Actor Wilford Brimley has died aged 85.

The Cocoon star passed away at his home in Utah on Sunday after a stint in intensive care in hospital.

Brimley’s manager Lynda Bensky confirmed the news to Entertainment Tonight.

She said: “Wilford Brimley was a man you could trust. He said what he meant and he meant what he said.

“He had a gruff exterior and a tender heart. I’m sad that I will no longer get to hear my friend’s wonderful stories.

“[Brimley] was one of a kind.”

Wilford Brimley died at his home in Utah aged 85
(Image: Getty Images)

US TV host Stephen Colbert was among the first to pay tribute, tweeting: “RIP Wilford Brimley – so many great performances, but I’ll never forget seeing him sing this surprisingly tender ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green'”

Actress Betty Buckley added: “So sad to read this. I loved Wilford Brimley. It was a gift to get to work with him in the film Tender Mercies. Great actor! #RIP Wilford.”

He began his movie career in the 1970s appearing as an extra in a number of Westerns, and went on to make the switch to TV when he landed the role of Horace in The Waltons.

He enjoyed a long and successful movie career
(Image: Getty Images)

He appeared in the family show for three years between 1974 and 1977.

His first proper movie role came in 1979 when he appeared in The China Syndrome.

Brimley went on to appear as a baseball team manager opposite his friend Robert Duvall in The Natural, and Sydney Pollack’s Absence of Malice before landing a role in John Carpenter’s 1982 horror spectacular The Thing opposite Kurt Russell.

Three years, he landed another blockbuster with a starring role in 1985’s Cocoon playing a member of a group of nursing home residents who are mysteriously rejuvenated by a dip in their swimming pool.

Brimley in 1981 Sydney Pollack film Absence of Malice
(Image: Getty Images)

He went on to appear in 1980s TV show Our House, and land roles in films including The Firm with Tom Cruise and In & Out with Kevin Klein.

Brimley was also the face of Quaker Oats, starring in the company’s ad campaigns throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

He was married twice and was dad to four children.

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