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Attendees to the Western Legends Round-Up 2015 were saddened to learn that Dan Haggerty would not be attending due to illness. What was not widely known was that he was fighting for his life against cancer. We missed him dearly, not only for his representation of his character, Grizzly Adams, but for his fun and loving attitude towards his fans and towards all things Western and animals.

Sadly, Dan Haggerty passed away on January 15, 2016.

Dan Haggerty Interviewed at Malabar Farm

Western Legends was recently notified by Russ Hill of Malabar Farm that Dan participated in an event called “Hollywood Returns to Malabar Farm ‘Best of the West’ Festival” in June 2015, just prior to being hospitalized. It was Dan’s last public interview.

“It was my pleasure to have Dan Haggerty as our special guest at Malabar Farm in June 2015 in what turned out to be his last public appearance,” Russ says. “Little could he or we have guessed the pain he endured while there would turn out to be cancer. He soldiered on despite the pain, entertaining thousands over the three-day event.”

Dan appeared with Johnny Crawford (The Rifleman) and Darby Hinton (Daniel Boone). The first 20 minutes of the panel was dedicated to Dan’s accomplishments.

Characteristically, Dan entered doing his best impression of John Wayne and joking about how someone mistook his bare feet for alligator-skin shoes. He also told a funny story about Gregory Peck being lost in the Irish sea for 4 hours while strapped to a rubber whale during the filming of John Huston’s 1956 film Moby Dick.

Hill began the presentation asking Dan to talk about photos from his career. As was his custom, Dan stole the show from that point on.

He talked about how he got into animal training by telling the story of a circus manager whose foot was bitten off by a tiger and how, later, the animal training gigs led to his stardom as Grizzly Adams.

Dan provided commentary on several video clips of him in commercials, one of them, very tongue-in-cheek, advertising fake “Haggerty Smokes” cigarrettes. Then, he told the story about how he is the only actor in Hollywood to have had his Walk of Fame star removed.

Another featured clip was from Dean Martin’s Celebrity Roast of Dan Haggerty as he was being beaten with a purse by actress and comedienne Ruth Buzzi playing her trademark “Gladys Ormphby” character from Laugh-In.

All during his commentary, Dan took his good-natured jabs at Darby and Johnny, who took it all in stride.

You can watch the whole video below.

WMFD TV Promotion Interview with Johnny Crawford & Darby Hinton:

Dan’s Show Interview preview:

Full Best of the West Show: