The badass former cowboy turned actor, Wilford Brimley, has died at 85. He died after a long battle with illness. There is no official cause of death as of this moment. The actor got his start in the 1960’s as an extra and a stuntman. He got a late start as a star and character actor with his first major role coming in 1979 with The China Syndrome.
His most famous role comes with Cocoon in 1985. A film about a group of retirees that gain youth and rejuvenation from a healing swimming pool. The alien flick was widely praised and received Academy Award nominations and a win for Don Ameche. Brimley might be more known to younger audiences for his commercials about diabetes and diabetes products. That would be a shame not to recognize his film career before then.
Wilford Brimley In The Thing Is His Greatest Performance
My favorite Brimley role is in The Thing. His role as Blair holds the film together and gives us one of the most chilling scenes in movie history. In a moment of sheer panic that reminds me of the current times we live in, Blair runs a simulation of what would happen if the alien reached a major population.
On the set of that film, Brimley was the only one not completely grossed out about the various creature and guts effects on set. His time served as a cowboy and working on a farm gave him the right mental fortitude to work with the props. His performance in the film is subdued right up to the point that he completely goes crazy. Even after that, his performance goes back to the eerie and creepy, when you can’t guess if he’s alien or not.
Wilford Brimley’s career was a successful one filled with many cult classic performances. He was in over 70 productions and his legacy will live on forever in the films he starred in. He is survived by his wife Beverly, and his three children.