- Served in the Marines.
- Was employed as a bodyguard for Howard Hughes.
- First exposure to films came when he worked in stables that furnished horses for movies.
- Friends with Robert Duvall, who encouraged him to take up acting.
- Known not only for his acting in such films as The Natural (1984) and Cocoon (1985), but also for his TV commercials for Quaker Oats.
- In 2004, released a jazz album, This Time, the Dream's on Me.
- Diagnosed with diabetes in 1979, he is active in the battle against the disease, and was honored for those efforts in 2008 by the American Diabetes Association.
- Jim Brimley — Son
- Lynne Brimley — Wife (deceased)
- John Brimley — Son
- Bill Brimley — Son