A controversial activist, he paid 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.
Enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean Conflict and spent three years in the Aleutian Islands.
Father was a real estate broker.
Had a recurring role on "The Waltons" (1971). At the prodding of series star Ralph Waite, Brimley became a charter member of Waite's Los Angeles Actors Theater.
Has diabetes and has served as a spokesperson for the diabetes testing-supplies company Liberty Medical.
Has three sons with wife Lynne Brimley: Bill Brimley, Jim Brimley and John Brimley.
His first acting roles were in the 60s as a riding extra/stuntman in westerns. At that time he used the name Anthony (Tony) Brimley.
Known for his Quaker Oats commercials.
Known to loosen up cast mates, with small practical jokes, between takes. For example, while filming Cocoon: The Return (1988), Courteney Cox was caught off guard by whoopee cushion pranks.
Was a bodyguard to Howard Hughes.
Was often mistaken for the trolley conductor in the 1991 Hardee's (now Carl's Junior) TV commercials for the Frisco Burger.