Categories: world

RIP: Jan Michael Vincent – Surfline

6 hours ago | Updated 6 hours ago Click on celebrity-based sites like People and TMZ and you will see a title that runs something like: "Airwolf actor Jan Michael Vincent died at age 74. " And that's fair enough. The CBS action series, whose three-year run began in 1 984 and contained the square jawed Vincent who fought cruel in an outspoken military helicopter, was the last blast of celebrity the former teenage star would ever know. This, of course, does not count on the string of increasingly tawdry 1990s actors who saw the once-preternaturally beautiful actor in visible phases of decline, against a variety of accusations, ranging from cocaine possession to felony attack on public obscurity. But while the regular celebrity press could now refer to him in the form of a pale, enchanted star, surfer Jan Michael Vincent will live forever in the role of Matt Johnson, the troubled hero of 1978, who is as deficient but now surprisingly popular surf epic Big Wednesday . The role was not a stretch for Vincent. Although he lived in Bakersfield when he was "discovered" (Vincent controlled his mailbox when in 1966 drove a universal talent scooter drove on the way back to LA and struck off the teen's good looks, hit the brakes), Michael, as he was known at that time , had already learned to surf while living at Pismo Beach. After moving to Los Angeles in 1967 and quickly landing roles in exhibitions such as Dragnet, Banana…

6 hours ago | Updated 6 hours ago


Click on celebrity-based sites like People and TMZ and you will see a title that runs something like: “Airwolf actor Jan Michael Vincent died at age 74. “

And that’s fair enough. The CBS action series, whose three-year run began in 1

984 and contained the square jawed Vincent who fought cruel in an outspoken military helicopter, was the last blast of celebrity the former teenage star would ever know. This, of course, does not count on the string of increasingly tawdry 1990s actors who saw the once-preternaturally beautiful actor in visible phases of decline, against a variety of accusations, ranging from cocaine possession to felony attack on public obscurity. But while the regular celebrity press could now refer to him in the form of a pale, enchanted star, surfer Jan Michael Vincent will live forever in the role of Matt Johnson, the troubled hero of 1978, who is as deficient but now surprisingly popular surf epic Big Wednesday .

The role was not a stretch for Vincent. Although he lived in Bakersfield when he was “discovered” (Vincent controlled his mailbox when in 1966 drove a universal talent scooter drove on the way back to LA and struck off the teen’s good looks, hit the brakes), Michael, as he was known at that time , had already learned to surf while living at Pismo Beach. After moving to Los Angeles in 1967 and quickly landing roles in exhibitions such as Dragnet, Banana Splits, Lassie and Bonanza Vincent finally moved to Malibu and continued to surf seriously. And while he wasn’t so famous in the surf as he was for his roles in films like The Mechanic and Disney’s world’s greatest sportsman, JMV (which he referred to himself) built respectful credibility along the coast.

“My friendship with Jan started in 1972, on my first trip to America”, recalls 1976 world champion Peter Townend. “Mark Warren and I lived with Hal Jepson in Topanga Canyon and during a good swelling we went up to Ranch. Jan was there, parked at Rights and Lefts in his mobile home, and that introduction led to a friendship that changed the life of my life. “

The sharp turn PT talked about came in 1977 when he was hired as a surfing-stunt double for the upcoming Warner Bros. movie Big Wednesday written and directed by John Milius. To cast the script’s protagonist, Matt Johnson (modeled after Malibu champion Lance Carson), Milius did not look any further than Jan Michael Vincent.

Read more: Big Wednesday prizes in Hollywood. Top image: Merkel / A-Frame

“He was a good choice in many ways because he had this Golden Boy image”, Milius reflected in the 2010 documentary Hollywood Surf Not . “But he was a worried Golden Boy. And I felt that Matt Johnson’s character should be so.” Troubled Matt Johnson was – resting on past glories, unable to change over time, eventually sinking into a murder of abuse and a shameful case of surfgrace. Again, the role of Vincent seemed to be perfect.

On the set “Big Wednesday”. (Top photo: Dan Merkel / A-Frame)

“He had a self-destructive personality,” explains PT, also included in the documentary’s profile of Big Wednesday’s story. “He was a perfect fit for the character. Milius threw him perfectly because he really played himself.”

Yet, unlike Big Wednesday, Matt Johnson, who rallies for a final epic runaway session before he gracefully hung up his balsa gun and moved to the valley, JMV, despite a short halcyon on Airwolf, continued its roll to the low corner, the subsequent decades painted in gray shades of addiction, diseases, injuries and humility. Vincent released his cultural radar altogether, Vincent lived his last years in seclusion, first in the Mississippi countryside and eventually in North Carolina, where on February 10 he died of a cardiac arrest. But, even though this one-eyed boy may have left the scene far from the waves that once gave him such joy, he could have taken some Malibu and much Matt Johnson with him.

“Life takes you in different places at different times and times of your life,” JMV stated in Hollywood’s emotional climax Don’t Surf. “But when you surf, you get old until you die like surfers.”

Share
Published by
Faela