A Marine, blacksmith, ranch hand, and actor has passed. Wilford Brimley died at his Utah home on Saturday at age 85.

After dropping out of high school Brimley enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. His three years of active duty in the Marines were all spent in the Pacific Theatre. After his honorable discharge he put his skills learned in the Marines to work as a body guard for the legendary Howard Hughes.

His entry into acting came via his work as a blacksmith on western movie sets. In the 1960’s he became an actor. He was encouraged by fellow Veteran Robert Duvall to pursue acting.

While his acting career flourished he never turned his back on fellow Veterans. He made time to visit Veterans Administration Hospitals to talk with Veterans. He shared his own medical challenges with diabetes and coping skills during those visits.

This Marine was also a family man. His late wife and he shared four sons and many grandchildren. She passed away in 2000. He remarried in 2007 . The Utah native never forget his roots and maintained friends and a home in the Bee Hive state.

Brimley also founded a charity, supported fellow Veteran John McCain for President, played poker, and had other political views positions and views.

Brimley has approximately 50 film credits during his acting career, numerous television credits, and many remember his diabetes commercial as well.

Born in Utah in 1934, Brimley was known for many things including serving as a pitchman and the face of Quaker Oats.

He was also a diabetes educator for Liberty Medical.

Brimley will be fondly remembered. He was a proud Marine, husband, father, and grandparent. He made a difference and was a role model for many. His cause of death is unknown. As a Marine he has earned full military honors and burial in a veterans cemetery. No plans for his services have been announced.

Image Sources

  • Wilford Brimley: KUTV.com