End of an Era: Film Star Wilford Brimley Dead at 85

Wilford Brimley, a portly actor with a walrus mustache who found his niche playing cantankerous coots in “Absence of Malice,” “The Natural,” “Cocoon” and other films, died on Saturday in a hospital in St. George, Utah. He was 85.

He had been sick for two months with a kidney ailment, said his agent, Lynda Bensky.

Mr. Brimley had played the Walton Mountain resident Horace Brimley in a recurring role on the television series “The Waltons” when Michael Douglas, the producer of “The China Syndrome,” gave him his breakthrough role: Ted Spindler, an assistant engineer at a nuclear plant.

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