Allen Wilford Brimley (born September 27, 1934 in Salt Lake City, Utah) is an American actor. Active since 1968, he has appeared in such films as The China Syndrome and Cocoon. Brimley is also known for appearing in television commercials, including ads for Quaker Oats and (starting in 2001) for Liberty Medical, a medical company which provides supplies for diabetics.
Outside of film and advertisements, Brimley is also known as an activist, paying from his own funds for ads to have Utah allow horse-race gambling, and he was actively opposed to the banning of cockfighting. He has campaigned in Arizona and New Mexico against laws banning cockfighting. Brimley enjoys playing poker and has played in the World Series of Poker Main Event. Brimley has lent his support to John McCain in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. In the days leading up to his selection of Vice President, McCain jokingly stated that he would pick Brimley. "He's a former Marine and great guy and he's older than I am, so that might work," McCain said.
Brimley became famous later in life for appearing in such films as The Hotel New Hampshire, John Carpenter's The Thing, and Cocoon. In 2001 he starred in the Turner Network Television film Crossfire Trail with Tom Selleck. He had an important role in The China Syndrome. He often plays a gruff or stodgy old man, notably on the 1980s drama series Our House. His first characterization was in Absence of Malice, in which he played a small but key role as a curmudgeonly, outspoken James A. Wells, Assistant U.S. Attorney General. He expanded on this characterization in The Natural, as the world-weary manager of a hapless baseball team. He is known to Star Wars fans as Noa Briqualon in George Lucas' 1985 made-for-TV movie Ewoks: The Battle for Endor.
In a change from his "good guy" roles such as those in Our House, he played William Devasher, the ominous head of security for Bendini, Lambert & Locke in the 1993 Tom Cruise film The Firm, based on the novel by John Grisham. Brimley has frequently appeared in commercials, notably a series of commercials he did for Quaker Oats Oatmeal throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The Quaker commercials were famous for their slogan: "It's the right thing to do and the tasty way to do it." These commercials were parodied on the short-lived Fox sketch comedy show The Ben Stiller Show, portraying him as testy and mentally unbalanced.He also made an appearance on Seinfeld as the United States Postmaster General, a takeoff on his role of U.S. Assistant Attorney General in Absence of Malice.
Brimley has diabetes and serves as the spokesperson for the diabetes testing-supplies company Liberty Medical. Commercials run frequently on daytime TV and Brimley has gained notoriety for his distinct pronunciation of the disease: "di-a-beet-us". Brimley admonishes viewers to "check their blood sugar, and check it often".
|1969||True Grit||Stunts (uncredited)|
|1979||The China Syndrome||Ted Spindler|
|The Electric Horseman||Farmer|
|1981||Absence of Malice||Asst. U.S. Atty. Gen. James A. Wells|
|1982||Death Valley||The Sheriff|
|The Thing||Dr. Blair|
|10 to Midnight||Captain Maline|
|High Road to China||Bradley Tozer|
|Tough Enough (1983 film)||Bill Long|
|1984||Harry & Son||Tom Keach|
|The Hotel New Hampshire||Iowa Bob|
|The Stone Boy||George Jansen|
|The Natural||Pop Fisher|
|Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins||Harold Smith|
|Shadows on the Wall||Theater Owner|
|1987||End of the Line||Will Haney|
|1988||Cocoon: The Return||Benjamin Luckett|
|1993||The Firm||William Devasher|
|Hard Target||Uncle Douvee|
|1994||Heaven Sent||Security Guard|
|Last of the Dogmen||Narrator (uncredited)|
|1996||My Fellow Americans||Joe Hollis|
|1997||In & Out||Frank Brackett|
|Lunker Lake||The Storyteller|
|1998||A Place to Grow||Jake|
|Progeny||Dr. David Wetherly|
|Chapter Perfect||Chief Hawkins|
|All My Friends Are Cowboys||Charlie|
|Summer of the Monkeys||Grandpa Sam Ferrans|
|2001||PC and the Web|
|The Ballad of Lucy Whipple||Deputy Sheriff Ambrose Scraggs|
|Crossfire Trail||Joe Gill|
|The Round and Round||Governor|
|2003||The Road Home||Coach Weaver|