Ventura City College grad Jan-Michael Vincent had just finished serving in the National Guard when he was tapped for potential film stardom by a talent agent. At first billed simply as Michael Vincent, the novice actor's "official" screen debut was the 1968 western Journey to Shiloh, though in fact he'd already had a shakedown cruise, as it were, in the Mexican film Los Bandidos (1967). He went on to co-star in the "Danger Island" segment of Hanna-Barbera's Saturday morning TV show The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, and in the prime time serial The Survivors (1969) before graduating to stardom as the hippie-dippie Marine recruit in the popular TV movie Tribes (1970). Subsequent film assignments like The Mechanic (1972) and Bite the Bullet (1975) seemed to bode well for his future as a "reluctant hero" action star, while his work in such productions as Buster and Billie (1974) proved that he had an acting range far beyond that of your usual beefcake hunk. Jan-Michael Vincent enjoyed a successful run as taciturn maverick pilot Stringfellow Hawke in the TV series Airwolf (1984-86) before becoming a fixture in such direct-to-video yarns like Hidden Obsession and Indecent Behavior (both 1993).
Biography by Hal Erickson
- Served in the California National Guard.
- Acted in his first film, Los Bandidos, at the age of 20.
- A 1996 automobile accident did permanent damage to his vocal chords.
- Was an honorary chairman of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
- Is an avid surfer.