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Wilford Brimley Useless at 85 ‘Cocoon’ Star Known for Cranky Characters

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Anthony Wilford Brimley was born on Sept. 27, 1934, in Salt Lake Metropolis. His father, a authentic estate broker, sold the household farm in 1939 and moved his relatives to Santa Monica, Calif.

Tony, as he was regarded, dropped out of college at 14 and labored as a cowboy in Idaho, Nevada and Arizona in advance of enlisting in the Marine Corps, which despatched him to the Aleutian Islands. Just after leaving the service, he labored as a ranch hand, wrangler and blacksmith. Briefly, he was a bodyguard for Howard Hughes.

He started shoeing horses for tv and movie westerns, and slowly took nonspeaking roles on horseback. He appeared as a stuntman in “Bandolero!,” in an uncredited role in “True Grit” and as a blacksmith in the tv collection “Kung Fu.”

Immediately after “The China Syndrome,” he labored steadily. He performed Harry, the previous supervisor of the nation singer played by Robert Duvall, in “Tender Mercies,” and the eccentric tycoon Bradley Tozer in the Tom Selleck journey film “High Street to China,” before returning to the part of Ben Luckett in “Cocoon: The Return.”

From 1986 to 1988 he had a starring part as Gus Witherspoon, the opinionated but lovable grandfather in the NBC sequence “Our House,” still again confounding the typical Hollywood getting old procedure by portraying, in his early 50s, a character who was 65.

“I’m in no way the foremost man,” he informed The Dallas Morning News in 1993. “I never get the woman. And I under no circumstances get to get my shirt off. I started off by actively playing fathers to guys who had been 25 yrs more mature than I was.”

In aspect mainly because of his tv commercials, Mr. Brimley created the transition from actor to comedian supply content. John Goodman did a parody of his diabetic issues commercial on “Saturday Evening Live,” and in 1997 he appeared in a cameo part on “Seinfeld” as the limited-tempered postmaster normal, Henry Atkins.

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