“Gold Rush” star James Harness dead at 57

Harness (pictured), a mechanic who appeared on the first two seasons of the Discovery Channel reality series, passed away last week, with no cause of death yet reported.
July 4, 2014

Gold Rush star James Harness (pictured) has died, a apokesperson for Discovery Channel has confirmed. He was 57.

Harness, a mechanic who appeared on the first two seasons of the Discovery Channel reality series, reportedly suffered from serious medical issues, including severe pain, following a car accident.

His children told TMZ that he passed away last week after suffering a stroke the week before. A funeral will be held in Oregon on Saturday (July 5). A cause of death has not yet been reported.

Gold Rush premiered in 2010 under the title Gold Rush: Alaska and became one of the network’s most popular series. It is produced by Raw TV and follows a group of men from Sandy, Oregon led by Todd Hoffman and his father Jack Hoffman as they search for gold in Alaska following the economic downturn.

The series is entering its fifth season. Harness left the series after season two.

“The team at Raw are shocked and saddened to hear of James’ passing,” said Gold Rush producer James Bates in a statement to realscreen. “He was an extraordinary man, talented and courageous. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.”

On Thursday (July 3), Hoffman tweeted his condolences:

About The Author
Meagan Kashty is an associate editor of realscreen, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Meagan is an award-winning business journalist. Prior to joining the realscreen team, Meagan was online editor of Canadian Grocer, named Magazine of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Business Media Awards. She can be reached at mkashty@brunico.com, and you can follow her on Twitter @MegKashty