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Dan Haggerty, ‘Grizzly Adams’ Star, Dies at 74

The actor loses battle with cancer

Dan Haggerty, the famous ’70s actor who played Grizzly Adams in “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams,” died Friday morning of cancer, a rep for Haggerty told TheWrap. He was 74.

Doctors discovered the cancer after Haggerty had surgery for back pain.

“All the awards pale in comparison to his huge laugh and wonderful sense of humor that made everyone laugh with him,” his manager Terry Bomar said in a statement to TheWrap. “He would light up any room he entered. He loved life, loved his family, loved his friends and fans. The last words I heard him say were ‘I love you.'”

“Grizzly Adams” was about a man who flees to the mountains after being wrongly accused of murder, and befriends a grizzly bear. The character was based on a real-life California trapper from the 1880s.

The movie had a budget of less than $200,000 but went on to gross $45 million domestically. Because of its success, NBC debuted a series of the same name in 1977. The TV show only lasted two seasons, but Haggerty reprised his role as Grizzly Adams in another feature released in 1981, as well as in a made-for-TV movie released in 1982.

His daughter, Megan, ran a crowdfunding campaign until Dec. 22, 2015 to “help Dan Haggerty fight his battle with cancer.” Only $10,625 was raised of the target of $100,000.

In 1985, Haggerty was sentenced to 90 days in County Jail and three years’ probation for selling cocaine to two undercover cops. The jury found him guilty on one count but also decided that the officers had lured him into selling them the drug.

The same year, he also pleaded guilty to federal charges of failing to file tax returns in 1978 and 1981.

After a motorcycle accident that required him to get 18 operations, he portrayed another mountain man in a film called “Grizzly Mountain” in 1997. He also had roles in a number of TV series, including “CHiPs” and “Charlie’s Angels.”

In 2007, he had a part in “Big Stan,” directed by and starring Rob Schneider. “The Untold Story” and “40 Nights,” two more of Haggerty’s most recent film projects are currently in post-production and are slated for a 2016 release.