When questioned, Mr. Brimley downplayed his talent; he described himself as “just a guy, just a feller” to the Powell Tribune in Wyoming in 2014. “I can’t speak of an actor,” he says. “I do not know. I was just lucky enough to be hired.
Anthony Wilford Brimley was born September 27, 1934 in Salt Lake City. Her father, a real estate broker, sold the family farm in 1939 and moved his family to Santa Monica, California.
Tony, as he was called, dropped out of school at age 14 and worked as a cowboy in Idaho, Nevada and Arizona before enlisting in the Marine Corps, which sent him to the islands. Aleutians. After leaving the service, he worked as a ranch worker, wrangler, and blacksmith. In short, he was a bodyguard for Howard Hughes.
He began shoeing horses for television and film westerns, and gradually took on wordless roles on horseback. He appeared as a stuntman in “Bandolero !,” in an uncredited role in “True Grit” and as a blacksmith in the television series “Kung Fu”.
After “China Syndrome” he worked regularly. He played Harry, the former manager of the country singer played by Robert Duvall, in “Tender Mercies,” and eccentric mogul Bradley Tozer in Tom Selleck’s adventure film “High Road to China,” before returning to the role. by Ben Luckett in “Cocoon: The Return.”
From 1986 to 1988 he starred as Gus Witherspoon, the opinionated but lovable grandfather of the NBC series ‘Our House’, once again confusing Hollywood’s usual aging process by portraying, at the start of the fifties, a 65-year-old character.
“I’m never the leader,” he told the Dallas Morning News in 1993. “I never have the girl. And I never take my shirt off. I started out playing fathers to guys who were 25 years older than me.