Wilford Brimley: Life of the Quaker Oats Man

People may not know his name at first but when they see his face, he will easily be recognized as the man in the many Quaker Oats commercials. He’ll tell you the best way to make that tasty bowl of oats but before and after that he had an interesting life. Here is the story of the man in a cowboy hat and suspenders!

Image Source: Getty Images| A photo of Wilford Brimley

Image Source: Getty Images| A photo of Wilford Brimley


THE MAN FROM UTAH

The old stocky man that was seen on screen was born in Salt Lake, Utah, on the 27th day of September 1934. He was born to a father who was a real estate broker. Before Anthony Wilford Brimley was known for his acting career, he dropped out of High School to serve in the United States Marine Corps.

Image Source: Getty Images/Film Favorites| Wilford Brimley in a scene from the television movie 'Act Of Vengeance', 1986

Image Source: Getty Images/Film Favorites| Wilford Brimley in a scene from the television movie 'Act Of Vengeance', 1986


HE DID SO MANY THINGS

Wilford served in Aleutian Island for 3 years and worked as a bodyguard for billionaire Howard Hughes afterward. He also became a ranch hand, a wrangler, and a blacksmith. After that, he began as a farrier shoeing horses for film and television in the western and that’s when he eventually got recruited for stunts.

Image Source: Getty Images/NBC| Our House

Image Source: Getty Images/NBC| Our House


PALS WITH DUVAL

In one of his interviews with the Los Angeles Times, he told them that he became friends with Bob Duval. “I met him on certainly one of the horse opera TV offers. I used to be fascinated with what he was in a position to do as an actor. I’d by no means see something prefer it.” He said.

Image Source: Getty Images/Imeh Akpanudosen| Actor Wilford Brimley speaks on stage at the 50th Anniversary Stuntmens Gala Honoring Harrison Ford on September 24, 2011 in Universal City, California

Image Source: Getty Images/Imeh Akpanudosen| Actor Wilford Brimley speaks on stage at the 50th Anniversary Stuntmens Gala Honoring Harrison Ford on September 24, 2011 in Universal City, California

It was Duval who encouraged him to develop his acting skills and after Wilford got his SAG card, he landed his first speaking role ion the CBS Western Lancer. He was just an extra at a time as he started his career in film when there was a demand for people ho could ride horses.

Image Source: Getty Images| A photo of Wilford Brimley

Image Source: Getty Images| A photo of Wilford Brimley


LARGE BREAK BEFORE QUAKER OATS HAPPENED

When he was forged into a recurring position within the in style in 1970s TV collection called The Waltons, Wilton Brimley finally obtained his large break as he played the role of a mountaineer named Horace Brimley.  He did so many films in the 1970s-80s that made him famous!

Image Source: Getty Images/NBC| Our House

Image Source: Getty Images/NBC| Our House

He starred in The Electric Horseman in 1979, Absence of Malice in 1981, The Firm in 1983 where he starred as a sinister security chief. These three films are all Sydney Pollack Movies. He then appeared in the 1986-88 NBC family drama Our House as a retired widower.

Image Source: Getty Images/Ron Galella| Wilford Brimley during The 11th Annual Kennedy Center Honors Awards at Kennedy Center in Washington, Maryland, United States

Image Source: Getty Images/Ron Galella| Wilford Brimley during The 11th Annual Kennedy Center Honors Awards at Kennedy Center in Washington, Maryland, United States


ORIGIN OF THE DIA-BEETUS MEME

Wilford has been diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus in 1979 and he became a health and diabetes conscious. He was featured in a series of commercials as Liberty Medical's spokesperson since 1999 as he raised awareness for Diabetes and that’s when his signature pronunciation of the word as “Dia-beetus” was heard. 

Image Source: Getty Images/Ron Galella| Wilford Brimley during "Last Stand at Saber River" New York City Screening at The Guild Theater in New York City, New York, United States

Image Source: Getty Images/Ron Galella| Wilford Brimley during "Last Stand at Saber River" New York City Screening at The Guild Theater in New York City, New York, United States


THE TASTY WAY TO DO IT

As he became a spokesperson for diabetes education in the late 70s after he learned that he had the disease, it led him to his gig with the Quaker Oats brand in the 80s and 90s. He is and will be remembered as the man who encouraged the commercial viewers to eat healthy cereal because "it’s the right thing to do."

Image Source: Getty Images/Ron Galella| Wilford Brimley attends American Jewish Committee's Sixth Annual Sherrill C. Corwin Human Relations Award Salute to Merv Adelson at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California

Image Source: Getty Images/Ron Galella| Wilford Brimley attends American Jewish Committee's Sixth Annual Sherrill C. Corwin Human Relations Award Salute to Merv Adelson at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California


THE FIRST FAMILY

Wilford Brimley married Lynne Bagley Brimley when she was just 19 years old in the year 1956. She was a known actress who was famous for the film Stone Boy in 1984. She, unfortunately, died in the year 2000 in Salt Lake City, Utah due to health problems. She died at the age of 63.

Image Source: Getty Images/Ray Tamarra|  Actor Wilford Brimley and guest attend the "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" New York premiere at Ziegfeld Theatre on December 14, 2009 in New York City

Image Source: Getty Images/Ray Tamarra| Actor Wilford Brimley and guest attend the "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" New York premiere at Ziegfeld Theatre on December 14, 2009 in New York City

Brimley and Bagley had four sons together; James Charles, John Michael, William Carmen, and Lawrence Dean. They had also several grandchildren. It can be said that the couple had a happy marriage for they stayed together until the death of his loving wife, Lynn Bagley.

Image Source: Getty Images/NBC| Our House

Image Source: Getty Images/NBC| Our House


HE FOUND LOVE AGAIN AT 73

Seven years after his 1st wife’s death, Wilford married his second wife Beverly Berry, when he was 73 years old on October 31, 2007. Together they founded nonprofit organizations Hand Across the Saddle (HATS) in the Big Horn Basin in 2009. Although Wilford had four children with his first wife, he did not bear any more kids with Beverly.

Image Source: Getty Images/Mondadori Portfolio| American actors Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn and Don Ameche acting in a greenhouse in the film Cocoon. 1985

Image Source: Getty Images/Mondadori Portfolio| American actors Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn and Don Ameche acting in a greenhouse in the film Cocoon. 1985


LESSER-KNOWN SIDE OF HIM

The actor is mostly known for his character in films and famous commercials, but he should also be recognized for his good singing voice. As he plays the character of different cantankerous old guys with good hearts, he also has a lifelong love for music especially jazz and standards.

Image Source: Getty Images/NBC| Our House

Image Source: Getty Images/NBC| Our House

“I’ve always had a love for music,” he said. “I grew up in a home filled with music.” He once performed with Ray Brown Tribute Trio which includes Jeff Hamilton, Christoph Luty, and Larry Fuller, during the Northwest Jazz Fest in Powell. This goes to show that the guy really loves jazz!

Image Source: Getty Images/NBC| Our House

Image Source: Getty Images/NBC| Our House


HIS VOICE

As people are amazed and shocked these past few days that the actor had a musician hiding inside him, John Deihl, the Jurassic Park III actor, already knew about what Wilford can do. had heard Brimley sing “Fraulein” probably half a dozen times. “He had a beautiful, mellow baritone voice,” Diehl told the Deseret News. “He could really sing a ballad.”

Image Source: Youtube/Fergufool| Craig Ferguson With Wilford Brimley

Image Source: Youtube/Fergufool| Craig Ferguson With Wilford Brimley


HIS FAVE SPORT AND FAVE FRIEND

Brimley once admitted that he is a baseball fan. He did not play but he just thought that It was lots of fun because he got to be with his favorite friend, Dick Farnsworth. Richard Farnsworth’s career life is almost the same as Brimley. He was also just a stuntman before becoming a movie star. Oh, how far he's come!

Image Source: Youtube/video editor | Wilford in a Quaker Oats commercial

Image Source: Youtube/video editor | Wilford in a Quaker Oats commercial


WORKING FOR A BILLIONAIRE

Brimley has met so many famous people, of course being one himself, but he has worked for billionaire Howard Hughes as a bodyguard before his career blew up. Although the Cocoon star does not want to talk about it much, he refers to Hughes as a good guy who paid him well.

Image Source: Youtube/Mustache Ride Archives|The Waltons/CBS

Image Source: Youtube/Mustache Ride Archives|The Waltons/CBS


PRIVATE YET OPINIONATED

Wilford Brimley was a very private person, but he is very opinionated when it comes to politics, religion, and family. In 1998, he opposed Arizona’s referendum to ban cockfighting because he said he was trying to protect a lifestyle of freedom and choice for his grandchildren.

Image Source: Getty Images/Albert L. Ortega| Actor Wilford Brimley attends Day 2 of the 2017 Son Of Monsterpalooza Convention held at Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel on September 16, 2017 in Burbank, California

Image Source: Getty Images/Albert L. Ortega| Actor Wilford Brimley attends Day 2 of the 2017 Son Of Monsterpalooza Convention held at Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel on September 16, 2017 in Burbank, California


EVERYBODY SHOULD GET PAID FOR THE WORK

He is not someone who’ll ask his friends to do something for free! Diehl’s band had the opportunity to play for a fundraiser many years ago and as his friend, Wilford asked him how much he was getting paid. Diehl told him that they are doing it for free.

Image Source: Youtube/TheClassicSports/ Wilford's TV commercial from January 2002

Image Source: Youtube/TheClassicSports/ Wilford's TV commercial from January 2002

The older actor was said to not like the sound of it. ‘Once you do that for free then you’ll do it for free every time. Your talents are worth paying, even for a fundraiser,’” Diehl recalls what he said. “He believed everybody should get paid for the work that they do, whether it was as a cowboy or an actor or a musician.”

Image Source: Youtube/Movieclips| The Natural/Delphi II Productions

Image Source: Youtube/Movieclips| The Natural/Delphi II Productions


THE FINAL DAYS

On his few final days, the actor liked singing in Zoom conference calls that his son, Bill, sets up for him whenever he would come to visit. Bill has set up Zoom music nights during the pandemic in order to give his friends an outlet to perform and share music.

Image Source: Youtube| Movieclips/Paramount Pictures

Image Source: Youtube| Movieclips/Paramount Pictures

That was how Diehl got to know the actor, because of his son Bill. On the recent Wednesday night, he was prepared to sing Fraulein and everyone in that conference was said to have fixated their eyes on the actor, watching him sing the song which holds so much meaning for him.

Image Source: Youtube/crunchzor| The Thing/Universal Pictures

Image Source: Youtube/crunchzor| The Thing/Universal Pictures


HE BREATHED HIS LAST ON AUGUST FIRST

It was sad news for everyone who knew that the actor let out his final breath on the first day of August 2020. He died in his hometown, Utah, after having been sick with a kidney drawback for 2 months, his agent Lynda Bensky disclosed. It is a tough time for the family and friends of the famous icon. 

Image Source: Getty Images/NBC| Our House

Image Source: Getty Images/NBC| Our House


JUST A GUY, JUST A FELLER

In a telephone interview with the Tribune Thursday in 2014, the actor said to them that he’s not a musician and not even an actor. He said he was just a guy, just a feller. Well, he is, The guy who was remembered far and wide for the many notable things he did.

Image Source: Youtube/John LeGear| Cocoon/Search Results Cocoon/Production company 20th Century Studios

Image Source: Youtube/John LeGear| Cocoon/Search Results Cocoon/Production company 20th Century Studios

For the people close to him, however, he will be remembered as the guy who was his own man. His manager, Bensky, said that he was the guy that she could trust, the fellow who has a tough exterior yet has a tender heart and someone who had a love for music.

Image Source: Youtube/Cherry French| Wilford in a Quaker Oats commercial

Image Source: Youtube/Cherry French| Wilford in a Quaker Oats commercial

It is true that whatever a person did in this life, it will be remembered by the ones that he would leave behind. It is his mark, his legacy, Wilford Brimley will not just be remembered as the iconic guy who was Quaker Oats’ face, or the guy who said DIE-A-BEETUS, he will be remembered as the guy who has made his way into the spotlight.

ⓘ The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, and images contained on, or available through this ENG.AMOMAMA.COM is for general information purposes only. ENG.AMOMAMA.COM does not take responsibility for any action taken as a result of reading this article. Before undertaking any course of treatment please consult with your healthcare provider.

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