Moonshiners star Jim Tom Hedrick dies at 82 after cancer struggle

Moonshiners star Jim Tom Hedrick dies at 82 after struggle with kidney cancer

  • A family member said Hedrick had kidney cancer and received dialysis for years
  • The reality star had been living in a nursing home for the past year
  • He appeared on seasons two through six of Discovery’s Moonshiners

Jim Tom Hedrick, a popular former star of the Discovery Channel reality series Moonshiners, has died at age 82.

Hedrick died on Wednesday morning in Robbinsville, North Carolina, according to a family member.

The cause of Hedrick’s death isn’t yet known, but he had been suffering from kidney cancer recently, a family member told TMZ.

The reality fixture had also been receiving dialysis treatments for ‘a long time,’ the family member said. 

His death comes just months after another Moonshiners star, Craig Landy, was hospitalized after a devastating electric unicycle crash

Reality star: Jim Tom Hedrick, a popular former star of the Discovery Channel reality series Moonshiners, has died at age 82. A family member told TMZ he had suffered from kidney cancer and had been on dialysis recently; still from Moonshiners

Last days: Hedrick had reportedly been living in a nursing home in the final year of his life

Hedrick had reportedly been living in a nursing home in the final year of his life.

A post from a cousin of Hedrick’s posted to the Facebook page of fellow Moonshiners stars Mark and Dugger revealed that he was ‘comfortable and resting with no pain right now,’ as of a few days before his death.

‘Jim Tom dedicated much of his life to the art of moonshining, becoming a legend in Appalachia along the way,’ read a statement from Sugarlands Distilling Co. ‘Jim Tom’s well-earned reputation as one of the most skilled moonshiners in the South earned him a role on the hit television program Moonshiners, where his colorful personality endeared Jim Tom to the hearts of millions.’

The distillers added that Hedrick was one of the dominant moonshiners in the area when they first began operating.

They said he gave them his ‘stamp of approval,’ which helped to considerably legitimize their business. 

Hedrick joined the cast of the Discovery Channel’s Moonshiners series in its second season, and he stuck with the show through its sixth season, which wrapped up in 2017.

It presents a dramatized version of the exploits of illegal distillers. However, according to a 2012 statement from the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, none of the people featured on the series creates illegal liquor.

Moonshiners is currently in its twelfth season, which is expected to wrap up in April of 2024. 

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