What happened to Otto Kilcher?

April 18, 2024
8 mins read

When we hear about a reality show set in Alaska, we usually imagine it includes a lot of beautiful snowy landscapes, fishing and hunting activities, and sometimes a couple of dangerous situations involving nature or wild animals.

While “Alaska: The Last Frontier” includes all of the aforementioned, and even more, its cast has also had their fair share of scandals. Despite their simple lifestyle, like any other family in the entertainment industry, the Kilchers are often in the media’s spotlight for questionable activities, or simply because there’s always a malicious rumor about them going around.

In the case of Otto Kilcher, it’s his health which is often a topic of discussion, even resulting in  wrong speculations about his well-being, or even in death hoaxes spread by the media.

So whatever happened to Otto Kilcher? Here we’re going to update you on his personal life and his current health condition.


What’s Up With Otto Kilcher?

It’s not really clear where rumors implying Otto Kilcher’s death or a downturn in his health come from. They could be partially related to the several accidents some members of his family have had in recent years, but it’s clear that more often than not, he’s the specific subject of people’s ill intentions when spreading these types of rumors.

Whatever the reason is, it’s important to note that not only is Otto Kilcher still alive, but that his health and life in general are going well. While he’s refrained from updating Instagram for a couple of years, and doesn’t even have a public Facebook page, his personal account on the latter platform shows that he’s living a peaceful life in his family’s Alaskan homestead.

Although appearing only a few times during “Alaska: The Last Frontier”s 10th season has worried his fans that something bad happened to him, it’s safe to assume Otto simply took some time off the show to relax, or focus on other projects.


This apparently hasn’t affected his work in the Kilcher’s homestead, nor his relationship with the production staff, as he often shares content from the show’s official Facebook page. Remember also that filming can be stressful for the cast members, as well as for the production crew.

What Happened To Him In 2016?

Otto Kilcher has gone through some life-endangering situations in recent years. Though he overcame those successfully, seeing him struggling with his health surely worried his loved ones and fans for a while.

It all started in 2016, when he underwent a hernia operation which put his life at risk. As seen by a worried audience during an episode of “Alaska: The Last Frontier”, Otto’s doctor informed him that a blood clot resulting from his surgery could potentially affect his lungs, and end his life. While this fortunately didn’t happen, it was incredibly worrisome to see him in such a complicated situation.


Either way, some weeks after the scary incident, Otto posted on Facebook Live to update his followers about his health. According to Otto, for his surgery he had been put under local anesthetic instead of a general one, which is the normal standard. This was a deliberate personal preference he took to take care of his liver, which in his words could have been damaged due to the large amount of ‘drugging’ it had been put under if doctors had their way.

Despite the difficulties the situation entailed, and Otto’s admittedly inability to stay inactive during his recovery process, everything turned out well in the end.

Who’s Otto Kilcher?

His rise to fame came with his appearances in “Alaska: The Last Frontier”, but Otto is more than just some guy who was lucky enough to become a TV personality. In fact, his life story is inspiring and even worthy of admiration.

Despite the fact that he’s not the oldest of children resulting from Ruth and Yule Kilcher’s marriage, Otto has always been kind of a pioneer with an endless love for adventure.

Spending his childhood in his family’s Alaskan homestead surely fed his thirst for nature and outdoor activities, leading him to explore the area’s adjacent canyons, woods and forests. However, Otto’s other passion was always in the innovative and technological side, leading him to collect, recover and fix many objects of potential usage for the family.

While Otto’s collection might not seem acceptable to those who look at his large storage unit as a junk pile, it just shows how compromised he is at achieving a highly self-sufficient lifestyle, something really important seeing the place where he lives.

Though his vast knowledge as a mechanic and fixer of everything has been passed on to his children as well, Otto’s passion for living a healthy life and procuring the same for his family it’s also admirable.


Romantic Life

Despite how noteworthy Otto Kilcher is when it comes to building things and helping others, it’s only natural to wonder what’s up with his personal life.

Otto has actually been married several times; while it’s known that his first wife is named Olga von Ziegesar, not much has been revealed about their relationship, except for the fact it was short, and no children in common resulted from it. Olga is a Biologist and researcher, who directs an environmental organization named Winged Whale Research.

Otto’s second marriage was to Sharon Mckemie, with whom he welcomed sons Levi and Eivin. However, the relationship was short lived, only lasting about seven years.

Otto Kilcher

A couple of years after his second divorce Otto met Charlotte, a Californian biologist who had gone to Alaska as part of a research project, while volunteering for an organization, and things progressed so well between them, they ended up tying the knot, and welcomed their son August in 1997. Otto also adopted Torrey, Charlotte’s son from a previous relationship.

While their marriage had seemed stable for years, the fact that Otto’s Facebook account states he’s in a ‘complicated’ relationship has awakened rumors of a possible separation. However, as there’s no indication of this on Charlotte’s social media, and in fact she keeps featuring him in her posts, it’s assumed Otto’s hinted online relationship status is just a misunderstanding.

Children’s Update

Seeing how the entire Kilcher family has been the center of attention for fans of “Alaska: The Last Frontier”, it’s normal to want an update on Otto’s sons’ whereabouts.

Though Otto’s oldest son Levi doesn’t appear that often in the series, he’s actually very accomplished in other areas away from the entertainment industry. Graduated from the Oregon State University, Levi is a physician who has worked for the Colorado-based National Renewable Energy Laboratory, firstly as a senior scientist, and then as a post-doctoral researcher on environmental matters.

Unlike his older brother, Otto’s second son Eivin is often seen in “Alaska: The Last Frontier”. In fact, during the show’s 10th season he was the protagonist of a very heartfelt scene, in which he says goodbye to his then recently-passed away childhood horse. Describing the animal as a friend and one of the ‘best parts’ of his life, Eivin’s appreciation for his lost pet surely watered the eyes of a considerable number in the audience.

For his part, Otto’s youngest child August has often been the center of attention as well, but sometimes not for wholesome matters.


In 2019 the Police Department of Homer cited him for being caught driving a car with outdated documents. Although he wasn’t arrested and only had to pay a fine, the incident surely put him in a bad light at the time. Fortunately, life for August seems to be going well, and he currently lives and works in his family’s homestead.

Otto’s Niece Is a Pop Star

It’s always nice to know two celebrities we appreciate are connected in some way. However, in the case of the Kilcher family and pop singer Jewel, the family ties between them came as a surprise for everyone back when it was revealed.

Though the news of Jewel Kilcher being part of the same clan showcased in “Alaska: The Last Frontier” are already well known for everyone who loyally follows the series, her story is just as endearing as that of her family members.

Although she was born in Utah, she moved with her father Atz to Alaska following his divorce from Jewel’s mother Lenedra.

With no other option than to adapt to the Kilcher family’s simple way of living, she dealt with the homestead’s lack of common services such as modern plumbing.

Despite the unlikeness of the situation, Jewel’s love for arts gained her a scholarship to study music in Michigan in her teens. Following her graduation, Jewel relocated to California, and performed her original music in local bars until being discovered by an agent in the early 1990s. Success didn’t take long to come, and Jewel has now released 12 studio albums, and won several international music awards.

Otto’s Lawsuit

It’s almost an unspoken rule that every reality star should have at least one lawsuit on their record, and Otto Kilcher is no exception.

It all goes back to 2013, when Otto agreed to remove some objects off his land for violating an outbuilding limit previously established by the Lands’ Trust.

Nonetheless, Otto apparently didn’t follow through with the orders, and to make matters worse, he moved a metal trailer onto his land which violated another settlement’s rule prohibiting buildings with non-rustic appearances.

The following years, Otto allegedly kept many non-environmentally friendly materials on his land, including tires, barrels and even oil. This was seen as another violation of the land’s easement, as the disposal of said type of chemicals and debris was banned.

Seeing that the many complaints and notices regarding the issue were supposedly ignored by Otto, the Kachemak Heritage Land Trust ultimately resorted to filing a lawsuit against him. The organization’s requests prompted him to finally remove the problematic things from the homestead land, in addition to providing $100,000 to compensate for the trial’s costs.

Either way, the lawsuit doesn’t seem to have gone anywhere, as its further developments were never revealed.


Who Were Otto’s Parents?

In the case you haven’t noticed, the Kilchers are not like any other family. Of course, one could say that just by looking at their lifestyle and relationship dynamics, but leaving those equally important factors aside, the Kilchers’ family history is something not easily seen anywhere else.

The clan founder was Yule Kilcher, an adventurer born in Switzerland who went to Alaska in the 1930s. Having the goal of founding a community fitting his ideas of what was ‘ideal’, he set up a homestead on a 160 acre plot in Kachemak Bay, Homer. Not long afterwards, Yule married the also Swiss-born Ruth Weber, with whom he welcomed eight children.

Along with their six siblings, Azt and Otto Kilcher were raised in the homestead, and acquired their father’s self-sufficient ways of surviving in isolated places, and adapting to the lack of modern amenities in their house.

Otto Kilcher

Besides being a homesteader, Yule was a documentary producer, and even became a State Senator for the Democratic Party in the 1960s. For her part, Ruth moved to Tennessee following her divorce from Yule in 1969. Then living a renewed life, she worked as journalist and translator, and her works as a writer actually gained her international recognition.

Net Worth

Besides how obviously endearing it is to know the details about your favorite TV star’s romantic life, it’s also common to find people being too interested in their favorite celebrities’ financial situation.

In Otto’s Kilcher’s case, it’s not exactly known where his money came from. It’s very probable that his family’s homestead is a good source of money for him, due to the show’s massive popularity.


However, it’s also safe to assume Otto’s fortune is most likely resulting from “Alaska: The Last Frontier”.

Either way, Otto Kilcher’s net worth is estimated at $4 million, as of late-2021.

Was The Show Cancelled?

Thankfully, “Alaska: The Last Frontier” hasn’t been cancelled. If the fact that the show is widely popular despite having been on air for so long is any indication, then it’s only logical to assume there are no plans of putting an end to it anytime soon.

To date, “Alaska: The Last Frontier” has run over 10 seasons and kept a loyal audience. As well, its cast and the family’s homestead’s popularity has skyrocketed on social media as of lately, which leads us to think that we won’t stop seeing the Kilcher family on our TV screens anytime soon.

Olivia Wilson

As the Freelance Writer at Net Worth Post, I steer producing riveting stories about the lives and triumphs of influencers. With an unwavering commitment to precision and a flair for weaving compelling tales, I guide our content creation, from the depths of research to the pinnacle of narrative excellence. My responsibilities encompass the full spectrum of editorial management, including the meticulous investigation, narrative development, and upholding the integrity and high standard of our output.

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