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The Silver Spotlight - March 2011 - Wilford Brimley

Ten Questions with legendary actor and “Hands Across the Saddle” founder Wilford Brimley.

Q:  Wilford, after a long career in the film industry with some incredible credits to your name, how did you end up living the rancher's lifestyle in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming?

A:  It's a lifestyle that we understand and love.  There was a ranch for sale...and here we are.


Q:  Early in your career you were a blacksmith for television and film studios, and later became a stuntman.  Was there something in particular about working around western films during their golden era that inspired the passion you have for horses to this day?

A:  No, the passion for horses came first when I was a child and this was a vehicle that enabled me to make a living.


Q:  The film industry has brought a lot of great people into your life, and you've had the opportunity to make some incredible friends.  People like Robert Duvall and the late Richard Farnsworth come to mind.  What were you able to learn by being surrounded by such class acts like them?

A:  Some of the greatest life lessons I'll ever learn......lessons about simplicity and honesty.


Q:  When people think of "Wilford Brimley" they think of these classic films like "The Natural," "Cocoon," or "The Firm."  What is your favorite film that you've worked on and what character could you relate to the most?

A:  My favorite film was "The Stone Boy" and my favorite character I have ever played was the character in "The End of the Line."


Q:  A lot of people may not know that you are a darn good musician and singer in your own right.  What type of influence did your mother have on your musical ability?

A:  All the influence.  Our home was always filled with beautiful music.


Q:  I've heard you've had the opportunity to do some performances for the military.  Being a former Marine yourself, what do those performances mean to you?

A:  It's an honor and it gives me the opportunity to give back a little of what I've been afforded.


Q:  Tell us about why you founded "Hands Across The Saddle."  Who are these folks you are trying to help?

A:  Those of us in this basin have this opportunity to help one another......simple as that.  We are able to give assistance to our friends and neighbors who are experiencing hardships or crises in their lives.  It's wonderful to be able to help one another during hard times.


Q:  Gary Gist first met you many years ago at a charity event put on by the late Ben Johnson.  Did the success of Ben's celebrity team ropings and cuttings for all those years serve as an inspiration for ways you and your B7 Ranch can make a difference in these people's lives?

A:  Of course.....Ben Johnson was the most giving generous man I ever knew.  We've developed lifelong friendships from those gatherings.  They get more dear as the years go by.


Q:  Who will be coming out to help entertain at this year's events?

A:  Gary Morris will be the headliner at the August 13th event (auction, dinner, show) and details are still being finalized for the June 11th Invitational Saddle Bronc event.  We'd love to see you, your family, and friends attend one or both of these events.


Q:  Last year the Saddle Bronc riding came down to a thrilling finish with a three way tie.  I bet those guys were relieved to hear they were all getting buckles?

A:  Yes, they were!!!!


Hands Across The Saddle will be showcasing a bronc riding, along with other entertainment, at Wilford's B7 Ranch on June 11th in Greybull, Wyoming. There will also be an auction/dinner/show to benefit the organization on August 13th.  For more information, tickets, or to make a donation, visit