SAD NEWS, ACTOR OF ONE OF MY FAVORITE 70′S SHOWS PASSES AWAY …
Dan Haggerty, the actor who played mountain man Grizzly Adams with his sidekick, a real bear named Ben, in the 1974 movie (VIDEO) that would become a NBC TV weekly show, The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, has passed away. Dan Haggerty died Friday in Burbank, California at 74 as a result of cancer of the spine. Haggerty. who rose to stardom with his rose as the gently mountain man, Grizzly Adams, who was falsely accused of murder and fled to the woods. On a personal note, how I loved this show growing up as a kid and could not wait for it all week to come on. Grizzly Adams and his relationship with an orphaned bear named Ben, Hollywood take note. The TV series ran from 1977 to 1978. Why does it seem like it was so much longer? Maybe it was because it was one of my favorite TV shows of all time!
Dan Haggerty – Rest in Peace
Early on in his career and this was something I never knew, Haggerty was cast in a small non-speaking role as a bodybuilder in the 1964 film Muscle Beach Party, with Franky Avalon and Annette Funicello, and also as a bodybuilder in Girl Happy. These were followed by appearances in various biker and wildlife films such as Easy Rider, Angels Die Hard, The Adventures of Frontier Fremont, and Terror Out of the Sky.
Dan Haggerty, who played a gentle mountain man with a luxuriant beard and a bear named Ben in the 1974 movie “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams” and the NBC television series of the same name, died on Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 73.
The cause was cancer of the spine, his friend and manager Terry Bomar said.
Mr. Haggerty was working as a stuntman and animal handler in Hollywood when a producer asked him to act in some opening scenes he was reshooting for a film about a woodsman and his bear. Based on the novel “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams,” by Charles Sellier Jr., it told the story of a California man falsely accused of murder who flees to the woods, where he develops a rapport with the animals around him and tames an orphaned bear.
The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams – The Adams Cub
“Dan Haggerty, a beloved Father and friend, has died at 4:30 this morning at St Joseph Hospital in Burbank, CA, surrounded by his family that loved him. He had fought a long hard battle with cancer of the spine that was discovered in August of this year,” Bomar wrote in a press release.
He continued, “All the awards pale in comparison to his huge laugh and wonderful sense of humor that made everyone laugh with him. He would light up any room he entered. He loved life, loved his family, loved his friends and fans.”
Grizzly Adams Pilot Episode Part 1
Daniel Francis Haggerty was born on Nov. 19, 1942, in Los Angeles. His parents separated when he was 3, and he had a troubled childhood, escaping several times from military school before going to live with his father, an actor, in Burbank, Calif.
At 17 he married Diane Rooker. The marriage ended in divorce. His second wife, the former Samantha Hilton, died after a motorcycle accident in 2008. He is survived by his children, Megan, Tracy, Dylan, Cody and Don.
His first film was “Muscle Beach Party” (1964), in which he played a body builder named Biff opposite Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. Bit parts in biker and wildlife films followed, as characters like “Bearded Biker” or “Biker With Bandana.” He appeared briefly in “Easy Rider” as a member of the hippie commune that Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper visit.
He made several films with an outdoor setting, including “Where the North Wind Blows” (1974), in which he played a Siberian tiger trapper, and “The Adventures of Frontier Fremont” (1976). He appeared as a dog trainer in the David Carradine film “Americana” (1983). In “Grizzly Mountain” (1997) and “Escape to Grizzly Mountain” (2000) he played a character very much like Grizzly Adams.
As his career cooled, Mr. Haggerty appeared in horror films like “Terror Night” (1987), “Elves” (1989) — playing an alcoholic mall Santa — and “Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan” (2013).