Brimley was known as the face of Quaker Oats and for his role in long-running diabetes campaigns. He starred in more than 70 television shows and on film, becoming a household name that spanned decades.
He had been sick for two months with a kidney ailment, his agent, Lynda Bensky, told The New York Times. He died in a Utah hospital Saturday, August 1, 2020.
Here’s what you need to know:
Wilford Brimley Had Been Hospitalized With a Kidney Ailment & Died in the Hospital
Wilford Brimley had been sick for about two months with a kidney ailment, and was hospitalized in St. George, Utah, where he had a home, his agent, Lynda Bensky, told The New York Times. He had been in an intensive care unit on kidney dialysis, and was very sick for several days leading up to his death, according to TMZ.
Brimley leaves behind a wife, Beverly, and three children. Brimley was known for his iconic mustache, and for his roles in “Cocoon,” “Absence of Malice” and “The Natural.” He also played the Walton Mountain resident Horace Brimley in a recurring role on the television series “The Waltons.” It was then that Michael Douglas, the producer of “The China Syndrome,” gave Brimley his breakthrough role as Ted Spindler, an assistant engineer at a nuclear plant, according to The New York Times.
A representative of Brimley told TMZ one of his favorite quotes was one he saw above the door at a blacksmith’s shop.
It said, “There is nothing made, sold, or done that can’t be made, sold, or done cheaper. If price is your only concern, please do business with my competitor.”
Wilford Brimley Was Diagnosed With Diabetes in 1979 & Recognized for His Role in Public Education
Some of Wilford Brimley’s most widely recognized roles were his advertisements for Liberty Medical. He became an icon through the ads to a younger generation, and a beloved figure. He was often affectionately known as “the diabeetus man.”
Brimley was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, which causes high blood glucose levels, in 1979. He managed the disease, and became an educational spokesperson through his Liberty Medical advertisements.
“If you have type 2 diabetes like I have, you’re confronted with choices,” he said on the ad. “You can choose to feel sorry for yourself. I hope you don’t.”
Brimley was honored by The American Diabetes Association in 2008 for his lifetime of advocacy in 2008, according to Binson’s Home Health Care Centers.
Binson’s established a partnership with Brimley, describing him as a trusted face to promote their products, according to the company’s website.
James Binson of Binson’s Home Health Care Centers announced the partnership, saying, “I’ve known Wilford Brimley for over 20 years and we are thrilled to have him on our team. I know our customers will respond the same way we did, with trust and enthusiasm. Binson’s was awarded multiple contracts under Medicare’s recent competitive bid program, including the National Mail Order Contract for Diabetes Supplies and feels Wilford is the perfect person to promote this message.”
Brimley also lauded the partnership, saying his expertise would help Binson’s customers.
“I understand the difficulties associated with diabetes first hand, from finding the best meters, dealing with medicare and insurance companies and we’ll use my ‘no nonsense’ approach when explaining the benefits of Binson’s products and services,” Brimley said.