Discovery Channel fans were saddened by the sudden death of Billy Brown, long-time star of Alaskan Bush People, in February 2021. As the patriarch of the family, Billy was central to the series.
Billy’s son, Bear, broke the news via his private Instagram account, per People. “We are heartbroken to announce that our beloved patriarch Billy Brown passed away last night after suffering from a seizure,” he reportedly wrote. “He was our best friend — a wonderful and loving dad, granddad, and husband, and he will be dearly missed.” Bear added that the family plans to continue honoring Billy’s legacy and remains committed to his dream of living off the land.
Billy was a fixture on the Discovery Channel for many years. As a central character in Alaskan Bush People, he became synonymous with living off the grid and one of the network’s most well-known stars. In a statement following his death, Discovery described Billy as “a lovely man and most definitely one of a kind,” per Entertainment Weekly. Discovery later aired a special episode honoring Billy. All we can say is have the tissues ready.
Billy Brown had a sweet moment with his daughter
Discovery Channel aired a special episode of Alaskan Bush People as a tribute to Billy Brown weeks after his death in February 2021. Though the whole thing was a sad farewell to a beloved reality TV icon, there was one moment in particular that was especially touching: a conversation between Billy and his daughter Birdy.
Birdy takes after her father. She is a hard worker who loves the outdoors and is dedicated to the idea of living off the land. Billy interrupts Birdy’s work to chat about her birthday. “It’s fall. It’s heading into winter, so that means your birthday is coming,” he says. “I noticed,” responds a beaming Birdy. The scene then cuts to a confessional with Bridy, who attributes her love of nature and hard work to her dad. “When I think of the bush, dad’s there,” she says. “His laugh. He is part of the bush when I think about it.”
The camera cuts back to the conversation between father and daughter to show Billy pulling out a small knife. “I’ve carried this in my pocket for almost 30 years,” Billy says, holding it out for Birdy to take. “There’s a lot of brothers. There’s only one of you.” A visibly moved Birdy then hugs her dad. The conversation ends with Billy suggesting that, one day, Birdy can give the knife to her own daughter. Although a seemingly simple moment between father and daughter, Billy’s gesture holds even more significance now that he’s gone.
Like we said, have the tissues ready.
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