Wilford Brimley ̵
1; an iconic actor who has been the face of Quaker Oats for years, as well as a spokesperson for diabetes education – has passed away … a representative tells TMZ.
We are told that Brimley died on Saturday morning at his home in Utah. Sources with direct knowledge of Wilford’s health tell us that he was in an intensive care unit of a dialysis hospital and that he had been very ill for days.
Wilford had a long career with the camera, dating back to the 70s with over 70 acting credits. He is perhaps best known for roles in classic cult films such as “Cocoon”, “The Natural”, “The Thing”, “Hard Target” and countless other memorable screen appearances, large and small.
Brimley started out primarily as a television actor, getting occasional roles in TV series such as “How the West Was Won”, “Kung Fu”, “The Oregon Trail”, and finally … a recurring part in “The Waltons”. He went on to star in a series of TV films, such as “The Wild Wild West Revisited”, “Amber Waves”, “Roughnecks”, “Rodeo Girl”, “The Big Black Pill” and so on.
In the 1980s, he began to enter more traditional films, appearing in films such as “High Road to China”, “10 to Midnight”, “Tough Enough”, “Jackals”, “End of the Line” and a group of other films in which he often played an authoritarian figure or a grandmother with his deep and comforting southern accent. One of the best actors of the character without a doubt.
He went on to star in countless other films and shows, most notably in “Our Home,” where he starred in over 40 episodes as well as unique appearances in hit series such as “Walker, Texas Ranger”, “Seinfeld” and so many others.
People may remember Wilford more for commercials though over the years – in particular, his campaigns with Quaker Oats in the 80s and 90s and perhaps even more memorable … his classic diabetes advertisements for Liberty Medical – which were often falsified, but also loved.
Wilford was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus in 1979 and has since managed the disease – obviously he was very open about it. The American Diabetes Association honored him for his life as a lawyer in 2008.
A Wilford rep tells TMZ, one of his favorite quotes was from a sign in a blacksmith’s shop. It said, “There is nothing done, sold or done that cannot be done, sold or done in a cheaper way. If price is your only concern, please do business with my competitor.”
He survived by his wife, Beverlyand his three children.
Wilford was 85 years old. RIP