Dan Haggerty, Who Played Grizzly Adams

In the 1974 motion picture “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams” and the corresponding NBC television series, Dan Haggerty played a bear named Ben and a gentle mountain man with a thick beard. Haggerty died in Burbank, California, on Friday.

His age was 73 years old.

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

A producer invited Mr. Haggerty, who worked as an animal trainer and stuntman in Hollywood, to recreate parts of the movie’s opening moments, which featured a woodsman and his bear.

The story, which was based on Charles Sellier Jr.’s book “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams,” told the story of a California man who flees the woods after being falsely convicted of murder. There, he tames an abandoned bear and makes friends with the local fauna.

Mr. Haggerty played an inebriated mall Santa in horror films including “Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan” (2013), “Terror Night” (1987), and “Elves” (1989) as his career declined. In 1985, he was sentenced to ninety days in prison for providing cocaine to two undercover police agents.

In 1977, a careless diner with a burning cocktail set fire to Mr. Haggerty’s famous beard. He made a third-degree burn attempt on his arms while attempting to douse the fire. He was admitted to the hospital, where he would probably need a month of therapy.

He told People, “I was like a wounded wolf trying to heal myself for the first few days—I just laid in the dark room drinking water.” “Nurses tried to give me morphine and pushed me to open the curtains.” Sometimes, however, animals know more about medicine than people do. He walked out of the hospital after ten days.

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