An actor who had worked his way up from a movie stunt rider to an ineradicable character actor bringing with his presence a gruff charm and sometimes menace, to a range of films like Cocoon, The Natural, and The Firm, Wilford Brimley took his last breath at the age of 85.
According to a statement released by Brimley’s manager, Lynda Bensky, the actor had reportedly died on Saturday morning at Utah Hospital. She added that the actor was undergoing dialysis and had several other medical ailments.
The mustached face of Brimley was quite popular for several roles and often used to play characters like his grizzled baseball manager in The Natural where he was starred opposite Robert Redford’s bad-luck phenomenon. The actor had also worked with Redford in Brubaker and The Electric Horseman.
Brimley gave out his best performance in Cocoon in which he was a part of a group of seniors who discovered an alien pod that rejuvenates them. This was the 1985 Ron Howard film that won two Oscars and included a supporting-actor honor for Don Ameche.
Brimley was also cast in the 1988 sequel, Cocoon: The Return.
The legendary actor was a pitchman for Quaker Oats and in recent years had also made an appearance in a series of diabetes spots that at one point turned him into a social media sensation.
According to a statement made by Bensky, she said that Wilford Brimley was a man that someone could trust. She further added that every word that the late actor said came from his heart and he meant each of it. He was someone who portrayed a tough exterior with a tender heart and that she is sad to no longer get to hear her old friend’s wonderful stories she added. She concluded by saying that Brimley was one of a kind.
Following to which Barbara Hershey who came across Brimley in 1995’s Last of the Dogmen called him as a wonderful man and an actor, and that he always made him laugh.
Even though Brimley was never nominated for an Oscar or Emmy Award, the late actor had amassed an impressive list of credits. Back in 1993’s John Grisham adaptation The Firm, Brimley was starred opposite Tom Cruise and played the role of a tough-nosed investigator who deployed several ruthless tactics to keep his law firm’s secrets safe and secure.
According to a statement released by John Woo to The Hollywood Reporter in 2018, the one had directed Brimley as Uncle Douvee in 1993’s Hard Target told that the part played by him was the main great thing from the film and that he was overjoyed making those scenes, and especially the fact that he had got the opportunity to work with Wilford Brimley.
Brimley who was a Utah native and grew up around horses had spent two decades traveling around the West and working at various ranches, and race tracks. It was during the 1960s when he drifted into the movie work, riding in films like True Grit and also appearing in TV series such as Gunsmoke.
According to a biography prepared by Turner Classic Movies, it was when the actor had forged a friendship with Robert Duvall, that the later had reportedly encouraged him to seek more prominent and significant roles.
Brimley was never really trained as an actor and witnessed his career take off after he had won an important role as a nuclear power plant engineer in The China Syndrome.
In a statement that Brimley made during a 1984 Associated Press Interview, he had claimed that leave aside training; he had never been to acting classes for that matter but that he had 50 years of training. He had said that his years as an extra crafted a good background for learning everything about camera techniques and so forth. He considers himself lucky to have had that experience which a lot of newcomers do not experience.
He had further added that his only method is, to be honest, Brimley had told the AP. He added that it is the camera that photographs the truth and not what anyone wants it to see but it sees what it wants to, the absolute truth.
Brimley scored a recurring role as a blacksmith on The Waltons and also the 1980s prime-time series Our House.
There was another side of this actor which was his love of jazz. As a vocalist, Brimley made albums like This Time the Dream’s On Me and Wilford Brimley with the Jeff Hamilton Trio.
Furthermore, in 1998, he stood against an Arizona referendum to ban cockfighting and had stated that he was just trying to protect the lifestyle of freedom and choice for his grandchildren.
It was during the recent years when Brimley’s pitch work for Liberty Medical had driven him to become an internet sensation for his drawn-out pronunciation of diabetes as diabeetus.
As per reports, Brimley owned the pronunciation in a tweet that further attracted hundreds of thousands of likes, earlier this year.
Brimley is succeeded by his wife Beverly and three sons.