Dan Haggerty, the famous ’70s actor who played Grizzly Adams in “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams,” died Friday morning of cancer, according to multiple media reports. He was 74.
TMZ is reporting that doctors discovered the cancer after Haggerty had surgery for back pain.
“Grizzly Adams” was about a mountain man who became best friends with a grizzly bear after he is wrongly accused of murder. The character was based on a real-life Californian trapper from the 1800s.
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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 in 1977 that lasted for two seasons. Haggerty reprised his role as Grizzly Adams in another feature released in 1981, as well as in a telefilm released in 1982.
His daughter, Megan, had a crowdfunding site until Dec. 22 to “help Dan Haggerty fight his battle with cancer.” Only $10,625 was raised, as opposed to its 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 pled 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 starred in TV series like “CHiPs” and “Charlie’s Angels.”
Two of Haggerty’s film projects are currently in post-production that are slated for a 2016 release: “The Untold Story,” in which Haggerty was to play a captain, and “40 Nights,” in which he plays a character named Yahweh.
Haggerty’s reps have not yet returned TheWrap’s request for comment.