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James Harness of 'Gold Rush' fame is dead at 57: Cause of death not released

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James Harness is dead at 57-years-old. Veteran fans of “Gold Rush” will remember Harness as a man who stood out like the gentle giant of the crew digging for gold. Harness had many medical problems including being riddled with pain after a car accident a few years back, according to Hollywood Reporter on July 3.

The reality show star died last week after suffering a stroke the week before. His children just released the news of his death when speaking with the media on Thursday. Harness appeared on one season of “Gold Rush” and he was fired while the second season was filming.

TMZ reports that during the time Harness was in great pain from his back injury that he had a problem with pain pills. He was given the pills to combat the pain that he was suffering from the back injury, but they soon became too much of a problem in his life. He would often show up late for filming or he was a no-show altogether, causing problems within the inner workings of the show.

It got to the point that he was so unreliable that the show let him go while filming the second season of "Gold Rush," so Harness actually did only one full season on “Gold Rush.” His cause of death has not been released, although his family did report he suffered the recent stroke, what caused Harness to die is not known publicly as of yet.

During one episode of “Gold Rush” it was apparent Harness was so uncomfortable from his back pain. He ended up leaving the “Gold Rush” site to go to a doctor because the medication wasn’t helping him much. The Discovery Channel has not released a statement on the former star’s passing as of yet.

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