Alex Cord, Star of Military Drama ‘Airwolf,’ Dies at 88

Alex Cord, the actor best known for playing Michael Coldsmith Briggs III, a.k.a Archangel, in the ’80s military drama “Airwolf,” died on Monday at his home in Valley View, Texas, his rep Linda McAlister confirmed to Variety. He was 88.

Cord starred in 55 episodes of the action series, which ran for four seasons from 1984-1987, alongside Jan-Michael Vincent, Ernest Borgnine, Deborah Pratt and Jean Bruce Scott in the first three seasons on CBS. The show followed the military crew of a high-tech helicopter called Airwolf as they undertook various high-stakes espionage missions. The show was canceled on CBS after three seasons, but USA Network picked it up for a fourth with a brand new cast and smaller budget.

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“Airwolf” actress Anne Lockhart said, “That fine cowboy was my close friend for nearly 40 years. It was my joy to have worked with him and spent hundreds of hours on horseback together. II will miss him terribly. Ride on, Alex!”

Western actor Robert Fuller also remembered his friend, writing, “I’ve known him since he first worked with me in an episode of ‘Laramie.’ He had been like a brother to me and I will miss him deeply. He was passionate about acting, writing, and horse training. He was a fabulous raconteur and entertained us all with fabulous stories about all his adventures in the film industry. He was one of the good guys and would give his right arm to help friend or stranger.”

Ernest Borgnine, lrft, Jan-Michael Vincent and Alex Cord in “Airwolf” - Credit: Courtesy Everett Collection
Ernest Borgnine, lrft, Jan-Michael Vincent and Alex Cord in “Airwolf” - Credit: Courtesy Everett Collection

Courtesy Everett Collection

Born in Floral Park, New York, in 1933, Cord attended New York University and the American Shakespeare Theater in Connecticut. He became known for appearing in Westerns, action and crime projects across TV and film. His first TV role came in an episode of the NBC western series “Laramie” in 1961. A month later, he appeared in an episode of the CBS western show “Frontier Circus.” His first film credit was in Warner Bros.’ “The Chapman Report” in 1962.

He appeared in dozens of TV shows from the 1960s through the 1990s. Some of his noteworthy credits include “Route 66,” “Police Story,” “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “The Love Boat,” “Fantasy Island,” “Murder, She Wrote” and “Walker, Texas Ranger.” He’s also one of the few actors to appear on both the original and revived version of the CBS series “Mission: Impossible.”

His film credits include “Stagecoach,” “Stiletto,” “The Last Grenade,” “The Dead Are Alive,” “Grayeagle,” “Jungle Warriors” and “The Naked Truth.”

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