The outlet said they were told Brimley passed away early Saturday morning at his Utah home. He had been sick for a while before his death and was in the ICU unit of the hospital for the past few days on dialysis.
He is survived by his wife Beverly Berry, who he married in 2007, and his three sons — John, Jim, and Bill.
A spokesperson for the late star told TMZ that one of his favorite quotes came from a sign he once saw at a blacksmith’s shop.
“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,” the sign read.
NBC News reported that Brimley passed away in St. George, Utah. His manager, Lynda Bensky, had some kind words to say about her client upon his death.
“Wilford Brimley was a man you could trust. He said what he meant and he meant what he said. 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,” she said.
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
— Piper Perabo #StayHome (@PiperPerabo) August 2, 2020
Several actors have expressed their condolences on Twitter, including Piper Perabo and Eddie McClintock. You can see McClintock’s tweet here.
He Was Diagnosed With Diabetes Mellitus In 1979 & Became An Outspoken Advocate For The Condition
Aside from his numerous film and television roles, Brimley will perhaps be best remembered for his endearing commercial about diabetes for the American Diabetes Association, who honored him in 2008 for a lifetime of service.
He famously became a meme and a viral internet sensation due to his pronunciation of diabetes as “diabeetus.”
NBC News wrote that he became “endearing to comedians and even to those who suffered from the disease. In 2018, the website Diabetes Daily proclaimed him ‘Mr. Diabeetus.'”
Despite the jokes, Brimley was very outspoken about his illness and open to discussing it and helping people who suffered from the disease. Aside from his work for ADA, he also did several commercials to bring attention to the cause for Liberty Medical. The ads became a popular source of material for spoofs by comedians.
He Was A Beloved Actor With More Than 70 Different Roles Under His Belt & Was The Face Of Quaker Oats
Throughout his lengthy career, Brimley tackled numerous roles in both television and film. His breakout role came in the 1970s when he took on a recurring spot on the popular TV show The Waltons as the Walton Mountain resident, Horace.
“His big-screen credits include ‘Cocoon,’ ‘The Natural’ and ‘The Firm,” stated the NBC News piece.
He also played a major role in John Carpenter’s iconic 1982 horror film, The Thing, which helped cement his status in the industry as a talented character actor.
Beyond that, fans knew him as the face of Quaker Oats, appearing in numerous commercials for the company throughout the 1980s and 1990s. During the advertisements, Brimley would try to educate people, on the importance of eating healthy, especially for young children.