Rick Ness (aged 41) is an American bassist and reality TV personality from Michigan. He is known for being one of the five members of The .387 String Band and for starring in the Discovery channel’s reality series, Gold Rush.

Early Years

Rick Ness and his twin brother, Randy, were born to Richard Ness and Judy Bedard in Escanaba, Michigan, on March 5th, 1981. He was of the graduating batch of ’99 of the Escanaba Area High School. 

After high school, his family moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. However, he moved back to Michigan after a while to live with his mother. His parents had been divorced for a long time – ever since he was a kid. 

Ness’ grandfather founded a construction company, ‘Roy Ness Contracting & Sales Inc.’ in Michigan. His father handled the family business, and his mother owned a restaurant called Subby’s. 

While his twin brother, Randy, followed his father’s footsteps and became a mechanic at their construction company, Rick had other interests. He was a star football player in school. He even had plans to try his luck at pro football, but a knee injury was the end of that dream.


The .357 String Band

After his football dreams were crushed, Ness picked up the bass. In an interview with Monsters & Critics, Ness revealed how he ended up being a member of The .387 String Band. 

He was at a concert where coincidentally, the .387 Strings were the opening act. After the concert, he met up with them backstage and told them their bass was terrible and that he could do better. 

Since that day, Ness became the official fifth member of the band. Together, the five of them released three albums: Fire & Hail, Ghost Town, and Lightning From The North. 

In 2009, one of the members was fired due to disagreements. When another left in 2011, the remaining three announced that they no longer wanted to continue without him, and thus they officially disbanded at the end of November.


Gold Rush

While on tour with his band in October 2011, Ness met Parker Schnabel at a Southeast Alaskan State Affair. They immediately hit it off, and in their brief time together, Ness mentioned his interest in Schnabel’s show, Gold Rush. 

Nine months after their meeting, when Ness got a call from him, Schnabel offered him a chance to be part of the mining crew as his truck driver.

Ness officially joined the show in its third season. Although he had no experience in the mining department, his childhood around heavy machinery at the construction company made it much easier for him to learn. 

In no time, Ness became an essential part of the team. He was best recognized as an excavator and as Schnabel’s right-hand man.

Ness slowly climbed up the ranks- from a truck driver to a foreman to a boss. 

In Season 8, he was appointed as the boss of one of the teams. Although he was only a beginner at heading his own firm, he hit gold, specifically 1108 ounces (worth around $1.3 million) in his rookie year.


Rick Ness Net Worth

There is no doubt that Ness is a rich man. His net worth is estimated to be around $4 million, and he was paid roughly $20k for each episode of the Gold Rush. 


Rick Ness Girlfriend and Personal Life

In March 2018, Ness lost his mother to brain cancer at the age of 55. While Ness loves his father a lot, he was closer to his mother and had been living with her for the past 15 years in Michigan. 

Although he knew it was coming, he still took her passing quite hard.

Like the case with every other celebrity, who has a substantial fan following, there were a lot of rumors circulating about Ness’ personal life. 

The most popular one being about Jen Ness. Many believed they were once married and had a son before getting a divorce. Other sources say that Jen is actually married to Rick’s twin brother, Randy. 

This seems more likely, as Rick has previously mentioned having a nephew. He was also rumored to be in a relationship with his costar Karla Ann Charlton, especially when she joined Ness’ team in Season 8. 

However, Ness dispelled the rumors by publicly announcing his relationship with Leese Marie in November 2020. Fans of Gold Rush met the 45-year-old woman when she joined Ness in the show.

The two of them received much backlash over their relationship and tattooed appearances. Neither of them ever paid any attention to the hate, and thus, in October 2022, after almost two years of dating, Ness announced their engagement through a social media post.


What happened to rick ness, and why is he leaving Gold Rush?

After season 12 ended, Ness left the show. His absence in the thirteenth season left his fans worried and wondering why he left. In the new season’s second episode, Zee went to check up on Ness. 

Ness revealed to him that he suffers from SAD and has not been feeling up to much these days. 

According to Mayo Clinic, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a type of depression related to changes in seasons and begins and ends at about the same time every year. 

Furthermore, Ness mentioned that he has not yet moved on from his mother’s death. He still owns her house and has not visited the place ever since she passed away two years ago.

On November 22nd, a little over a month after their engagement, Leese Marie posted on her Tiktok and Facebook about their break-up after she reportedly caught Ness cheating on her. 

Two weeks later, Ness posted on Facebook about his mental health. He further talked about how Leese has stood beside him despite his shortcomings through thick and thin. 

According to his post, Leese appears to have given him yet another chance.

You can keep up with Ness by following him on his Instagram and Facebook.

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