What Happened To The Former Cast Of Gold Rush?

Over the 12 seasons of Discovery's hit series "Gold Rush," which follows modern-day prospectors hunting for gold in the Klondike and elsewhere, miners have come and gone (partially, it seems, due to finagling on the part of the producers). Some have started new shows, some have left the mining business altogether, and some have died in the time since the docuseries first premiered in 2010 (via IMDb). Though miners like Parker Schnabel, Fred Dodge, Tony Beets, and Chris Doumitt have stayed on the series more or less the whole time (with piles of gold to show for it), others left the show behind, including father-son miners Todd and Jack Hoffman; "Dakota Boys" Fred and Dustin Hurt; and Dave Turin.

So what are these gold miners up to today, and have they left the adventurous life behind? Here's how the biggest stars from previous seasons of "Gold Rush" are doing.

The Hoffmans are starting a new series

Todd Hoffman and his father Jack were some of the main cast members on "Gold Rush" until their departure in 2018 after a difficult mining season (via Discovery). Considering they were on the show for eight dramatic seasons, they had more of a following than many of the departed former cast members. Perhaps this is why they're returning to mining once again in the new "Gold Rush" spinoff "Hoffman Family Gold," which is premiering in early 2022, according to Oregon Live."Three years ago, I walked away from gold mining, a beaten man," Todd Hoffman says in a teaser trailer for the new series. "Now, I'm going back to Alaska. I know it's a long shot. It's our last shot. But you know what? No guts, no glory."

The show will feature three generations of Hoffmans — Todd's son Hunter is also coming along for the ride — trying to make bank on a goldmine about 100 miles north of Nome, Alaska. According to the Discovery press release, the Hoffmans have put their remaining life savings into the mine, so the stakes are very high.

The Hurt family also went to their own Gold Rush series

Gold mining is a family business for many of the main cast members of "Gold Rush." Even after the Hoffmans departed, the relationship between the father-son Schnabel team guided much of the drama on the series. Earlier in the show, other families were echoed by the Dakota boys — that is, "Dakota" Fred Hurt and his son Dustin Hurt — until they left after Season 4 along with crew member Melody Tallis. The reason, it seems, was that Fred felt Discovery was not paying him enough to continue. "After spending more for four years straight than I made, there was no way for me to continue," he wrote on Facebook (via Starcasm). "If you want a Miner, call me ... if you want an Actor, pay me like one."

Whatever issues the Hurts had with the filmmakers, however, they were apparently resolved. The family returned to Discovery for the spinoff series "Gold Rush: White Water," which has been on the air since 2018. However, in March 2023 Dakota Fred shared a press release on his Facebook page that said he'd been diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer. His post said, "Yup, it's true." 

Then just months later on July 11, his family announced via his Facebook page that the 80-year-old had succumbed to the disease. "Dakota" Fred Hurt passed away this morning surrounded by family," the post said. "He fought courageously in his battle against cancer. Fred touched many lives and was loved and supported by many."

Turin's team led a spinoff

"Gold Rush" has been such a success for Discovery that there are, as of this writing, seven spinoffs by Outsider's count, which doesn't even include the upcoming Hoffman series. One of the active spinoffs is led by former "Gold Rush" star Dave Turin — "Gold Rush: Dave Turin's Lost Mine" — which follows Dozer Dave and his team as he finds and rehabilitates an abandoned mine, according to Pop Culture. This is a difficult but fitting challenge for the veteran mining expert, who left the original series after getting into a rumble with a co-star. "Can't work with someone that uses his fist rather than words," he wrote in one Facebook comment, per Life & Style Magazine. "It's time for me to move on."

He didn't move on too far. In 2019, two years after his departure from "Gold Rush, "Dave Turin's Lost Mine" premiered and continues today (via IMDb). Turin has also made appearances on other spinoffs, such as 2021's "Gold Rush: Winter's Fortune."

James Harness died of a stroke

Other former cast members had more final exits from the world of "Gold Rush." Mechanic James Harness was a regular on the show's first two seasons but left the show due to "excessive absences," according to Todd Hoffman (via Distractify). Apparently, Harness was experiencing extreme back pain during this time, stemming from a serious car accident earlier in life. Harness used prescription pain medicine to cope, and according to Hoffman, was developing an addiction to it. Sadly, Harness died of a stroke in 2014 at the age of 57, according to Oregon Live.

As "Gold Rush" fans know, Harness isn't the only regular who has died — the patriarch of the Schnabel family, John Schnabel, died in his sleep in 2016 at the age of 96 (via Deadline). And Earle Foster, who had a small recurring part in the early seasons of the series as the owner of a mine at Porcupine Creek, died at 86 in 2013 (via Legacy).

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Greg Remsburg has been on and off the show

It's not unusual, however, for someone to leave the show and then return. Take Greg Remsburg, who made appearances throughout the show's first five seasons. Remsberg started with the Hoffman crew, leaving the team for good in Season 3. But then, he returned to the show in Season 4, working instead for the Schnabels. Remsburg hasn't been seen on the show since the 5th season and is apparently working as a facilities technician for a company in Vancouver, Washington, far away from the limelight (though he still tweets about basketball every once in a while, according to Outsider).

Remsberg isn't the only cast member who's hopped around a bit — Melody Tallis went from the Dakota Boys in Season 4 to working in the background of Tony Beets' operation in Season 5. And Pastor Michael Halstead disappeared in Season 1 only to come back to counsel Todd Hoffman in Season 5 (via IMDb).