Character actor Wilford Brimley, whose myriad credits include TV’s The Waltons and Our House and the movie Cocoon, has died at the age of 85.
According to TMZ, Brimley passed away in his Utah home on Saturday morning. He had recently spent days in an ICU hospital unit on dialysis.
Brimley’s breakthrough role came in 1974, when he was cast in the recurring part of Horace Brimley on the aforementioned family drama The Waltons. He would go on to appear in more than a dozen made-for-TV movies, including The Wild Wild West Revisited, Amber Waves, The Big Black Pill and Act of Vengeance. He eventually found a starring role as family patriarch Gus Witherspoon on the short-lived NBC drama Our House, which debuted in 1986 and ran for two seasons. (Read Diedre Hall’s tribute.) Additional TV credits included episodes of Seinfeld and Walker, Texas Ranger.
Just as intelligent actors/actresses have a hard time acting ditzy (I only know 2 who could really pull it off, Marilyn Monroe and Jennifer Tilly) many younger actors have a hard time playing elderly parts. Wilford Brimley could do it perfectly. Rest in peace.