Jan-Michael Vincent is old, broke, and an alcoholic with one leg. Yet another lesson in “You got too much money” for a young Hollywood star who didn’t read the directions.
The young and lucky Californian earned $40,000 an episode filming the hit TV series Airwolf in the mid-80s – a King’s ransom in those days. Pretty boy.. ain’t too pretty now.
One day you’re a good-looking surfer boy who becomes the highest-paid TV actor in the business – the next day you’re sitting around with one leg, half a liver and thousands owed in back taxes.
That’s the glamour of Hollywood.
Jan-Michael Vincent now lives out his days as a recovering alcoholic who almost died a few years ago after an infection forced him to have his right leg amputated. Helicopter pilot Stringfellow Hawke from the top-rated television series “Airwolf” – even while filming the show – admitted to issues with drugs and alcohol. Sadly, he still has them to this day:
This is the story of the hearthrob star of “Airwolf,” plummeting to earth. In Mississippi, no less:
When the show ended in 1986, acting roles dried up for Vincent as his demons got the better of him. He also suffered his fair share of bad luck including two serious car accidents.
In the first incident in 1996, Vincent broke three vertebrae in his neck and sustained a permanent injury to his vocal cords that left him with a permanently raspy voice.
Once an avid surfer, his other great wish is to get out on the waves once again – even if it is on a belly board now that he can no longer stand on a surfboard.
The second crash happened in 2008, but worse was to follow in 2012 when he contracted a leg infection as a result of complications from peripheral artery disease. ‘An infection in my leg got steadily worse,’ he told The Enquirer. ‘I felt like I was beaten with a whip.’
Vincent’s third wife, Anna, admits that doctors told her he might not survive the infection and in the end they were left with no option but to amputate the lower half of his right leg.
My guess is he didn’t take much advice from Ernest Borgnine or even the dude with one eye..
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