In the show, Phil’s son Josh Harris travels to Hawaii with business partner Casey McManus to follow in Phil’s footsteps after finding fishing charts that Phil had annotated. “Now, armed with new leads, Josh and Casey are heading back to the Big Island in hopes of uncovering Phil's secret past,” Discovery teased in a press release.
Fans know all about Phil’s work life, but what about his personal life? We’ve fished for information about his marriages and reeled in the biographical details below…
Phil wanted to remarry his first wife, Mary.
Josh and brother Jake Harris described their life with Phil in the 2013 book Captain Phil Harris : The Legendary Crab Fisherman, Our Hero, Our Dad. According to Daily Mail, Jake and Josh wrote in the book that Phil fell in love with their mom — his first wife, Mary — when she was unhappily married and working as an exotic dancer at a nightclub called Goodtime Charley’s.
The couple divorced in 1991 after being together for 14 years and married for nine years. In the split, Phil won custody of the two boys.
Phil asked Mary to marry him again shortly before his death, but she declined, saying that he was a better friend than husband.
The sons found Phil’s second wife, Teresa, an “evil creature.”
In 1993, Phil got hitched again, this time marrying a woman named Teresa. Josh and Jake claimed in the book that Teresa was abusive toward him and made Phil depressed, and Josh wrote that Teresa was “an evil creature” that he and Jake called “Satan.”
Phil and Teresa divorced in 2003, and she died of a heart attack in 2011. “I didn’t feel bad,” Josh wrote. “She was one of the meanest people I ever met.”
Phil passed away in 2010 after talking with friends and family “so he could be at peace.”
On Feb. 9, 2010, Phil died in Anchorage, Alaska, two weeks after suffering a stroke. “It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to our dad, Captain Phil Harris,” Jake and Josh said in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter. “Dad has always been a fighter and continued to be until the end. For us and the crew, he was someone who never backed down. We will remember and celebrate that strength.”
Phil emerged from a medically-induced coma days before his death and got to spend quality time with family and friends. “I think that miraculous recovery that happened so rapidly and blew the doctors’ minds away was so that he could say the things that he had to say to the people he had to say them to,” Dan Mittman, Phil’s best friend of 36 years, told People.
“He was Phil,” Dan said of those final days. “We sat up and talked until midnight. … We talked in detail, and he had regrets, and he shared them with me, and he probably shared them with his sons. He accomplished what he needed to get done so he could be at peace.”