Dan Haggerty dead after long spell of illness: Cause of death cancer of the spine, update
Dan Haggerty who is known for his role in Hollywood blockbuster The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams and a NBC series is dead. He succumbed to cancer of the spine. Haggerty breathed his last yesterday in Burbank, Calif. He was 73.
Born in the year 1941 he started appearing in small roles in Hollywood movies in sixties and continued appearing in films despite many diseases afflicting him till even the year 2007. The last film in which he appeared was in 2007 when he appeared in Big Stan.
Initially he started appearing in movies for his love of animals and his dexterity in training them. In many films he appeared as animal trainer. He played myriad roles as animal trainer and handler in films produced by Walt Disney Studios.
He also appeared in many movies Haggerty also worked as a stuntman on the television series Tarzan, and as set builder on various other projects. When it came to handling dangerous beasts like tigers and lions he had no match. He directed white tigers, wolverines, eagles and wild boar in When the North Wind Blows and worked with bears, foxes and hawks in the 1997 film Grizzly Mountain.
There is no denying the fact that Grizzly Mountain was a massive hit by all accounts. The film was remade for $165,000 and eventually took in nearly $30 million at the box office. It was then adapted for television, and in February 1977 Haggerty resumed his eco-friendly role as guardian of the woods and friend to the animals.
The actor and animal trainer actually outlived his Grizzly co-star Bozo, a female grizzly that played Ben on the show and died in 1999 at age 39. Born Gene Jajonski on Nov. 19, 1941 in Wisconsin, Haggerty’s family made a living running a wild animal attraction that included a black bear. Haggerty got his start in show business playing a bodybuilder in the Elvis Presley movie “Girl Happy” and a biker in “Easy Rider.” After “Grizzly,” Haggerty landed small roles on TV shows like “Charlie’s Angels” and “The Love Boat.” But his career took a big hit after he was busted in 1985 for selling cocaine to undercover police officers. Tragedy struck in 2008 when his wife Samantha was killed in a motorcycle accident. He is survived by his children: Megan, Dylan, Cody, Tracey and Don.