues and lost part of this right leg and is deeply in debt.
See all his acting roles at IMDB.com
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