US actor Dan Haggerty, best known for The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, has died, aged 73.
The cause was cancer of the spine, his friend and manager Terry Bomar said.
Haggerty played the gentle, bearded mountain man who befriended a bear named Ben for 37 episodes from 1977, following a movie of the same name.
He was working as a stuntman and animal handler on titles such as series Tarzan and Daktari, when a producer asked him to act in some opening scenes he was reshooting for a film about a woodsman and his bear. He agreed if he could do the entire movie.
The series spawned two more instalments, Legend of the Wild, broadcast in 1978 and released theatrically in 1981, and The Capture of Grizzly Adams, broadcast as a TV movie in 1982. Grizzly Mountain, Escape to Grizzly Mountain were similar but unrelated roles.
Film credits included Muscle Beach Party, Easy Rider, Where the North Wind Blows, The Adventures of Frontier Fremont, Americana, Terror Night, and Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan.
Other TV credits included The Love Boat, Charlie’s Angels, CHiPS, Cheyenne Warrior and Once Upon a Starry Night.
Source: NY Times