Actor Wilfred Brimley dies at 85

Unlikely, scene-stealing character actor also appeared in Seinfeld, The Thing and The Firm

Wilford Brimley, a character actor who appeared in films like Cocoon and The Natural, died Saturday at a hospital in St. George, Utah. He was 85. Brimley’s agent said he had been sick for two months with a kidney ailment.

Brimley first worked as a stuntman and extra before making his credited debut in 1974 with a guest-starring role in The Waltons.

Brimley had an unconventional path to acting, having worked as a blacksmith, cowboy, and ranch hand, before his friend, actor Robert Duvall, convinced him to give performing a shot. His first big-screen credit in The China Syndrome came at the age of 45.

In addition to his roles in movies, Brimley served as the spokesman for Quaker Oats in the 1980s and 1990s.

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