Wilford Brimley – an iconic actor who was the face of Quaker Oats for years, as well as a spokesperson for diabetes education – has passed away… a representative told TMZ. We are told that Brimley died Saturday morning at his home in Utah. Sources with first-hand knowledge of Wilford’s health tell us he was in an intensive care unit of a hospital on dialysis and was very ill for days. Wilford has had a long career in front of the camera, dating back to the 1970s with over 70 acting credits. He is perhaps best known for his roles in cult classic films like “Cocoon,” “The Natural,” “The Thing,” “Hard Target,” and countless other memorable screen appearances large and small. Brimley started out primarily as a TV actor, landing one-off roles in TV shows such as “How the West Was Won”, “Kung Fu”, “The Oregon Trail”, and then eventually … a recurring part of “The Waltons”. He went on to act in a bunch of TV movies, such as “The Wild Wild West Revisited”, “Amber Waves”, “Roughnecks”, “Rodeo Girl”, “The Big Black Pill”, etc. In the 80’s he started to engage in more traditional films, appearing in films like “High Road to China”, “10 to Midnight”, “Tough Enough”, “Jackals”, “End of the Line” and a bunch of other B movies where he often played an authority figure or a grandfather figure with his deep and heartwarming Southern accent. One of the best character actors without a doubt. He went on to star in countless other movies and shows, most notably in “Our House” in which he starred in over 40 episodes, as well as one-off appearances in hit series like “Walker: Texas Ranger”, ” Seinfeld ”and many others. People may remember Wilford more for the commercials over the years – especially his campaigns with Quaker Oats in the ’80s and’ 90s, and perhaps even more memorable … his classic diabetes commercials for Liberty Medical. – which were often usurped, but also beloved. Wilford was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus in 1979 and has managed the disease since then – obviously he was very open about it. The American Diabetes Association honored him for his life of advocacy in 2008. A representative for Wilford told TMZ that one of his favorite quotes was from a sign at a blacksmith. He said, “There is nothing made, sold or made that cannot be made, sold or made cheaper. If price is your only concern, please do business with my competitor. “ He is survived by his wife, Beverly, and his three children. Wilford was 85 years old. RIP
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