How Did Jan-Michael Vincent Die? New Details About The 'Airwolf' Star's Death

He was 73.

How Did Jan-Michael Vincent Die? New Details About The 'Airwolf' Star's Death Getty 

Jan-Michael Vincent has died. The actor known best for his role on the TV show "Airwolf," died back on Feb. 10 in North Carolina, according to TMZ. He was 73. 

Vincent died while he was a patient at Mission Hospital's Memorial Campus in Asheville. So how did Jan-Michael Vincent die? According to his death certificate, he died of cardiac arrest, which was likely brought on by his slew of personal problems and a longtime illness. 


After his death, no autopsy was performed and he was cremated. Here's everything we know about Jan-Michael Vincent's death. 

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1. He had addiction issues. 

Vincent's battle with drugs and alcohol was very public. He was arrested three times between 1977-1979 for possession of cocaine, and he was arrested twice between 1984-1985 for getting into bar fights. 


Tragedy struck the first time when he got into a car accident in 1996 in Mission Viejo, California. He broke three vertebrae in his neck and permanently damaged his vocal cords during an emergency medical procedure. It left him with a raspy voice he'd carry for the rest of his life. 

He was charged with drunk driving after that accident, and when asked about it on The Insider, he answered: "Y'know, I have no idea what you're talking about. I don't remember being in an accident."

2. He had to have his leg amputated. 

Then, 12 years later, he was faced with another medical issue that proved to be even more damaging than the first one. 


In 2008, he was involved in another crash and then contracted a leg infection due to complications from peripheral artery disease, otherwise known as an abnormal narrowing of arteries that supply blood to the brain. That infection resulted in two sections of his right leg being amputated. 

He told the National Enquirer that it was amputated in 2012 and that he since had been walking with a prosthetic limb but sometimes had to use a wheelchair.

An infection in my leg got steadily worse,” he said. “I felt like I was beaten with a whip, one thing after another.”

“When the doctor said they had to amputate, I almost fainted, but I had to be brave for him," said his third wife, Anna. "They said the infection was so bad that he might not 
survive. I remember one horrible night in the hospital. I had to help hold him down and keep the oxygen mask on him so he could breathe.”


But he did survive. 

“I know I was on life support and a ventilator," he said. "When I finally woke up it, (my leg) was gone.” 

3. There were abuse allegations. 

Vincent first married Bonnie Poorman in 1968. They had one daughter, Amber Vincent, in 1972 before divorcing in 1977. He remarried to Joanne Robinson in 1986, but that marriage went south. 


In 1998, she left him and filed a restraining order against him, alleging that he had sexually abused her during their marriage and threatened to kill her. In court, Robinson said that Vincent had "given her black eyes, broken ribs, forced her to have sex with him and his friends and threatened her and her pets."

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4. He was charged with felony assault. 

The 80s heartthrob was charged with felony assault in 1986. A woman accused the actor of punching her in the face and breaking her nose. She said he was complaining that she was interfering with his relationship; he was dating Robinson at the time and they got married after he was charged. The woman claimed the incident left her with a broken nose and split lip that required 16 stitches.


He was acquitted of those charges after his attorney had argued that the woman tripped over a telephone cord in his home and fell. 

"I was surprised it didn't come sooner," the actor told reporters outside of the court.

5. He was accused of assault again by a former girlfriend. 

In 2000, Vincent's former girlfriend accused him of physically assaulting her in an attack that caused her to miscarry their child. She also claimed she was unable to work because of her injuries. 


A judge granted a $374,00 default against him to his former live-in girlfriend after he failed to show up to the trial.

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Emily Blackwood is a writer and editor living in California. She covers all things news, pop culture and true crime.