June 24, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Grizzly Adams Actor Dan Haggerty Dies At Age 74

Actor Dan Haggerty in 2004 (Thinkstock: Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images).
Actor Dan Haggerty in 2004 (Thinkstock: Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images).

Actor Dan Haggerty, who starred as nature-loving outdoorsman Grizzly Adams on the big screen and on television, died today. He was 74.

Haggerty died at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, his manager, Terry Bomar, told The Hollywood Reporter.

His daughter, Megan, had turned to a crowdfunding site in a bid to raise money for his fight against “this bear known as cancer.” She had raised about $10,500 toward a goal of $100,000, according to the Reporter.     Early in his career, Haggerty portrayed a character named Biff in the Frankie Avalon-Annette Funicello film Muscle Beach Party (1964) and later appeared in Girl Happy (1965) opposite Elvis Presley and in Easy Rider (1969).

But his best-known role was that of James Capen “Grizzly” Adams, who is wrongly accused of murder and heads into the mountains, bonds with animals and adopts an orphan cub in The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams (1974). The character was based on a real-life trapper who lived in California in the 1880s, according to the Reporter.

The independent film was made for less than $200,000, grossed $45 million and spawned an NBC series that debuted in 1977 and lasted two seasons. He later played Adams in a feature released in 1981 and in a 1982 telefilm.

In 1985, Haggerty was sentenced to 90 days in jail and three years’ probation for selling cocaine to two undercover police officers. He claimed he was set up.

Haggerty also had a motorcycle accident that left him close to death and underwent 18 operations. But he later returned to play another mountain man in Grizzly Mountain (1997) and in a 2000 sequel.

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