Life has certainly been one adventurous ride for Andy Bassich, but you can trust that he wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks to a passion for the wilderness, Bassich left the comforts of America’s capital city to relocate to one of the bleakest and extreme habitats on the face of the earth – Alaska. What has followed has been an uphill battle against the elements of nature every other day, but it has been worth it for Bassich in terms of personal fulfillment. Even beyond this, he has become a reality TV star in the process as a major cast member of the award-winning series Life Below Zero. It hasn’t been all positives for Bassich. The reality TV star has had to contend with life-threatening accidents and the unraveling of his marriage in the public eye.
Andy Bassich Grew up in Wheaton, Maryland, and Was Previously a Carpenter
Andy Bassich is now a famous reality TV star in the U.S., but his journey to that status was anything but easy. In fact, not many could have predicted such an outcome, given his humble beginnings. Bassich was born on 25th January 1959 in Washington D.C. His nationality is American, while his ethnicity is Caucasian. There is not much information about his family background, but it is known that he has at least one sister. It is also known that he spent his childhood years in Washington D.C.
As a young boy growing up in Washington D.C., Andy Bassich loved the fine arts and often visited the Smithsonian to soak it all in. He also took an interest in carpentry and spent his spare time polishing his craft. While doing all this, he did not abandon his studies. He completed his high school diploma at John F. Kennedy High School in 1976 and took up a full-time job as a carpenter. By this time, Andy Bassich’s family had relocated to Wheaton, Maryland, and the young man lived his life to the fullest.
He had his hands full with his carpenter and cabinet-making work. He also took out time to travel across different parts of the U.S. One of the places that Bassich visited was Alaska, and he was instantly mesmerized by the peace, quiet, and serenity that existed there. Such conditions will be a put-off for some people, but for Andy, who had always felt comfortable being alone, it was like a match made in heaven. He, therefore, returned to Maryland, put his affairs in order, and relocated to Alaska in 1976.
He Moved To Alaska in 1976 and is One of the Pioneer Stars of Life Below Zero
Upon moving to Alaska, Andy Bassich settled down along the Yukon River and started making a life for himself. It wasn’t easy by any measure. He had to contend with long winters and -60°c temperatures. There was also the threat of wild animals such as foxes, bears, and wolves. The Alaskan wild also lacked many basic amenities for convenient living, but Bassich stuck in there. Having fallen in love with the peace and quiet that his new location offered, the Washingtonian slowly set about building a new home for himself.
He acquired multiple sled dog companions. He also developed a seasonal routine for ensuring that he gathered what he and his companions would eat during the long winter months. Bassich also went beyond nature to make a living. He continued with his carpentry making. He also picked up work as a riverboat captain, traveling the length and breadth of the Yukon River. Bassich was deeply ingrained in the fabric of the Alaskan society, so when National Geographic came calling with their TV series, Life Below Zero, in 2013, he automatically became one of the show’s major stars.
Life Below Zero follows several brave-hearted individuals who live in the remotest parts of Alaska as they go about their everyday lives. The show debuted on the screens in 2013 and remained on the air to date. It is hugely popular with fans, given that it is not the usual run-of-the-mill reality show, and has won several awards. It has also achieved several milestones, including clocking its 150th episode on 1st January 2021. Asides from Bassich, other cast members include Sue Aikens, Chip and Agnes Hailstone, Jessie Holmes, and Ricko DeWilde. Only a handful of cast members are natives of Alaska, while most are transplants like Bassich.
Andy Bassich was Previously Married to Kate Bassich
One person who was instrumental in making Andy Bassich one of the famous stars of Life Below Zero is his former wife, Kate Bassich Rorke. Andy first ran into Kate in Dawson City, Canada, during his time as a riverboat captain up and down the Yukon River. Kate was a tourist, and they hit it off right away. The couple began formally dating in 2003, and Kate, undaunted by the idea of living in the wild, moved to Alaska to be with Bassich. The two lovebirds spent the next several years as a couple, during which they built a satisfying life for themselves.
They acquired 24 sled dogs in total. They also perfectly synced about different seasons in Alaska. During their version of summertime, Bassich and Kate spent copious amounts of time hunting and gathering supplies for themselves and their animals. They also used that same period to tackle any building and gardening projects. In the wintertime, Bassich kept busy with carpentry, making custom knives and stone jewelry. On her part, Kate indulged in hobbies such as playing musical instruments and blogging.
Bassich and Kate truly had a great thing going when the makers of Life Below Zero approached Bassich in 2013; Kate automatically joined him as a co-star. They even tied the knot on the set of the show and continued living out their marital life to the delight of fans.
That delight was, however, cut short in 2016 after the couple divorced. They refused to reveal the reason for the split, and Kate left the show. She would later reveal that she suffered mental and physical abuse at the hands of her ex-husband. Such allegations didn’t go down well with the viewing public, but Bassich survived the backlash and has moved on with his life, much like his ex-wife. Andy Bassich and Kate were officially married for three years, though together for far longer in total. Some sources say their union produced two daughters, while others say they do not have any kids together.
The Reality TV Star Met His Present Girlfriend, Denise Becker, after an Accident in 2020
Following his divorce from Kate, Andy Bassich continued living his regular life with his sled dogs. He remained a regular attraction on Life Below Zero until he was involved in a terrible accident in late 2020. On that fateful day, Bassich was trying to extricate a snow machine that was stuck when he suffered a life-threatening hip injury. It led to infections in his muscle and bone and could have easily killed him. Luckily for the reality TV star, he was airlifted to a hospital in Florida, where he got quality care. He had to spend substantial time in the hospital and missed about six months of Life Below Zero.
It was all worth it in the end, as Bassich made a full recovery and bounced back to the screens in 2021. Getting back to his regular life was not easy for him, as he had to tend to his house, which had been unmanned and unguarded for months. In fact, his whole setup was in shambles, and he had to tackle it. One thing that made this task bearing for Bassich was his new girlfriend, Denise Becker. The two first became acquaintances on a canoe trip in 2018, and when Andy was brought to the hospital in 2020, it turned out that Denise was a trauma nurse there. She helped him a great deal, and they began dating. Andy Bassich is now back in his home in Alaska and continues to appear on Life Below Zero. His new lady love also makes occasional appearances.