70s TV star Dan Haggerty has died aged 74

Dan Haggerty in his role as Grizzly Adams

Dan Haggerty in his role as Grizzly Adams

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Dan Haggerty, the bearded US actor who starred in the film and TV series The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, has died aged 74.

Haggerty died at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Centre in Burbank, California, according to his manager, Terry Bomar. He had been battling cancer of the spine.

Born in Pound, Wisconsin, the actor had minor roles in such films as Easy Rider and the Elvis Presley musical Girl Happy before playing the title role in the 1974 movie loosely based on the life of Californian frontiersman James "Grizzly" Adams.

One of that year's biggest cinema hits, the film told the story of a woodsman who flees into the mountains after being wrongly accused of murder, going on to adopt an abandoned grizzly bear cub.

A TV show of the same name also starring Haggerty made its debut in 1977, clocking up 38 episodes before ending in 1982.

Haggerty's other TV credits include The Love Boat and Charlie's Angels.

The actor had a lifelong affinity for wild animals and worked as a trainer for Walt Disney Studios.