Miami Vice Wiki
Terry Kath


Miami Vice Performer
January 31, 1946, Chicago, Illinois
January 23, 1978, Los Angeles, California (age 31, accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound)
Camelia Emily Ortiz (1974-78, his death), one daughter

Terry Alan Kath (January 31, 1946 - January 23, 1978) was an American guitarist, best known as one of the founding members of the jazz-rock fusion band Chicago. His song "Tell Me" was featured in the episode "Freefall" of the series Miami Vice, and is the final pop song used in the series (not counting the "lost" episodes, which should have come before the finale).


Kath formed The Chicago Transit Authority in 1967 out of other bands in the area. Kath joined Peter Cetera, Bobby Lamm, James Pankow, Danny Seraphine and Walter Perazaider as founding members and adopted a jazz-rock fusion style, similar to the bands Blood, Sweat and Tears, and Ides of March. The band's name was shortened to Chicago after complaints from the real CTA. Kath's contributions to Chicago included his guitar solo in the middle of the song "25 or 6 to 4", the extended guitar sound in "Beginnings", and his vocals in "Make Me Smile", "Colour My World", and "Wishing You Were Here" (with Cetera and The Beach Boys). Kath appeared on the first 11 Chicago albums, and a film, Electric Glide In Blue (featuring "Tell Me"), in 1973.


Kath had drug abuse and weight issues, but his death had nothing to do with those problems. On January 23, 1978, Kath was at roadie Don Johnson's (not related to the actor) home in the Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles, California, playing with guns by putting them to his head and pulling the trigger. Kath then put a 9mm semi-automatic to his head, put a cartridge in it, thinking it was not loaded, but the gun was loaded, and Kath died instantly from the gunshot that resulted at the age of 31, leaving his widow, Camelia Emily Ortiz (married in 1974, she later married actor Kiefer Sutherland from 1987-1990) and his daughter, Michelle (born 1976). Considered "the soul of Chicago", the band went into a decline after his death that lasted until 1982.