Airwolf – from 80s hunk to cocaine addict – Jan-Michael Vincent's rollercoaster life

Airwolf hunk Jan-Michael Vincent had it all at the height of his fame – the best paid job on US TV, rugged good looks and a glittering career.

However, he famously self-destructed in a blaze of booze and drug problems that ended up with him being dumped from Hollywood’s A-list in spectacular fashion.

Vincent died on February 10 aged 74 after suffering a cardiac arrest, and is best-remembered for his role in the TV show that made his name.

Airwolf both made Vincent and broke him as he spiralled into drug addiction during his time in the spotlight and he never recovered.

After spending more than a decade as a jobbing actor, he landed the role of a lifetime in the action TV series.

He soon became the best paid actor on American TV, commanding fees of £200,000 an episode – a staggering amount of money in the mid-1980s.

With success, came temptation and Vincent was unable to resist the lure of the dark side of fame.

He’d already established himself as a bit of a bad boy in the 1970s with a string of arrests for cocaine possession, but after Airwolf he plunged into full-on addiction.

Jan-Michael Vincent had a deeply troubled life plagued by drug addiction and ill health

He blew up his Hollywood career as he plunged into addiction

Vincent was known to be binging on weed, booze and cocaine before eventually turning to intravenous drug use.

It began to affect his work and he developed a reputation for being difficult on-set, but producers regularly forgave his antics.

He got involved in bar brawls and was arrested several times for fighting, but it seemed to spiral after Airwolf went off air in 1987.

A year later, he was arrested on a DUI but avoided jail by going to rehab.

The actor had his leg amputated in 2012 after contracting a blood infection

He was a pin-up in the 1980s after shooting to fame in Airwolf

During the 1990s, he was involved in a series of car accidents including a near-fatal crash in 1996 which changed his life forever.

He broke his neck and damaged his vocal chords, leaving him with a permanent rasp in his voice.

The injuries he sustained blighted him for the rest of his life as he battled numerous complications for years.

It also led to another drink-driving conviction and stint in rehab.

Vincent was in and out of court after a string of arrests

He had it all, but his career nose-dived as his personal life crumbled

His health declined and so did his personal life as his relationship with his then-fiancee crumbled.

She accused him of assault and along with a number of arrests for being drunk in public, he was deemed to have violated his probation and was slung in jail in 2000.

He was sentenced to 60 days behind bars.

After getting out, he married his third wife, Patricia, and seemingly tried turning his life around.

However, his demons came back to haunt him and he contracted a nasty blood infection which led to his right leg being amputated in 2012.

Speaking in 2014, Vincent insisted he was lucky to be alive.

He told the National Enquirer: “I’m an alcoholic. I’m me. I got my personality. I don’t behave like an alcoholic.”

Speaking about the loss of his leg, he insisted it was nothing compared to what those in the military go through.

He added: “I look at this now and think I have nothing to be upset about when I think about what our U.S. military go through,.

“They’re the real heroes.”

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