On August 1, actor Wilford Brimley, known for his roles in films such as The Natural, Cocoon and Absence of Malice, along with his service as a spokesperson for diabetes campaigns, died in a Utah hospital. He was 85. According to his agent, Lynda Bensky, Brimley had been ill for two months with a kidney ailment and was on dialysis.
After learning he had type 2 diabetes in the 1970s, he was often seen on spots promoting awareness for the American Diabetes Association, as well as in ads for Liberty Medical selling diabetes supplies. Prior to his career as an actor, Brimley served in the Marine Corps, and at various points also worked as a cowboy, “ranch hand, wrangler and blacksmith,” according to The New York Times.
“Wilford Brimley was a man you could trust. He said what he meant and he meant what he said. I’m sad that I will no longer get to hear my friend’s wonderful stories. He was one of a kind,” Bensky told Newsweek.