Wilford Brimley, the unlikely character actor who introduced each curmudgeonry and geniality to movies like Cocoon, The China Syndrome, The Pure and Tender Mercies, has died on the age of 85.

Brimley’s agent Lynda Bensky confirmed to the New York Instances that the actor had been sick for 2 months with kidney illnesses; the actor — a longtime spokesperson for Liberty Medical — had been diabetic for the reason that Seventies. Brimley died Saturday at a hospital close to St. George, Utah, the place the actor resided.

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“Wilford Brimley was a person you possibly can belief. He mentioned what he meant and he meant what he mentioned,” Bensky informed CNN. “He had a troublesome exterior and a young coronary heart. I’m unhappy that I’ll not get to listen to my pal’s fantastic tales. He was one in all a form.”

Along with his walrus mustache and stocky construct, Brimley was not a standard actor, and he held quite a lot of jobs — blacksmith, cowboy, ranch hand and reportedly Howard Hughes’ bodyguard — earlier than his pal, actor Robert Duvall, persuaded him to attempt appearing. Brimley first labored as a stuntman and further earlier than making his credited debut in 1974 with a guest-starring position in The Waltons.

Brimley’s first big-screen credit score, on the age of 45, was a small however memorable position in 1979’s The China Syndrome, taking part in the pal of Jack Lemmon’s nuclear energy plant whistleblower. Over the subsequent few many years, Brimley would proceed his pattern of supporting however scene-stealing roles, together with his memorable one scene of labor as an assistant U.S. district lawyer in 1981’s Absence of Malice; Brimley would later parody that scene whereas taking part in a Postmaster Common on a 1997 episode of Seinfeld:

Whereas Brimley was most frequently forged as affable but crotchety varieties in movies like The Pure, Tender Mercies, My Fellow People and In & Out, he generally lent his gruff traits to villain roles, together with the squirrelly, paranoid biologist in John Carpenter’s The Factor and the duplicitous chief of safety within the Tom Cruise-starring adaptation of The Agency.

Along with his huge display screen work, Brimley turned identified to a era of TV watchers for his near-constant presence in Quaker Oats advertisements, in addition to his efforts to promote diabetes schooling in Liberty Mutual commercials, which later took on a second life due to YouTube and memes. The American Diabetes Affiliation honored Brimley in 2008 for many years spent imploring viewers to test their blood sugar.

“He was an exquisite man, a pleasure to be round, and his dry humorousness and iconic voice left an eternal impression on each individual he met,” Brimley’s expertise agent Dominic Mancini, mentioned in an announcement to The Hollywood Reporter.

“To know Wilford was to like Wilford. He had an incredible profession and sliced by way of the display screen together with his dry wit, stoic stature and highly effective conveyance. His distinctive mix of surprising comedy and indelible storytelling will at all times stay unmatched.”

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