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Wilford Brimley

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There are some people who really ought to live forever contrary to any logic, and he was one of them:

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 at age 85.

Mr. Brimley had been sick for two months with a kidney ailment, said his agent, Lynda Bensky. He died in a hospital in St. George, Utah, where the actor had a home.

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.

In the film’s climactic scene, in which he is being interviewed by a crusading television reporter played by Jane Fonda, Mr. Brimley delivered an impassioned defense of his boss (Jack Lemmon), who had precipitated a crisis to draw public attention to defects at the plant.

R.I.P.

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