Everything you need to know about Gold Rush: White Water’s Fred Hurt

Fred Hurt may have passed away in 2023, but his memory lives on through his friends, family, fans and his show, Gold Rush: White Water.

The Gold Rush franchise certainly has its fair share of notable characters, but few of its stars have managed to climb into the hearts of fans quite like the late “Dakota” Fred Hurt did.

Fred’s life and his death

Before Fred Hurt was introduced to Gold Rush fans, he made a living as a gold miner in North Dakota.

However, now, almost two decades down the line, Fred has emerged as one of the most beloved characters in the Gold Rush franchise and has successfully mined thousands of dollars’ worth of gold from the most remote and dangerous regions of the Alaskan wilderness.

Unfortunately, Fred was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer in March of 2023, and passed away just a few months later on July 11, 2023 – just after celebrating his 80th birthday.

The post shared on Fred’s Facebook page after his death read “He fought courageously in his battle against cancer. Fred touched many lives and was loved and supported by many.”

Fred Hurt’s most memorable television moments

For those who missed it, Fred actually got his reality television start on the first four seasons of the original Gold Rush show.

And if you ever feel like re-living all of Fred’s best TV moments, you can simply re-watch these four seasons, or the first seven seasons of his spin-off show, Gold Rush: White Water.

Fred also starred in quite a few other shows and films, including:

Year Title
2021 to 2023 Gold Rush: Freddy Dodge’s Mine Rescue
2022 Hoffman Family Gold
2018 Gold Blooded
2015 All That Glitters
2013 Gold Rush: South America
2012 The Long Road
2012 Gold Rush: The Dirt

Gold Rush: White Water’s most recent, seventh season also kicked off with a special episode dedicated to Fred, called “The Legend of Dakota Fred”.

Fred’s fame was not without controversy

By the end of his life, Fred enjoyed great fame for his one-of-a-kind life as an old-school Alaskan gold miner, but this life in the spotlight was not without its drawbacks.

Avid fans of the Gold Rush franchise will likely know that Fred infamously left the original Gold Rush show prior to its fifth season after reportedly realizing that he was spending more than he was making whilst trying to film new seasons of the show.

However, the controversy did not die down after Fred moved on to his own show, Gold Rush: White Water.

A years-long scandal that Fred was involved with, in which he was accused of “stealing” the Hoffmans’ (who also rose to fame within the Gold Rush franchise) Porcupine Creek claim,  followed Fred up until his death.

According to this post on Fred’s Facebook page, this TV controversy turned out to have many real-life consequences, including nasty comments, death threats and even a two-year investigation by the FBI.

Everything you need to know about Gold Rush: White Water’s Fred Hurt

Even so, it looks like Fred had made his peace with this situation and was even planning to write a book to explain his side of the story shortly before he passed away.

Fred was branching out

While Fred never quite managed to publish the biography that he was planning, it is very evident that he kept his fighting spirit until the very end.

In fact, despite the fact that Fred was ageing considerably  and was fighting an intense battle with cancer, he still had the energy to take on new challenges within the television space.

And outside of his role as one of the starring characters in the Gold Rush: White Water show (and many others), he was also the co-owner of a production company called Thrill of the Hunt Entertainment, LLC alongside the screenwriter, director and producer, Jim Russell.

How Fred’s memory lives on

There is no denying that Fred had become one of Warner Bros. Discovery’s biggest shining stars over the course of his more than a decade long run on television.

And his entertaining personality will live on for as long as Gold Rush: White Water (and the first four seasons of Gold Rush) air on television.

In fact, Dustin and the rest of the beloved Gold Rush: White Water crew have even dedicated their hard work in the Alaskan white water rapids for the most recent season of the show to Fred and his memory – and they have been having one of their most successful seasons to date.

Fred’s memory also lives on among his family, friends and fans, who have all taken to social media and various platforms to reiterate the great impact that he had both on the screen and off it.