Wilford Brimley is known to Western fans as a walrus moustached, portly, somewhat curmudgeonly character who usually offers sage advice and a little comic relief.
The real life cowboy got his start off-camera, shoeing horses and wrangling for various movie and TV productions in the ‘60s, then (with some help from friend Robert Duvall) becoming a stunt man and extra. His first film was 1968’s Bandolero!; he followed that up with an uncredited part in the first True Grit.
Brimley hasn’t forgotten his roots—he still loves to blacksmith in his spare time (photo).