The actor Jan-Michael Vincent, who has died aged 73 of cardiac arrest, had the formidable, sun-bleached good looks and strapping physique to be a successful leading man, but only some of the talent required and precious little of the wisdom or luck.
His most notable work was as one of a trio of blond Malibu surfer buddies in John Milius’s mythic and highly regarded coming-of-age drama Big Wednesday (1978). The film follows its characters from the start of the 1960s to the mid-70s as they variously confront maturity, fatherhood, Vietnam and the eternal allure of the Pacific ocean. Vincent, a passionate surfer himself, came to Milius’s attention after the film’s co-writer Dennis Aaberg saw him catching waves at Topanga. Though stunt doubles were involved in the filming, he and his co-stars, Gary Busey and William Katt,