Timothy Treadwell is a household name to many who have a fondness for wildlife and the outdoors. Long before he was anointed the "Grizzly Man," he was a beach bum in California and a near overdose wound up changing the course of his life and propelling him to stardom.

It's been nearly 21 years since Timothy Treadwell was mauled to death by a Grizzly Bear in the Alaskan wilderness. Prior to deciding to spend nearly two decades living with and studying bears, he was a struggling actor who hung out around the Southern California cities of Huntington Beach and Malibu. It's a well-known fact that Treadwell nearly landed the bungling bartender role that ultimately went to Woody Harrelson in the highly popular eighties and nineties sitcom Cheers.

Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to find one's true calling. Treadwell should be celebrated by animal enthusiasts and fans of the great outdoors for giving his life to the thing he was most passionate about. His life's work was featured in the 2005 documentary titled Grizzly Man, and it was marvelous.

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Following a nearly fatal 1980s Sunset Beach heroin overdose, Treadwell packed up some belongings and headed north to "The Last Frontier." He became famous worldwide for taking enormous risks others wouldn't dare attempt while being an advocate for wild bears. In October of 2003 at age 46, he and his girlfriend were killed in a gruesome manner by a bear very familiar to them.

No matter what opinion you have of the man, he did some pretty amazing work and helped dispel a great deal of myths surrounding these incredible, powerful creatures. Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to find one's true calling. Treadwell should be celebrated by animal enthusiasts and fans of the great outdoors for giving his life to the thing he was most passionate about.

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