‘The Waltons’: Acting Legend Wilford Brimley Made Screen Debut on Iconic Show

by Keeli Parkey
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During his career, actor Wilford Brimley established himself as one of the most reliable character actors in Hollywood. But, did you know that he made his screen debut on an iconic television show?

According to information available on Wikipedia.com, that show was “The Waltons.” Brimley played Horace Brimley, a resident of Walton’s Mountain. Horace Brimley worked as a blacksmith. The actor was on the classic television show from 1974 until 1977.

Around the same time he was appearing on “The Waltons,” Wilford Brimley also appeared on the television show “Kung Fu” in 1975 and “The Oregon Trail” during 1976 and 1977.

It was during 1979, that Wilford Brimley was cast as Ted Spindler in the classic film, “The China Syndrome.” He starred alongside the legendary Jack Lemmon in the film, according to the article. As the actor’s career progressed, more famous roles would follow. And, he would grow to be more and more respected for his ability to truthfully portray the characters he played.

Wilford Brimley Died at Age 85

Wilford Brimley died on Aug. 1, 2020, at the age of 85. His surviving family members were his wife, Beverly, and his three sons. According to an Outsider.com report made at the time of the actor’s death, Brimley had been hospitalized in St. George, Utah, and was being treated in an intensive care unit there.

“Wilford Brimley was a man you could trust. He said what he meant and he meant what he said,” the actor’s manager Lynda Bensky told CNN at the time of his death. “He had a tough exterior and a tender heart. I’m sad that I will no longer get to hear my friend’s wonderful stories. He was one of a kind.”

Brimley’s fame as a reliable character actor arose thanks to his work in popular films. These included “The China Syndrome,” “Cocoon,” “The Firm,” and “The Natural.” Television viewers knew him from the show “Our House.”

He was also a famous pitchman for Quaker Oats and the American Diabetes Association. Through his work for the American Diabetes Association, Wilford Brimley encouraged others to check their blood sugar in order to stay healthy. According to Wikipedia, doctors found that Wilford Brimley had type 2 diabetes during 1979.

Agent Calls Brimley ‘Joy to Be Around’ Following Actor’s Death

Wilford Brimley was also remembered fondly by his talent agent, Dominic Mancini. Mancini shared his feelings with the Hollywood Reporter shortly after the actor’s death.

“He was a wonderful man, a joy to be around, and his dry sense of humor and iconic voice left an everlasting impression on every person he met,” Mancini said. “I was lucky to call him a friend. To know Wilford was to love Wilford. He had an amazing career and sliced through the screen with his dry wit, stoic stature and powerful conveyance. His unique blend of unexpected comedy and indelible storytelling will always remain unmatched.”

The popular show “Yellowstone” also honored Wilford Brimley following his death.

Outsider.com