Wilford Brimley, who started his movie career as a stunt rider and went on the star in films such as Cocoon, The Firm and The Natural, has died aged 85.
His manager, Lynda Bensky, made the announcement that he had passed away yesterday (Saturday) in hospital in Utah, USA and that he had had a number of ailments.
Having starred in a number of movies during his career it was the character that he played in Cocoon that bought him to stardom. The film was based on a group of elderly people that discovered an alien spaceship that gave them their youth back.
The 1985 film, directed by Ron Howard, won 2 Oscars including best supporting actor for Don Ameche. Brimley also starred in the sequel Cocoon-The Return in 1988.
He was the Quaker Oats man in commercials for many years and later on in life did a series of commercials for diabetes that turned him into a social media star. In the 1993 film The Firm he starred opposite Tom Cruise as an investigator who used ruthless tactics to keep his law firms secrets safe.
As a young man he travelled around America for 20 years, working on racetracks and ranches before drifting into movie work as a stunt rider on films like True Grit and starring in the television series Gunsmoke.
He admitted in a 1984 interview that he had never taken acting classes, saying that he had been learning acting for the past fifty years. He is survived by his wife Beverly and 3 sons.
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