Washington: Wilford Brimley, the actor known for his work in ‘Cocoon’, ‘The Natural’ and ‘The Thing’, has died. He was 85.
According to Deadline, a representative for the actor confirmed that Brimley, died Saturday at an ICU in St. George, Utah. The actor had been on dialysis and experienced other medical problems leading up to his passing, the representative added.
Brimley whose additional credits include ‘The Electric Horseman’ and ‘The Hotel New Hampshire’, was born in 1934 in Salt Lake City. The actor had a film and television career with scores of roles to his name. From his time in the film and television industry, mainly in the 1970s, Brimley has taken on a wide variety of roles including Grandpa Sam Ferrans in ‘Summer of the Monkeys’, Chief Hawkins in ‘My Fellow Americans’ and governor in ‘The Round and Round’.
His first credited feature film role was in 1979’s ‘The China Syndrome’ as Ted Spindler, a friend and co-worker of plant shift supervisor Jack Godell, played by Jack Lemmon. Later, Brimley made a brief, but pivotal, appearance in ‘Absence of Malice’ as the outspoken Assistant U.S. Attorney James A. Wells.
Deadline reported that Brimley portrayed Pop Fisher, world-weary manager of a slumping baseball tea in ‘The Natural’ in 1984. The following year, he landed his first leading role in Ron Howard’s ‘Cocoon’ as Ben Luckett, leader of a group of geriatrics who encounter a magically reinvigorating swimming pool by their retirement home.
From 1986 to 1988, Brimley starred as Gus Witherspoon in the family drama ‘Our House’. He appeared on the show for 46 episodes. The actor worked alongside Deidre Hall, Shannen Doherty and Keri Houlihan, playing the family patriarch.
The actor also had a recurring role on ‘The Waltons’ and more recently had guest roles in ‘Seinfeld’, ‘Walker’, ‘Texas Ranger’ and ‘Homicide: Life on the Street’, among others.
His final credit was as pastor in Juergen Peretzki and Stacey Peretzki 2017 film ‘I Believe’.
In addition to starring in various films and television series, Brimley was also the face of Quaker Oats throughout the 1990s. He appeared in multiple commercials for the quick oats brand.
He is survived by his wife Beverly and three sons.