Wilford Brimley, 'Cocoon' Star and Face of Quaker Oats, Dead at 85
By Desiree Murphy
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Wilford Brimley, an actor who starred in films like Cocoon, The Natural and Absence of Malice and was the face of Quaker Oats for many years, has died. He was 85.
Brimley's manager, Lynda Bensky, confirmed to ET that he died at his home in Utah Saturday morning. He was in an ICU wing of a hospital on dialysis, and was very sick for days.
"Wilford Brimley was a man you could trust," Bensky told ET in a statement. "He said what he meant and he meant what he said. He had a gruff exterior and a tender heart."
"I'm sad that I will no longer get to hear my friend's wonderful stories," the statement continued. "He was one of a kind."
Brimley became a spokesperson for diabetes education after learning he had the disease in the late 70s. The diagnosis led him to his gig with the Quaker Oats brand in the 80s and 90s, encouraging viewers to eat the healthy cereal because "it’s the right thing to do."
Brimley is survived by his wife, Beverly, and his three children.
Shortly after news broke, a number of Brimley's fans and celebrity friends took to Twitter to pay tribute to the beloved actor, including Stephen Colbert.
"RIP Wilford Brimley," he wrote. "So many great performances, but I’ll never forget seeing him sing this surprisingly tender 'It's Not Easy Being Green.'"
RIP Wilford Brimley - so many great performances, but I’ll never forget seeing him sing this surprisingly tender "It's Not Easy Being Green" https://t.co/xdvh9qGhMj
Awww Wilford Brimley. Our favorite warm, good guy, purveyor of truth and reason. A man you always trusted when watching him work. I met him a few times. A really nice human and great actor RIP pic.twitter.com/V6xKjmBVa6
Wilford Brimley will always be the manager of the New York Knights in “The Natural.” I don’t care that the movie is a feel good retelling of the book. I loved it when I was six years old. pic.twitter.com/zInMy7quPz
I was very sad to hear that actor Wilford Brimley passed away today. 🕊 His beautiful, humble, and fierce characters in ‘The China Syndrome’ and ‘The Natural’ are two performances I love. What an amazing actor, Rest In Peace sir ♥️ pic.twitter.com/OR1SHsBKfs