Otto Kilcher is an American TV personality, and a hunter, born on 19 April 1952, in Homer, Alaska USA. He’s known for being one of the main stars of the reality TV series “Alaska: The Last Frontier”.

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Early Life

Otto was born the sixth child of Yule Kilcher and Ruth Welber, who immigrated from Switzerland during World War II. Raised in a small cabin amidst he Alaskan wilderness, Otto along his older brother Atz and six sisters – Wurtilla, Fay, Catkin, Stellavera, Mossy and Sunrise – learned to live a self-sustainable lifestyle through farming, hunting and fishing from an early age. It’s known that they didn’t even have electricity and running water in their household.

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From when he was a child, Otto developed skills in machinery and artifact building, knowledge which would serve him later in life. Otto and his siblings developed a deep interest on music, learning to sing, and to play various musical instruments in their free time, thanks to their musician mother’s influence.

As his house was too far away from every local school, Otto was home-schooled through a correspondence class program named Calver Course, although in his teens he finally attended a public high school. After his matriculation, he left his hometown to attend Oregon State University, graduating with a degree in Physics in 1974. During his time in college, Otto participated in various Frisbee competitions. In 2003 he went back to college to further his education, being awarded a PhD in Physical Oceanography in 2011.

Who is Otto Kilcher from ‘Alaska: The Last Frontier’?

In 2011 Otto Kilcher debuted in “Alaska: The Last Frontier”, a TV reality series focused on the Kilcher family’s survival ways in their homestead in Alaska, established on a 640 acre land by patriarch Yule Kilcher in 1941.

Known for his ability as a collector, Otto has also shown his impressive skills at fixing machinery and various types of equipment as well. Not only does he produce fresh vegetables through farming, he has also maintained a cow herd which provides his family with meat, a necessary requirement to survive intense winters, due to its proteins.

Although “Alaska: The Last Frontier” has received good reviews from viewers, and gained a huge number of fans on social media, it has been criticized by the way life of locals is portrayed in the series, as Ella Jacobson of RealLifeMag commented in 2018: ‘In almost every episode some member of the clan appears to be in danger of death by starvation or exposure. When two family members suddenly realize their food supply has dropped precipitously during the winter, they are forced to snow machine 30 miles through a blizzard to ice fish. The fact that a McDonald’s and a Safeway grocery store are both a 20-minute drive from the homestead is never mentioned.’

Legal Problems

In 2016, conservation association Kachemak Heritage Land Trust (KHLT) filed a lawsuit against Otto Kilcher, for allegedly violating the conservation easement established by his father Yule in 1994.  The dispute dates back to 2013, when Otto agreed to remove a pole and a high tunnel off his family’s land, as said objects surpassed outbuildings’ construction limits established by the State, also breaking a prohibition agreement which doesn’t allow Kilcher’s territory to be subdivided.

However, in addition to not removing the items off his propriety, Otto also faced accusations of disposal and accumulation of non-compostable materials such as tires, construction objects and oil containers.

Otto Kilcher

President of KHLT, Sam Means declared conversations regarding the problem between the parts have been ineffective: ‘We’ve tried to work this out over several years in different ways. It’s not been successful’.

Kilcher affirmed his high tunnel wasn’t considered a building, thus it couldn’t be taxed. These declarations were supported by tax assessor Tom Anderson, who told Homer News: ‘Just a very simple high tunnel with a hoop structure with fabric or plastic over it, we would consider it personal property.’

Otto’s sister Catkin released a public statement regarding the situation, affirming her family maintained a good relationship with KHLT, and alleged violations to the easement were ‘far from clear and under review by the parties and their attorneys, and it is hoped and expected it will be resolved to everybody’s satisfaction.’

Personal Life


Otto Kilcher’s first wife was Olga von Ziegesar, who he married and divorced at unknown times. Nowadays, Olga is organization Winged Whale Research’s co-Director and investigator.

Otto married a second time to Sharon Mackemie in the early 1980s. The pair welcomed two sons together named Levi and Eivin, though the matrimony didn’t last long as they divorced soon after their second son’s birth.

Not long after his second divorce, Otto married Charlotte, a wildlife biologist from Northern California. Their first son was born in 1998, and Otto adopted Torrey, Charlotte’s son from a previous marriage. The couple has been together since their marriage more than two decades ago.

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Otto has faced various health issues throughout his life. In 2016 he underwent surgery for a hernia, going through a tough recovery process afterwards. Regardless of the seriousness of his surgical procedure, he refused to be put under general anesthesia: ‘If you look at the incredible amount of drugging that the liver has to clean after you’ve had some kind of total anesthetic, it’s a terrible thing, so I just try to be real minimalistic and be alive for every moment of my life”.

However, his health was put at stake again months later, when he suffered a small accident while helping a paralyzed cow.

Net Worth

Otto Kilcher has an estimated net worth of over $4 million, which is largely a result of his appearances in Discovery Channel’s TV reality show “Alaska: The Last Frontier”.

Physical Appearance

Otto Kilcher is a man of white ethnicity, whose eyes are green and hair blonde.

Although his weight and height are unknown, he’s of noticeably slim built. He usually wears simple clothes, but is fond of sporty caps.

Interesting Facts

Otto Kilcher is the uncle of multi-award winner Jewel. She left Alaska in her teens to attend a music conservatory in Michigan, where she developed her impressive skills at songwriting and musical composition. In 1995 she was brought to fame when her debut album “Pieces of You” was released.

Jewel has appeared alongside her family in “Alaska: The Last Frontier”, and is open about her childhood’s experiences and family: ‘When I first got discovered, journalists would ask me how I was raised and they just couldn’t comprehend it. It was so difficult for people to understand, that I kind of quit talking about it. I’m really proud, though, that there’s a beautifully filmed show that I can be like, ‘That’s where I was raised, and that’s how I was raised’.’

Otto’s nephew, Atz Lee Kilcher suffered an accident in 2017, when he fell off a cliff while in a resort. Although he survived the incident, he suffered various serious injuries that threatened his life. He later informed his fans about his health situation on Instagram: ‘My broken bones are healing nicely considering how many I broke. Lungs are holding strong and every day I feel a little stronger.’ (…) ‘I know my family has my back and before long I will be back amongst the walking. Work hard, dig deep, and never give up’.

All of Otto’s sons appear in “Alaska: The Last Frontier”.

Otto’s parents divorced in 1970, when he was 18 years old.

Otto has a younger stepbrother resulting from his mother Ruth’s second marriage. However, there’s no further information about him.

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