Another one bites the dust as 2016 is proving to be the year of celebrity deaths. In just under a week the world lost David Bowie (01/10/2016), Alan Rickman (01/14/2016), and yesterday morning (01/15/2016) saw the passing of 70’s pop-culture icon ‘Grizzly Adams.’
Famous TV star Dan Haggerty, best known for his performance in the 1974 film “The Life And Times Of Grizzly Adams” and the subsequent sequels and TV spin-offs, died early Friday morning.
After starring in supporting roles in movies like “Muscle Beach Party” (1964), “Easy Rider” (1969), and “Where the North Wind Blows” (1974), Haggerty landed the iconic lead in the “Grizzly Adams” film, a family-friendly period drama in which he played a hearty frontiersman based on real-life mountain man James “Grizzly” Adams (1812-1860).
The Wisconsin-born actor later reprised the character in a 1977-78 TV series, also titled “The Life and Times and Grizzly Adams,” which he co-starred alongside Denver Pyle as an aged trader named ‘Mad Jack,’ who was often featured with his mule, and Dan Shanks as a heroic Native American named Nakoma.
Haggerty’s character, Grizzly Adams, was a reformed hunter that, after being wrongfully accused of murder, is exiled into the wilderness where he adopts a grizzly cub. The two grow older together and develop a lasting friendship, at which point Adams learns of his uncanny ability to befriend all manner of wild animal. Eventually, the show turns into Adams, Mad Jack and Nakoma helping a myriad of mountain visitors while protecting wildlife at the same time. A message many of us could live by today. *The More You Know*…
Haggerty died after battling cancer for the last few months, with sources close to the family telling TMZ that doctors discovered the cancer after undergoing surgery for back pain.
If a lovable mountain man whose BFF was a grizzly bear isn’t enough for you, Haggerty also guest starred on several TV shows like “CHiPs” and “Charlie’s Angels.”
According to TMZ, “Haggerty was getting treatment in a hospital until recently when doctors told him the end was near and his son told close friends and family to come visit over the last few days before he passed.”
Bunny Ranch owner and friend of Haggerty’s Dennis Hof told TMZ, “Grizzly Adams was my friend for 20 years, the Bunnys loved him, he loved to drink with the Bunnys and told amazing jokes.”
It may just be the thunderstorms passing through my area this morning, or maybe the fact that I didn’t win the Powerball lottery, but the world seems just a little bit darker as I watch these towers of pop-culture fall one by one. Thanks, 2016. You’re a real doll.