Walter Brennan's Final Years after Playing Grandpa Amos in 'The Real McCoys'

Walter Brennan, who is best known for his role as Grandpa Amos in "The Real McCoys," passed away in 1974 at the age of 80.

Walter Brennan made a mark on the hearts of many with his role as Grandpa Amos in the hit television series, "The Real McCoys," from 1957 to 1963. However, much more than just being an actor, Brennan was a soldier, a singer, and a total family man.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Walter passed away on September 21, 1974, at St. John's Hospital in Oxnard after suffering complications stemming from a long battle with emphysema.

"Years after, he made his mark on television in the series, "The Real McCoys." Although it was his first television role, he knocked it out of the park."


As a student of Rindge Technical School, Cambridge, Mass majoring in engineering, Walter found himself interested in acting and joined the acting club for extra curriculum activities.

According to Find A Grave, Walter started his career by taking parts as an extra in films at Universal Studios. After a while, he snatched some small roles in, but his breakthrough came in the 1935 movie," The Wedding Night," which won him a contract with MGM.

Afterward, Walter became a hot cake in the industry and starred in several movies. However, it was his mindblowing performances in "Come and Get It" (1936). "Kentucky" (1938) "The Westerner," (1940) earned him three Academy Awards. This made him one of only three male actors to win three Academy Awards.


Walter's role as Judge Roy Bean in "The Westerner" set him on the map as one of the legendary actors of all time. Not only did he manage to deliver an astounding performance, but he also stole the spotlight from his friend Gary Cooper who played the leading role.

Years after, he made his mark on television in the series, "The Real McCoys." Although it was his first television role, he knocked it out of the park.

The New York Times notes that his character as Grandpa Amos, although well-depicted was far from the reality of who Walter was. He preferred his martini cold and his automobiles powerful and fast. 


Away from the spotlight, Walter was a devoted husband to Ruth Wells, according to IMDb. The pair tied the knot in on October 17, 1920, and welcomed two children, a son named Arthur Mike "Big Mike" Brennan and a daughter Ruth Caroline Brennan in 1921.

At the time of Walter's death, he was survived by his wife and two children. He was laid to rest at the San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Los Angeles.

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