Charles Sellier Jr., the creator of the popular 1970s NBC series, “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams,” died on Jan. 31 at his home in Idaho. He was 67.
While the producer/director had a prolific career in the industry and was responsible for some 30 movies and more than 200 television shows, it was his 1972 novel, “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams,” that brought him the most acclaim. Sellier adapted the book into a movie and a television series, with the latter running two seasons and starring actor Dan Haggerty.
The story was loosely based on an actual trapper named J. Capen "Grizzly" Adams, who fled into the wilderness in 1858 after being accused of a crime he did not commit. While struggling to survive, Adams befriends a number of animals like skunks, ferrets, deer and coyotes. Most notable, however, is his relationship with an orphaned grizzly bear cub named Ben that he takes in and raises.
Ben grows into a powerful companion, and together — along with some other human characters — they help protect the indigenous wildlife and assist people who are passing through. The series eventually culminated in a made-for-TV movie called “The Capture of Grizzly Adams,” which had a bounty hunter draw Adams back to civilization where he proves his innocence.
According to the "Grizzly Adams" fan site, Sellier was actively working on a modern day retelling of the wilderness tale, as well as several other films through his Grizzly Adams Productions, Inc. Here's hoping that those projects see the light of day after the producer's unexpected passing.
Sellier is survived by his wife of 25 years, Julie Magnuson, and a son, William.