August 2, 2020

RIP: Wilford Brimley, co-star of Cocoon and The Natural, and Featured in Quaker Oats & Diabetes Campaigns, Dead at 85.

Brimley was also the inspiration for “the Brimley/Cocoon Line Calculator,” which notes that “When ‘Cocoon‘ reached theaters on June 21, 1985, Wilford Brimley was 18,530 days old (50 years, 9 months and 6 days),” but because of his grizzled appearance, played a character much older than Brimley’s actual age at the time.

Given how many Hollywood stars are looking surprisingly youthful these days in their 50s, the Brimley/Cocoon Line Calculator can produce some interesting results. None more so arguably, than another of Brimley’s former co-stars.  As the New Yorker spotted in 2018, when Tom Cruise, then 31, starred in 1993’s The Firm, “Brimley was fifty-eight years old—plodding, portly, with a gray walrus mustache, his grandfatherly mien in this case turned sinister. He was just two years older than Cruise is now, appearing boundlessly vigorous as the super-agent Ethan Hunt in the latest ‘Mission: Impossible’ movie. Cruise has been very, very famous for the past thirty-five years, and in that time it’s been difficult to reconcile his unchanging appearance with the flipping pages on the calendar.”

The same could also be said of Brimley, but he was typecast in a rather different role, which he performed equally well in numerous movies, TV shows, and commercials.

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