How Many People Remember Grizzly Adams And Ben The Bear. I Used To Watch Every Sunday, Made My Day

Dan Haggerty passed away on January 15, 2016.  He was a cherished actor and passionate advocate for animals. His loss is deeply felt by the world. Famous for his memorable portrayal of the kind-hearted outdoorsman in «The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams,» Haggerty won over viewers with his remarkable facial hair and his loyal bear friend, Ben. He sadly passed away at the age of 73 in Burbank, California, after battling cancer of the spine.

Prior to his breakthrough role, Haggerty had already established a reputation in Hollywood as a skilled stuntman and animal handler. But it was his fateful encounter with a producer that would forever alter the course of his life. When approached to participate in the initial scenes of a film centered around a woodsman and his bear, Haggerty expressed his interest, but with a stipulation — he insisted on being involved in the entirety of the movie.

The film, adapted from Charles Sellier Jr.’s novel, turned out to be an unexpected success. Created with a humble budget of $165,000, it ended up earning an impressive $30 million at the box office. After achieving such remarkable success, a television series adaptation was born, with Haggerty returning to his role as the devoted guardian of the wilderness.

The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams struck a chord with viewers, thanks to its warm and sincere atmosphere. It was a story of a man falsely accused of murder who seeks refuge in the woods, befriends animals, and adopts an orphaned bear. In his review, John Leonard of The New York Times accurately observed that the show evokes a sense of warmth, blending elements of connecting with nature and stirring emotions.

Haggerty’s portrayal of Grizzly Adams garnered him a devoted fan base and even earned him a prestigious People’s Choice Award in 1978 for his outstanding performance in a new series. In addition to the original show’s popularity, it also spawned follow-up productions such as «Legend of the Wild» in 1978 and «The Capture of Grizzly Adams» in 1982.

However, Haggerty faced his fair share of challenges. Daniel Francis Haggerty was born on November 19, 1942, in Los Angeles, and had a challenging childhood. Throughout his childhood, he faced numerous challenges, including his parents’ separation when he was just 3 years old. Additionally, he often found himself in difficult situations, even managing to escape from military school on multiple occasions. After some time, he decided to live with his father, who happened to be an actor, in Burbank.

During his early career, Haggerty made appearances in a range of films. One notable role was in the 1964 film «Muscle Beach Party,» and he also had a part in the iconic «Easy Rider» as a member of a hippie commune. He fully embraced his deep connection with nature, residing on a small ranch in Malibu Canyon alongside tamed and rescued wild animals. This unique experience translated into jobs as an animal trainer and stuntman for TV series like “Tarzan” and “Daktari.”

Throughout his life, Haggerty consistently chose roles that highlighted his passion for wildlife and the great outdoors. Throughout his career, he consistently portrayed characters that evoked memories of Grizzly Adams, from films such as «Where the North Wind Blows» in 1974 to «Grizzly Mountain» in 1997. In addition, he explored the horror genre, making appearances in films like «Terror Night» in 1987 and «Elves» in 1989.

Although Haggerty achieved success, his life had its fair share of highs and lows. In 1985, he encountered legal troubles and was sentenced to 90 days in jail for selling cocaine to undercover police officers. In 1977, he faced a tragic incident when a customer unintentionally ignited his iconic beard at a restaurant, causing him to suffer severe burns on his arms. Surprisingly, Haggerty was able to bounce back quickly thanks to his expertise in animal healing.

Even after his death, Dan Haggerty will forever be etched in our memories as the kind-hearted mountain man who brought immense happiness and comfort through our television screens. His portrayal of Grizzly Adams and his deep passion for nature will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Dan Haggerty’s children, Megan, Tracy, Dylan, Cody, and Don, will carry on his inspiring legacy for future generations.

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