Dan Haggerty, the Grizzly Adams actor

In the 1974 film “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams” and the NBC television series of the same name, Dan Haggerty portrayed a kind mountain man with a lush beard and a bear named Ben. Haggerty passed away on Friday in Burbank, California.

He was seventy-three.

The cause was cancer of the spine, his friend and manager Terry Bomar said.

Mr. Haggerty was employed in Hollywood as an animal trainer and stuntman when a producer requested him to reprise portions of the film’s opening sequences, which were about a woodsman and his bear.

Based on Charles Sellier Jr.’s novel “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams,” it narrated the tale of a man from California who runs away from the woods after being wrongfully convicted of murder. There, he befriends the local wildlife and tames an abandoned bear.

Mr. Haggerty consented, provided that he may do the full film. After being recreated for $165,000, the movie finally brought in close to $30 million from ticket sales. After that, it was made into a television series, and in February 1977, Mr. Haggerty returned to his environmentally conscious duty as the forest’s defender and animal buddy.

John Leonard described the first episode in The New York Times as “lukewarm to the heart.” Mad Jack (Denver Pyle) and the honorable red man Makuma (Don Shanks) bring bread and advise to the man and bear who have taken up residence in a log cabin. Bear washes his fur as the man traps his as they depart the lodge. In the interim, there are numerous raccoons, owls, deer, rabbits, hawks, badgers, and cougars.

Warm and nostalgic, the show won over fans to Mr. Haggerty, who went on to win the 1978 People’s Choice Award for best new series actor. “Grizzly Adams” gave rise to two sequels: “Legend of the Wild,” which aired in 1978 and was eventually released in theaters in 1981; and “The Capture of Grizzly Adams,” which aired as a TV movie in 1982 and saw Adams being brought back to his hometown by bounty hunters in order to clear his record.

On November 19, 1942, Daniel Francis Haggerty was born in Los Angeles. After his parents divorced when he was three years old, he had a difficult upbringing and often escaped from military school. Eventually, he moved in with his actor father in Burbank, California.

At 17 he married Diane Rooker. The marriage ended in divorce. His second wife, the former Samantha Hilton, died after a motorcycle accident in 2008. He is survived by his children, Megan, Tracy, Dylan, Cody and Don.

His first film was “Muscle Beach Party” (1964), in which he played a body builder named Biff opposite Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. Bit parts in biker and wildlife films followed, as characters like “Bearded Biker” or “Biker With Bandana.” He appeared briefly in “Easy Rider” as a member of the hippie commune that Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper visit.

In real life, Mr. Haggerty lived on a small ranch in Malibu Canyon with an assortment of wild animals that he had tamed at birth or rescued from injury. His skills led to jobs as an animal trainer and stuntman on the television series “Tarzan” and “Daktari,” as well as occasional film work. “Actors didn’t like animals leaping on them,” he told People magazine in 1978.

He made several films with an outdoor setting, including “Where the North Wind Blows” (1974), in which he played a Siberian tiger trapper, and “The Adventures of Frontier Fremont” (1976). He appeared as a dog trainer in the David Carradine film “Americana” (1983). In “Grizzly Mountain” (1997) and “Escape to Grizzly Mountain” (2000) he played a character very much like Grizzly Adams.

As his career cooled, Mr. Haggerty appeared in horror films like “Terror Night” (1987), “Elves” (1989) — playing an alcoholic mall Santa — and “Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan” (2013). In 1985 he was sentenced to 90 days in jail for selling cocaine to two undercover police officers.

In 1977, a careless restaurant patron carrying a flaming cocktail set Mr. Haggerty’s famous beard on fire. Trying to extinguish the flames, he suffered third-degree burns on his arms and was taken to a hospital for treatment that was expected to last a month.“The first couple of days I just lay in the dark room drinking water, like a wounded wolf trying to heal himself,” he told People. “Nurses tried to give me morphine and encouraged me to open the curtains. But sometimes animals know more than people about healing.” He walked out of the hospital after 10 days.

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