Who was Dan Haggerty?
Dan Haggerty was an American actor, best remembered for playing the title character in the television series as well as the movie ‘The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams’. His parents divorced when he was three and he was raised in a family that operated a small wild animal attraction center, eventually instilling in him the ability to train animals. His unique physique and strong built helped him fetch the roles of bodybuilders in numerous films. The talented actor contributed greatly to several small and big screen projects for which he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994. On a personal note, he married twice in his lifetime. He had two daughters with his first wife and two sons and a daughter with the second. Haggerty remained with his second wife until her death in 2008. After being diagnosed with spinal cancer, he died in January 2016, at the age of 74.
Dan Haggerty initially played the roles of bodybuilders in the films ‘Muscle Beach Party’ and ‘Girl Happy’. He then featured in a number of biker and wildlife movies including ‘Easy Rider’, ‘The Adventures of Frontier Fremont’, ‘Terror Out of the Sky’ and ‘Angels Die Hard’.
His experience with wild animals also garnered him roles as an animal trainer in many Walt Disney’s movies. Haggerty also served as a stuntman on the TV series ‘Tarzan’. In 1974, he was cast in the title role for the feature film ‘The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams’. He later reprised his role in NBC’s series of the same name which aired from 1977 to 1978. Soon after this, the actor starred in the television movie ‘Condominium’ alongside Barbara Eden, Stuart Whitman and Ralph Bellamy. He next made a guest appearance in ‘The Love Boat’ in 1983 and also contributed to David Carradine's flick ‘Americana’ that year. During 1987 and 1988, he had roles in the films ‘Terror Night’ and ‘Night Wars’. These were followed by his appearances in ‘The Chilling’ and ‘Spirit of the Eagle’.
Haggerty began the new decade with main roles in the films ‘Repo Jake’ and ‘Elves’. In 1995, he starred in ‘Grizzly Mountain.’ This was followed by his role in the 2000 fantasy movie ‘Escape to Grizzly Mountain’ which tells the story of a latch-key kid who rescues an abused bear cub and brings him to a secret cave. He next played Tubby in ‘Big Stan’ which released in 2007. In 2013, the actor played the role of a lumberjack foreman in the fantasy/horror ‘Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan’. Besides these, Haggerty has also done a number of voice-overs. He was also seen in several music videos by Rogues of the Empire and Hank Williams, Jr.
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Family & Personal Life
Dan Haggerty was born on November 19, 1941, in USA. Following his parent’s divorce when he was three, he was raised by a family that raised wild animals.
In 1959, he married Diane Rooker. The couple had two daughters, Tammy and Tracey. After his separation from Rooker, Haggerty married Samantha Hilton. The two had a daughter named Megan and two sons, Dylan and Cody. They lived together until Samantha's death in August 2008.
In 1985, the actor was arrested for selling cocaine to an undercover police officer, eventually receiving a jail sentence of 90 days along with three years probation.
He breathed his last on January 15, 2016 after suffering from spinal cancer.