Alex Cord, best known for his role on the 1980s television show Airwolf, died on Monday, August 9, 2021 at his home in Valley, View Texas.
Cord’s character, Michael Coldsmith Briggs III also known as Archangel, appeared in 55 episodes of the hit show.
— New York Post (@nypost) August 10, 2021
Sad to hear that Alex Cord has passed away. An accomplished and charismatic talent, he always lit up the screen. As Michael Coldsmith-Briggs III (Archangel) in Airwolf, he stole every scene with style & was a joy to watch. You’ll be missed sir. #RIPAlexCord #Archangel #Airwolf pic.twitter.com/gaTv926gLI
— JASON PALMER (@Jason_EntFocus) August 10, 2021
He was 88 years old.
No cause of death has been revealed.
Cord had an interesting life and career.
In fact, his real life persona was more interesting than some of the colorful characters he played.
Here are three things about Alex Cord most may not know.
1. Cord Is A Stage Name
In his earliest acting jobs, Alex Cord is listed by his birth name Alex Viespi.
He changed his name so that he did not have to continue spelling out his last name.
Obviously, Cord is simpler to spell.
Though many believed otherwise, the chosen name was inspired by a friend and not from a character in the 1964 movie Carpetbaggers.
Cord is best known for Airwolf, but he had many other roles including television appearances on The Six Million Dollar Man, Police Story, The Love Boat, Murder, She Wrote, Fantasy Island, and Walker, Texas Ranger.
He was also an accomplished author who penned several novels.
2. Overcame Polio As A Child
#RIP Alex Cord; onetime rodeo performer overcame polio to star in John Wayne remakes and portray Michael Coldsmith Briggs III — better known by the code name Archangel — on 'Airwolf.' https://t.co/0VQvZbU3MH
— Mike Barnes (@MikeBarnes4) August 10, 2021
Born in New York, Cord was diagnosed with polio at the age of 12.
He spent a lot of his youth in a hospital suffering from iron lung.
His family relocated to Wyoming where a doctor recommended that Cord take up horseback riding to help combat the effects of polio.
By the time Cord turned 16, he was fully recovered from polio.
From this point on, Cord’s entire life was consumed by a love of horses, and at one point, he had aspirations of being a professional jockey but at nearly 6′ tall, he was deemed too tall for the job.
3. Multiple Marriages
Cord was married three times and had three children.
Not much information is known about his first wife though his son Wayne was born to her.
His second marriage lasted over 20 years to actress Joanne Pettet.
A son Damien was born from this marriage.
He died of an overdose in 1995 at the age of 26.
His third marriage was to Susannah Boye-Moller Cord, a horse trainer.
It was a 15-year union that ended in divorce in 2017.
Cord also had a daughter Toni Aluisa to girlfriend Mary Ann Hutchinson.
He loved horses and women and spoke in an interview about how similar they were.
“Personality and character traits in horses are as clearly defined as in women and before you can get along with a horse, you have to work out an understanding, a relationship with it. Same with women.”
“It takes a lot of understanding to get along with a horse, just as it does with a woman. If you make the wrong move with a horse, you can be bucked off. If you make a mistake with a woman, it can cost you a fortune.”
Rest in Peace Alex Cord.