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Wilford Brimley Yellowstone (Celebrating the Cowboy Icon’s Legacy)

Wilford Brimley Yellowstone (Celebrating the Cowboy Icon’s Legacy)

Few people in the enormous world of Western and cowboy-themed entertainment are as prominent as Wilford Brimley. He has captured a particular place in the hearts of fans all over the world; thanks to his indelible impact on the genre.

A wonderful acknowledgment of this influence may be found in an episode of the well-known show “Yellowstone.” Brimley’s illustrious career was honored by the show’s creators in the third season, a fitting homage to a person who personified the cowboy way of life.

Wilford Brimley, a legendary figure in the Western genre, was commemorated in an episode of “Yellowstone.” The show celebrated Brimley’s diverse career, from his cowboy roots to his roles in Western films and TV shows. Despite not starring in “Yellowstone,” his influence resonated deeply, prompting a heartfelt tribute.

In this article, I will explore Wilford Brimley’s life and legacy, his affiliation with the “Yellowstone” series, and the many skills that helped him become a cultural hero.

The Cowboy Pioneer: Wilford Brimley’s Journey

On the 27th of September 1934, Anthony Wilford Brimley was born. His journey started in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he was brought up. A youthful Brimley exited high school when he was 14 years of age, beginning a novel odyssey that would shape his fate.

He adopted a cowboy lifestyle and worked in the vast vistas of Arizona, Nevada, and Idaho. This formative period exposed him to the rugged spirit of the West, nurturing a passion that would define his career.

Wilford Brimley’s Personal Life

Brimley has been married twice. His first marriage was with Lynne Bagley. They tied the knot in July of 1956.

Brimley took the oath “till death do us part” very seriously as their marriage lasted till 2000 when Lynne breathed her last. They both have four children together, all sons named James Charles, John Michael, William Carmen, and Lawrence Dean.

Brimley’s second marriage was with Beverly Berry which took place on 31st October, 2007.

From Marine to Cowboy: Brimley’s Diverse Path

Brimley joined the Marines in 1953 as a result of his adventurous nature. His work and tirelessness prompted him to accomplish the position of Sergeant, which is confirmation of his unshakeable responsibility.

Subsequent to leaving the military, he kept on cutting himself a different profession, functioning as a farm specialist, protector, wrangler, and, surprisingly, a metalworker for prestigious money manager Howard Hughes.

During this time, Brimley discovered a special connection between the worlds of entertainment and his cowboy background.

The tribute paid to Brimley in the “Yellowstone” series, highlights his legacy.

Hooves to Hollywood: Brimley’s Role in Film and Television

While Brimley didn’t follow a traditional acting trajectory, his love for horses and the Western lifestyle naturally led him to the silver screen. In the 1960s, he made his foray into acting, often taking on roles as a stuntman or riding extra in notable Western films.

His appearances might have been considered minor, but they were significant in shaping the genre’s authenticity. Notable projects like “True Grit” (1969), “The Thing” (1982), and “Texas Ranger” (1993-2001) showcased his dedication to bringing the cowboy ethos to life.

Wilford Brimley’s Filmography

1969True GritStuntman/Riding Extra
1982The ThingStuntman
1993Texas Ranger (1993-2001)Various Roles
2009Did You Hear About the Morgans?Stunt Performer
Brimley’s appearances in Western films and television

Fond Farewell: Remembering Wilford Brimley

Unfortunately, on August 1, 2020, Wilford Brimley died at a medical clinic in St. George, Utah. He had fought a kidney condition for quite sometime before his serene flight.

At 85 years of age, he abandoned an inheritance that keeps on reverberating with fans, industry experts, and admirers of the Western genre.

The “Yellowstone” series’ tribute serves as a testament to his enduring influence. (Image credits: William Shafer, Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Wilford Brimley’s “Yellowstone” Tribute

Brimley’s impact on the Western genre was undeniable, and it found a poignant acknowledgment in the “Yellowstone” series.

In the ninth episode of its third season, the show dedicated a title card to his memory. The card’s words, “In loving memory of Wilford Brimley. A cowboy, an artist, and a damn good friend,” captured the essence of his contributions and the enduring friendship he fostered in the industry.

Did Brimley Appear in the “Yellowstone” Episode “Under A Blanket of Red”?

Wilford Brimley didn’t make an appearance in the episode, no. The “old cowpoke” was performed by Barry Corbin, a skilled actor well recognized for his work on “Northern Exposure” and “Better Call Saul.”

While Brimley’s influence is felt in the series due to shared traits with some characters, he himself never actually appeared on “Yellowstone.”

Why Did “Yellowstone” Pay Tribute to Wilford Brimley?

“Yellowstone” paid tribute to Wilford Brimley to honor his significant influence on the Western genre and his embodiment of the cowboy spirit. Although Brimley never appeared on the show, his iconic presence, booming voice, and trademark mustache resonated with fans and left a lasting mark.

Additionally, Brimley’s Utah roots forged a unique connection to the series, which had been filmed in the same state. The tribute was a heartfelt recognition of his contribution to the Western genre and his enduring legacy.

What is Brimley’s Connection to Yellowstone?

While Wilford Brimley never appeared on the TV series Yellowstone, his connection lies in his deep ties to the Western genre and his Utah roots. The show’s creators paid tribute to him in the third season as a way to honor his contributions as a cowboy icon and his influence on the genre.

The fact that Yellowstone was filmed in Utah, where Brimley hailed from, further solidified this connection and made the tribute a fitting homage to his legacy.

The show’s creators paid tribute to Brimley’s legendary career in their third season, a fitting nod to a man who embodied the cowboy spirit. (Image Credit:

Content of Tribute Message

The tribute message that appeared just before the credits in episode 9 of Yellowstone read: “In loving memory of Wilford Brimley. A cowboy, an artist, and a damn good friend.”

Fans’ Reaction to Tribute

Fans responded positively to the tribute on social media. One fan on Twitter mentioned, “What a great tribute to #wilfordbrimley and an excellent episode.”

The tribute was well-received by viewers who appreciated the acknowledgment of Brimley’s legacy.

Yellowstone: How to be a cowboy?


  • Wilford Brimley, a cowboy icon, received a touching tribute in Yellowstone’s episode 9 of its third season. Although he never appeared on the show, Brimley’s impact on the Western genre and his Utah roots were acknowledged.
  • The tribute highlighted Brimley’s role as a cowboy, artist, and friend, capturing his essence.
  • Brimley’s versatile career spanned acting, singing, and serving in the US Marine Corps during the Korean War. His roles as extras and stuntmen in Western films showcased his dedication to the genre.
  • Despite his absence from Yellowstone, the show recognized his significant influence and connection to its filming location in Utah. Fans reacted positively to the tribute, expressing appreciation for honoring his legacy.
  • In essence, the tribute celebrated Wilford Brimley’s lasting impact on the cowboy spirit and Western entertainment.

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