This Special Delivery is dedicated to Mr. Dan Haggerty who is, at this time, fighting cancer. I was about seven or eight years old when this series aired and my mother and I loved it then and we love it now. We own both series and it’s so beautifully written and acted that it brings us both to tears each time we watch it. We have never met Mr. Haggerty or Mr. Shanks but hope to one day in the future. We love you and we are praying for a very speedy recovery. This Special Delivery is dedicated to you Mr. Haggerty. <3 span="">3>
For anyone who would like to help Mr. Haggerty with his fight please send your donations here:
Help Dan Haggerty Fight His Battle with Cancer
Today’s Special Delivery never aired on Nickelodeon and was certainly not a Special Delivery but if you remember the 1970’s chances are you will remember “Grizzly Adams” which stared Dan Haggerty as the wise and kind hearted “James “Grizzly” Adams”; a role which was truly suited for Mr. Haggerty.
In real life both Mr. Haggerty and Don Shanks, who played “Nakoma,” were real life animal trainers and stuntmen so who better to play those roles? The cast was rounded out with Denver Pyle who played “Mad Jack” (later he played “Uncle Jesse” in “The Dukes of Hazzard”) and of course Ben the bear and Number Seven the mule.
The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams is a 1974 independent feature film and subsequent television series inspired by a 1972 historical fiction novella written by Charles E. Sellier Jr.. The film's popularity led to an NBC television series of the same name. The title character, played by Dan Haggerty, was loosely based on California mountain man James "Grizzly" Adams (1812-1860), whose real name was "John Capen Adams," a one-time Boston shoe and boot maker.
The film and TV series portrayed the fictional Grizzly Adams as a frontier woodsman who fled into the mountains after he was wrongly accused of murder. While struggling to survive, Adams saves an orphaned grizzly bear cub he adopts and names Ben. The bear, while growing to its huge adult size, becomes Adams's closest companion. Adams discovers and demonstrates an uncanny ability to gain the trust of most of the indigenous wildlife of the region, and he helps, sometimes rescues, takes-in and tames many species. Originally a hunter, with his learned affection for wildlife Adams resolves never to harm another animal whenever possible. In the television series, Adams had two human companions, an old mountain man trader named 'Mad Jack' played by Denver Pyle who was often featured with his mule, ("Number Seven") and a native American by the name of 'Nakoma' played by Don Shanks. Together during each episode, Adams, Mad Jack, and Nakoma helped myriad mountain visitors while protecting wildlife at the same time. NBC aired the series finale on February 21, 1982 by way of a two-hour TV movie called The Capture of Grizzly Adams where a bounty hunter used Adams's daughter, who was not seen or mentioned since the 1974 film, in a kidnap-extortion ploy to lure the fugitive mountain man back to civilization. In the end Adams proves his innocence.
The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams