Wilford Brimley, 'Cocoon' Star, Dies at 85
Beloved character actor also appeared in such films as “Absence of Malice” and “The Natural”
Wilford Brimley, the beloved character actor who starred in such film as “Cocoon” and “The Natural,” died Saturday at age 85.
He had been sick for two months with a kidney ailment, his agent told the New York Times.
The Utah native found his breakthrough role in a recurring role in the 1970s period drama “The Waltons.” Soon, he played a range of often crotchety characters on the big screen, including a nuclear power plant engineer in 1979’s “The China Syndrome,” a tenacious district attorney in 1981’s “Absence of Malice” and a country music manager in 1983’s “Tender Mercies.”
His biggest role may have come in Ron Howard’s 1985 hit “Cocoon” as the leader of a group of senior-citizen outcasts who discover a swimming pool that magically restores their youth — a character that was significantly older than his then age of 49. He reprised the role in a 1988 sequel.
In the 1980s, he also gained famed as the on-camera spokesman for Quaker Oats and Liberty Medical, which sold diabetes-testing kits.
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