Wilford Brimley became an established character actor in the 1970s and 1980s in films such as The China Syndrome, The Thing, Tender Mercies, The Natural, and Cocoon.
33 Facts About Wilford Brimley
Wilford Brimley was known for playing characters at times much older than his age.
Wilford Brimley was the long-term face of American television advertisements for the Quaker Oats Company.
Wilford Brimley promoted diabetes education and appeared in related television commercials for Liberty Medical.
Anthony Wilford Brimley was born in Salt Lake City on September 27,1934, the son of Lola and real estate broker Wilford Brimley.
Wilford Brimley's paternal grandfather was an Englishman from Wigan, while his paternal grandmother's parents were a Scottish couple from Glasgow.
Wilford Brimley's mother was half Danish and had English, German, Swiss, and Welsh ancestry.
Wilford Brimley joined the Marines in 1953 and served in the Aleutian Islands for three years.
Wilford Brimley worked as a bodyguard for businessman Howard Hughes as well as a ranch hand, wrangler, and blacksmith.
Wilford Brimley then began shoeing horses for film and television.
Wilford Brimley had no formal training as an actor, and his first experience in acting in front of a live audience was in a theater group at the Los Angeles Actors' Theater.
Wilford Brimley's first credited feature film performance was in The China Syndrome as Ted Spindler, a friend and coworker of plant shift supervisor Jack Godell.
Later, Brimley made a brief but pivotal appearance in Absence of Malice as the curmudgeonly, outspoken Assistant Attorney General James A Wells.
Wilford Brimley then appeared as Pop Fisher, world-weary manager of a slumping baseball team, in The Natural.
Wilford Brimley appeared in the 1984 film Country as Otis, the patriarch of a family farm, which took a sobering look at farms in crisis in the 1980s.
Shortly thereafter, Wilford Brimley secured his first leading role in Ron Howard's Cocoon, portraying Ben Luckett, leader of a group of geriatrics who encounter a magically reinvigorating swimming pool by their retirement home.
Wilford Brimley was only 49 when he was cast in the role, and turned 50 during filming; he was at least 20 years younger than any of the actors playing the other retirement home residents.
Wilford Brimley starred in Cocoon: The Return, a 1988 sequel.
Wilford Brimley made an auspicious mainstream comeback with the TNT film Crossfire Trail, co-starring with Tom Selleck.
Wilford Brimley played an intimidating United States Postmaster General in a 1997 episode of Seinfeld, who forces Kramer to end his boycott of the mail service.
Wilford Brimley appeared in numerous television advertisements for Liberty Medical, a company specializing in home delivery of medical products.
Wilford Brimley appeared in commercials for the American Diabetes Association and was the voice-over for a Bryan Foods television commercial campaign.
Wilford Brimley has been described as "a fine singer with a warm, rich voice".
In 1993, Wilford Brimley sang with the Cal State Northridge Jazz Band for a concert benefiting the college's Jazz Endowment Scholarship Fund.
In 2013, Riders in the Sky partnered with Wilford Brimley to produce the album Home on the Range, which featured him singing a variety of country and folk songs.
Wilford Brimley was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Wilford Brimley was married to Lynne Bagley from July 6,1956, until her death in June 2000.
Wilford Brimley visited Veterans Administration hospitals and communities to advise patients on how to manage their diseases.
Wilford Brimley spoke against the banning of cockfighting in New Mexico on the basis of his support of individual rights.
Wilford Brimley spoke at a 1998 Phoenix rally opposing an Arizona ballot proposition to ban cockfighting, arguing that a ban could lead to efforts to restrict the use of hunting dogs, which opponents of cockfighting called a distraction from the issue.
Wilford Brimley enjoyed playing poker and played in the World Series of Poker Main Event.
Wilford Brimley lent his support to John McCain in the 2008 United States presidential election.
Wilford Brimley died at a hospital in St George, Utah, on August 1,2020 at age 85 after suffering from a kidney condition for two months.