Captain Phil Harris was one of the stars of Discovery's Deadliest Catch.
He was captain of the Cornelia Marie, where he fished with his sons Josh and Jake Harris.
Phil's death was documented on the show after he suffered a stroke on air.
Captain Phil was a man living on borrowed time.
His relationships were full of infidelity and violence. Mainly caused by the drug use.
He would take his huge fishing paychecks, and blow the money on drugs. His son Josh said:
"My dad once told me that when he was a young crab fisherman, he’d get a big fat pay check, buy huge amounts of cocaine…rent the penthouse of a nice hotel, and rotate the girls in and out. That’s how he lived his life for a long time. He’d get a check for $80,000 but after three weeks it was gone. Pharmaceutical quality Peruvian flake cocaine and high-grade strains of cannabis were the way Phil rolled."
After divorcing his first wife and winning custody of his two kids, he returned to fishing.
With years of living in close proximity and filming all aspects of Phil's life, the producers were unsure what to do about his death.
There were millions of fans who wanted to be with Phil through to the very end, but it still felt like exploitation to producer Thom Beers.
"We weren’t just interlopers who were going to walk in and say, 'Hey you’re dying. Can we film it?'"
But that's exactly what Phil wanted. Even though he couldn't speak anymore, he asked for a pen and paper and wrote:
"You’ve got to finish the story. It needs an ending."
So they filmed all the way up until the bitter end.
If you wanna know more about Phil's personal life and really get to know the man, you can read the book co-written by his sons, titled Captain Phil Harris: The Legendary Crab Fisherman, Our Hero, Our Dad.
[Image via Simon & Schuster.]