Legendary actor Wilford Brimley, 85, passed away on August 1, 2020, after fighting a kidney issue for two months, in St. George, Utah. On Sunday morning, one of his former Our House co-stars, Days of our Lives star Deidre Hall (Marlena), paid tribute to him.
Deidre Hall Honors Wilford Brimley
The two worked on the short-lived NBC show, along with a very young Shannen Doherty, from 1986-1988. Hall shared her thoughts about her late co-star on her various social media accounts.
“We lost a great one yesterday,” Hall wrote. “Every day with Wilford was a life lesson. Heaven just got a lot more interesting.” On Our House, Brimley portrayed retired widower Gus Witherspoon, who took in his late son’s family — daughter-in-law Jessie (Hall) and grandchildren Kris (Doherty), David (Chad Allen), and Molly (Keri Houlihan) — after his death. Earlier, Brimley recurred on The Waltons.
The actor was born on September 27, 1934, in Salt Lake City, Utah. After quitting high school to serve as a Marine in the Aleutian Islands for three years, Brimley ended up working as an extra in Western films. It didn’t take him long to establish himself as a sought-after character actor in such landmark films as The China Syndrome, The Electric Horseman, Brubaker, Absence of Malice, Tender Mercies, and The Hotel New Hampshire.
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But it was his role in the Ron Howard-helmed Cocoon (along with its sequel) as Ben Luckett that established him as a name and brought about the opportunity on Our House. The film was about retirees who found a pool that reinvigorates them, and Brimley was only 49 at the time he was cast, leading many to think he was older than he was.
Brimley also had a successful career as a spokesperson, most notably for his Liberty Medical commercials in which he pronounced diabetes as “diabeetus.” He was also a spokesperson for Quaker Oats.
His first marriage to Lynne in 1956 produced four children and lasted until her death in 2000. Seven years later, he married Beverly Berry, whom he is survived by. Entertainment Hub sends condolences to Wilford Brimley’s family, friends, and fans during this difficult time.