American actor who starred as the bushy-bearded, animal-loving woodsman in The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams
The bushy-bearded, burly actor Dan Haggerty
, who has died from cancer of the spine aged 73, went from working on films as an animal trainer and stunt performer to starring as the gentle frontier woodsman in the popular 1970s television series The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams
In the sentimental, wholesome programme, he played James Capen Adams, who leaves his home and family, and flees to the Rocky Mountains after wrongly being accused of a murder. Struggling to survive in a cabin in the wilderness, the woodsman befriends an orphaned grizzly bear he names Ben, after Benjamin Franklin, and other “critters” – raccoons, owls, deer, rabbits, hawks, badgers and cougars. His solitary existence is relieved by occasional visits from the old trader Mad Jack (Denver Pyle
) and Nakoma (Don Shanks
), a Native American who watches over him.