Jim Fowler, 'Wild Kingdom' Host and 'Tonight Show' Regular, Dead at 89

Jim Fowler
Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Zoologist Jim Fowler died at his home in Connecticut on Wednesday. He was 89.

Fowler co-hosted Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom with his friend, Marlin Perkins, and the show's website confirmed his death while also paying tribute to him in a heartfelt post. Wild Kingdom is a nature program that originally aired from 1963 until 1988, and was revived in 2002.

"Fowler, who appeared on Wild Kingdom beginning with the pilot episode on January 6, 1963, was never one to shy away from danger," read the message in honor of the TV star. "Whether hanging out of a helicopter, bluffing a herd of elephants or wrestling an anaconda, he was always in the midst of the action."

The website also noted that Fowler appeared "more than 100 times on the Tonight Show With Johnny Carson, where the two became great friends."

In addition, Fowler had appearances on the Merv Griffin Show and Mike Douglas Show, and was also a wildlife correspondent for NBC’s Today show.

He is survived by his wife, Betsey Fowler, and his two children, Mark and Carrie.

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