Stouffer, Marty - Encyclopedia of Arkansas (2024)

Martin Luther Stouffer Jr. is a documentary filmmaker best known for his Wild America PBS television series involving endangered wildlife. Whereas many previous wildlife documentarians focused on filming in exotic locales in other countries, Stouffer primarily filmed in American locations in order to raise awareness of the plight of these animals.

Marty Stouffer was born on September 5, 1948, near Fort Smith (Sebastian County) and grew up there with his parents, Martin Sr. and Agnes, two brothers, and a sister. Stouffer Sr. owned Arkansas Rebuilders Supply, which supplied auto parts for rebuilders.

According to Stouffer, his parents encouraged him to explore the natural world; the woods and wild areas near his home awoke a love of nature in him, and his experiences with wildlife and nearby hunters and trappers awoke in him a desire to protect and preserve wild animals and wild spaces. He also developed an interest in photography and film early on, which began with filming home movies and led to making short films about his experiences hunting deer and eventually to making wildlife films.

Stouffer attended the pre-law program at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), majoring in English and graduating in 1970. One summer break in June 1967, he went to Alaska to film wildlife. During a snowstorm, Stouffer became stranded in a cabin in the Alaskan wilderness, where he survived due only to his hunting skills. The resulting film of his trip was a turning point for Stouffer, and he began showing it to friends and family and eventually screened it for audiences. Following graduation, he used the film to land a job making a promotional film in Africa for Oryx Safaris, a safari company, from June to November 1970. This experience further reinforced his distaste for trophy hunters, who slaughtered hundreds of animals while many native Africans starved. Up to this point, Stouffer had also been a hunter, but when he returned from Africa, he lost interest in hunting and focused his energies on educating the public on wildlife preservation.

Several commercially unsuccessful wildlife documentaries followed until 1982, when Stouffer brokered a deal with PBS to produce Wild America, a series of thirty-minute episodes. The show ran for thirteen seasons and 120 episodes until it was canceled in 1996 amid controversy and without funding. Much of the controversy stemmed from Stouffer being fined $300,000 for illegally building a trail near an elk migration route in a Colorado national park. Several past crew members and animal suppliers also came forward to allege that Stouffer staged scenes in which tame or restrained animals were used as bait to attract predators. Stouffer denied any wrongdoing and called the allegations “character assassination.” Stouffer continued to work in wildlife filmmaking and preservation. In 1988, Crown published a book based on his early life, titled Wild America. In 1997, he produced a film adaptation of the book, also titled Wild America, which starred child actor Jonathon Taylor Thomas.

Stouffer married Diane Michelle Dale on August 25, 1979; they have a daughter and a son. By 2008, the family was living near Aspen, Colorado. In 1999, Stouffer turned his attentions to creating sculptures based on wildlife. Stouffer continues to direct wildlife videos, including a new project entitled Incredible Animals, and has undertaken a philanthropic dissemination of the Wild America film and video collection aimed at schools and other charity and education organizations, tentatively titled “The American Wildlife Project.”

For additional information:
Stouffer, Marty. Wild America. New York:Crown, 1988. Online at (accessed April 26, 2022).

Tayman, John. “Wildlife: Marty Stouffer’s Apocryphal America.” Outside(June 1996). Online at–Marty-Stouffer-s-Apocryphal-America.html (accessed April 26, 2022).

Whiteman, Lily. “Violence, Lies and Videotape: Wildlife Filmmaking Takes a Few Liberties with the Truth.”E: The Environmental Magazine(May–June 1997).

C. L. Bledsoe
Ghoti magazine

Last updated:
June 16, 2023

Questions or corrections?

Send Feedback


    I loved this nature show as a little girl and watch it still to this day! He was one of the pioneers in this field and I truly appreciate and enjoy Marty’s work and dedication.

    Sonia H St. Cloud, FL

    His show is dated, and much of what is being said has been corrected. But I love the show and watch it every week. The one today showed a lot of what we were about to lose BUT thanks to people like Marty, things have changed. We need more shows like this to alert us that what we take for granted, we might lose. Thank GOD a lot has been reversed especially the bald eagle. We now see via the internet actual nesting of the eagles and successful fledging of a new generation of eagles. One of those nests is just a little over a mile from where I live. That nest was a nationwide story of how three eagles raised the new generation.

    Ralph Pray Illinois

    Wild America is a wonderful setting for the younger generation, as our country is falling apart. I’m currently building a home in the country and can’t wait to watch the wildlife and birds. I have loved watching Wild America all my life.

    Stephen Joseph Cortland, NY

    Love Wild America. Watch it on ROKU every day with my doggies and cats. They love it too. Gentle music, beautiful scenery, loving and educational. We need more like this TODAY!
    Thank you, Marty, family, and all your contributors. We play it over and over. Simply so well done.

    Mary Craig Anderson, SC

    I grew up on the same street with the brothers and their parents. It was a great, wooded area, and many good times with them were had. All of Fort Smith are proud of their accomplishments!

    Willy Burns Modesto, CA

    I grew up watching Marty Stouffer. I learned a lot about wildlife from his films. I refuse to believe any of the allegations of wrongdoing. Success always brings out the haters. Hope he is well. Thanks for the memories.


    I grew up watching all twelve years of Wild America, and it gave me a great outlook on how wild animals survive in the wilderness plus how Mr. Stouffer found an injured or abandoned animal and brought it back to health before returning it to the wild.
    The people who accused him of cruelty to animals are completely out of their minds. We need more great outdoor adventure films like Wild America so our children and grandchildren can see the true nature in the wilderness. I hope Mr. Stouffer comes back strong and makes another series like Wild America.

    Rusty Wheaton

Related Entries

Mass Media

Give Entry Feedback Marty Stouffer (1948–)

Cancel Submit Feedback

Leave a Comment Marty Stouffer (1948–)

"*" indicates required fields

Cancel Submit Comment for Approval

Stouffer, Marty - Encyclopedia of Arkansas (2024)


Stouffer, Marty - Encyclopedia of Arkansas? ›

Marty Stouffer was born on September 5, 1948, near Fort Smith (Sebastian County) and grew up there with his parents, Martin Sr. and Agnes, two brothers, and a sister. Stouffer Sr. owned Arkansas Rebuilders Supply, which supplied auto parts for rebuilders.

Is Marty Stouffer still married? ›

Marty Stouffer is known for Bighorn! (1972), The Predators (1976) and Fantastic Follies (1996). He has been married to Diane since 1979.

What is Marty Stouffer doing today? ›

Today, Marty lives in the high country outside Aspen, Colorado, with his wife, Diane, their children; 18 year old Hannah and 12 year old Luke, and the family's Springer Spaniel, "Shadow." Their home still sees a parade of wild orphans like Fishers, Kestrels and Otters that are lovingly raised, usually filmed and always ...

How many Stouffer brothers are there? ›

Film adaptation

The lives of Marty Stouffer and his brothers, Mark and Marshall, in their hometown of Fort Smith, Arkansas, were later adapted for the film Wild America in 1997.

Is Wild America based on a true story? ›

The movie's based on the true-life story of the brothers who went on to become big-time nature photographers, particularly Marty Stouffer, who directed the Wild America TV series (I even have a couple of those VHS tapes somewhere).

What happened to Courtney Stouffer? ›

Kortne went missing on July 29, 2012, and has been missing since. At the time of her disappearance, Kortne had shoulder-length blond hair, green eyes, tattoos on her arm and was 5 feet 8 inches tall. A $100,000 reward has been offered to anyone with information about what happened to Kortne.

Why was Wild America cancelled? ›

The show ran for thirteen seasons and 120 episodes until it was canceled in 1996 amid controversy and without funding. Much of the controversy stemmed from Stouffer being fined $300,000 for illegally building a trail near an elk migration route in a Colorado national park.

Who bought out Stouffer's? ›

Stouffer's is a brand of frozen prepared foods currently owned by Nestlé.

What is the movie about the Stouffer brothers? ›

Wild America is a 1997 American adventure comedy film based on the life of wildlife documentarian Marty Stouffer and his brothers Mark and Marshall.

Where did Marty Stouffer grow up? ›

Stouffer was raised in Fort Smith, in western Arkansas on the border with Oklahoma. He and his two brothers learned to hunt and fish at an early age. They also developed a passion for making films with an 8 mm movie camera.

Where did they film the movie Wild America? ›

Wild America Locations

Most scenes were shot in Savannah, Georgia, and Alberta, Canada, according to the source from

How old are the boys in Wild America? ›

Set in the late 1960s, the boys - 12-year-old Marshall (Thomas), and older high school brothers Mark (Devon Sawa) and Marty (Scott Bairstow) - are frustrated kids growing up in a small Arkansas town, under the firm guidance (read grip) of their mechanic father (Jamey Sheridan).

Who is Linda Stouffer husband? ›

How old was Kortne Stouffer? ›

Kortne was 21 when she vanished from her apartment in Palmyra, Pennsylvania during the early hours of July 29, 2012.

Does Linda Stouffer have kids? ›

Linda Stouffer(I)

She is married to Mark Strassmann. They have one child.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lidia Grady

Last Updated:

Views: 5569

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lidia Grady

Birthday: 1992-01-22

Address: Suite 493 356 Dale Fall, New Wanda, RI 52485

Phone: +29914464387516

Job: Customer Engineer

Hobby: Cryptography, Writing, Dowsing, Stand-up comedy, Calligraphy, Web surfing, Ghost hunting

Introduction: My name is Lidia Grady, I am a thankful, fine, glamorous, lucky, lively, pleasant, shiny person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.