Grizzly Adams

The adventure series THE LIFE & TIMES OF GRIZZLY ADAMS/NBC/1977-78 featured James Capen “Grizzly” Adams (Dan Haggerty) a bearded mountain man who lived in the American West of the 1800’s with a black grizzly bear called Ben (short for Benjamin Franklin).

“Grizzly” Adams (Dan Haggerty) originally escaped to the safety of the wilderness after being falsely accused of a crime. It was there he rescued Ben from the ledge of a rocky slope when the bear was a cub. Adams raised the cub and soon they became life-long friends and shared many adventures together.

Their forest friends included an eccentric mountain man named Mad Jack (Denver Pyle) and an Indian blood brother, Nakoma (Don Shanks).

Note: The real name of the bear who played Ben was Bozo (a female bear). She was owned by Lloyd Beebe, a well known animal trainer who ran an animal compound in Sequim, Washington. Beebe discovered Bozo while working for a circus.

Contrary to the tales of grizzlies being ferocious, Bozo, was rather gentle and performed unleashed. Bozo was nine-years-old when the series started in 1977.

 The real Grizzly Adams was born on October 22, 1822 in Medway, Massachusetts. He was known to have strolled into San Francisco with two unleashed grizzly bears at his side, hence his nickname. The real Ben died in a San Francisco zoo (built by Adams) in the 1850s. Adams died in 1860 while touring with the great P.T. Barnum Circus.

The GRIZZLY ADAMS series, which was inspired by the Sunn Classic film The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams (1974) and a similar role in another film The Adventures Of Frontier Freemont (1976) spawned the sequel TV movie The Capture of Grizzly Adams (1982) and the big screen film Grizzly Mountain (1998) about a boy and a girl who wander into the magic cave of Grizzly Mountain and find themselves transported back to the year 1870 where they meet a kindly woodsman named Jeremiah (Haggerty) and his bear (played by Jack the Bear).

Grizzly Adams Theme Songs Lyrics
(“Maybe” written & sung by Thom Pace)

Deep inside the forest
There’s a door into another land.
Here is our life and home.
We are staying here forever
In the beauty of this place all alone.
We keep on hoping.
Maybe there’s a world
Where we don’t have to run.
Maybe there’s a time we’ll call our own,
Living free in harmony and majesty.
Take me home. Take me home.


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Westerns

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