Sad news is coming out today from within the “Gold Rush” community. Original series star James Harness, who departed after season 2 following pain keeping him from being able to properly do his job, has passed away, per reports. He was 57 years old.
When he was on the Discovery show, Harness was known for being a very skilled crew mechanic, but one who also occasionally faced some conflict from other team members, especially when he chose to spend time with his girlfriend rather than follow instructions from Todd. There are no concrete details out regarding his passing right now, but we will let you know as some more details start to become a little more available.
What does sadden us very much about this news is that it does further along the sad trend recently of reality TV personalities from many of these “extreme job” shows passing away. We’ve seen this from “Deadliest Catch,” “Swamp People,” “Gold Rush” now, and many others. This is not an indictment on television entering the fray by any means, since we would imagine that production only helps to further ensure that these people have income and support for their families. We feel it is more an indictment on the dangerous nature of their jobs. If you are going to live in remote parts of the country and brave difficult temperatures and conditions, health problems are often going to come along with that. These men and women give a lot to their careers, but their careers can often take something away in return.
“Gold Rush” has gone on to air four seasons on Discovery, with a fifth one set to air a little bit later this fall.
Harness will be missed, and thoughts go out to his family and loved ones during what has to be a very difficult time.
Update: Family members of Harness tell TMZ that he died a week ago, following complications of a stroke.