|January 25, 1958
|American Television Personality
Andy Bassich is an American reality television personality. He is part of the documentary television series Life Below Zero and was one of the six main characters.
Life has been an adventurous ride for the TV personality, but we can bet he wouldn’t have it any other way. Andy has a passion for the wilderness and has left the comforts of Washington to relocate to Alaska, one of the most extreme habitats on Earth.
Since then, he has been living an uphill battle against the elements of nature. And being part of Life Below Zero is a dream come true for Andy. He is also famous for being Kate Rorke Bassich’s ex-husband.
Life Below Zero
Let’s take a moment to talk about one of the most entertaining documentary television series in the US. Life Below Zero illustrates the daily and seasonal activities of subsistence hunters as they make their living in remote areas of Alaska.
The show, produced by BBC Studios, airs on National Geographic. As of June 2023, the show has had 20 seasons.
Andy is one of the main characters on the show that follows people living in remote areas of Alaska and surviving off the land. How do they deal with different challenges? Besides Andy, other main characters include:
- Sue Aikens, a woman and sole resident of the Kavik River camp in northern Alaska
- Chip Hailstone and his wife Agnes Hailstone, live with their seven children on the Kobuk River in Noorvik, 19 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Similar to Andy, Chip lived in Montana before moving to Alaska. His wife Agnes is an Inupiaq born in Noorvik
- Glenn Villeneuve who moved from Burlington, Vermont, to Alaska back in 1999 and now lives alone in Chandalar
- Jessie Holmes, a fisherman, hunter, and dogsled racer living alone with 40 sled dogs
- Erik Salitan and Martha Mae Salitan, a young couple who is well versed in wilderness living
- Ricko DeWilde, an Alaskan Athabaskan who moves into his family’s remote cabin near Huslia, Alaska
Now, how much do you know about Andy? He lives on the Yukon River near Eagle, Alaska, with 25 sled dogs. Andy came to Alaska after moving from Washington DC, D.C. with his wife Kate Bassich. The two divorced in 2016, and he then lived with his girlfriend Denise. More on that later on.
Born in January 1959, Andy is in his 60s. Nowadays, Andy is a famous reality TV star, but his journey was anything but easy. Given his humble beginnings, one couldn’t predict such a journey for the television personality.
Andy grew up in his birthplace alongside his siblings. There is not much information about his family background. Andy holds an American nationality and belongs to the white ethnicity.
As for his educational background, we know he graduated from Kennedy High School in 1976. At the time, he was fascinated with fine arts. As a young boy, he also visited the Smithsonian to soak the arts in.
Quickly after, he began his career as a carpenter and cabinet maker. But from an early age, he wanted nothing more than to explore nature.
Following his graduation, Andy began traveling across the country. He wanted to visit Alaska, but the same year his sister was getting married. So, he returned and worked in the carpentry business for a couple of years.
Professional Life And Career
We said before that Andy loved traveling. During his spare time, he always explored different parts of the country. Alaska left a huge impression on him. Bassich visited Alaska in 1976 and was instantly mesmerized by the peace, quiet, and serenity that existed there. No other place could compare to it.
Yet, the same year, his sister was getting married. So, Andy returned home and worked as a carpenter for a few more years.
But eventually, he would go to Alaska and fulfill his dream of making a living there. During the summer, he gardened, and in the winter, he hunted and gathered garden supplies.
Andy had a musher and lived there with 37 sled dogs. If you ask him, he prefers to spend time with his dogs rather than with people. Andy also worked as a riverboat captain on the Yukun River for more than two decades.
Andy traveled the length and breadth of the Yukon River. He was deeply ingrained in Alaskan society. When National Geographic asked him to join the TV series Life Below Zero, he automatically accepted and became one of the major stars.
Andy co-starred in the show, being part of the first season. He was among the original members like Glenn Villeneuve, Jassie Holmes, Erik Salitan, Chip Hailstone, Agnes Hailstone, and Sue Aikens.
Andy was married to Kate Bassich for a couple of years. They met in Dawson City in 2003 and lived an adventurous life in Calico Bluff.
They worked hard heating with wood, feeding the dogs, hunting, gathering, growing, processing, and preparing every meal from scratch. Andy and Kate had an amazing life in nature. They hunt moose, caribou, wolf, salmon, and black bear.
They even started their business where they had 26 sled dogs for survival and dog mushing school. Yet, in 2015, they separated when Kate left her home. She wanted to go back to modern life and leave Alaska. Their divorce was finalized in 2016. Kate is now living in Canada.
Before the divorce was finalized, he met Denise Becker through Life Below Zero. The two met in Florida on a canoe trip with a Boy Scouts troop.
They were happy together, and she now joined him living in Alaska. While they are happy together, they are not officially married.
He told her, “If I didn’t have a partner to help me, there’s no way I could’ve come back here and accomplished what I need to do. I’ve got to make sure I don’t do something to hurt myself worse. Right now I just have to downsize my expectations a little bit.”
What Happened To Him?
Andy has left the show, but it wasn’t because he wanted to. Andy suffered a life-threatening hip injury while living in Alaska. He was moving a snow machine that was stuck in the snow.
Speaking about the accident, he said, “I ended up with two infections, one in the muscle, one in the bone, and it almost killed me. It is time to get back to my home in Calico Bluff, play a little bit of catch up this summer with getting my dogs back down there, getting my house back in order”.
He had to leave Alaska and seek treatment in Florida. His girlfriend Denise Becker accompanied him. Speaking about the treatment, he said, “I couldn’t get the treatment I needed in Alaska so I headed down to Florida to get what I needed and spent the last six months with my girlfriend Denise”.
Is He Active On Social Media?
Most of the people living in Alaska and being part of Life Below Zero do it to escape modern life. So no, Andy doesn’t have an Instagram account or any other social media account. He lives in a remote location that doesn’t have a cell phone or internet reception.
Before becoming a reality TV star, Andy ran a musher and survival training school. There, he trained people to survive the weather conditions of Alaska. Yet, his primary source of income remains the TV show Life Below Zero.
The show airs on National Geographic Channel. As of June 2023, Andy has a net worth of around $350,000. Per some sources, he earned more than $100,000 from the television show.