logo
Getty Images
Getty Images

Jim Varney AKA Ernest P Worrell — A Glimpse into Life of the Late Actor

Rebelander Basilan
Jun 01, 2020
05:30 A.M.
Share this pen
FacebookFacebookTwitterTwitterLinkedInLinkedInEmailEmail

Jim Varney was one of the most successful comedians in children's entertainment during the '80s and '90s. He is most famous for his role as Ernest P. Worrell.

Advertisement

From an early age, Jim had an affinity to entertain, as reported by Wide Open Country. While growing up in Lexington, Kentucky, he usually memorized poems or book passages and performed them for his loved ones.

Jim then used his talent by participating in local theater competitions. When he was 17 years old, Jim was performing around town at local coffee shops. He studied Shakespeare, and in the '70s, he worked in a folk show at Opryland theme park.

Jim Varney on February 10, 1987 at Bally's Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Photo: Getty Images

Jim Varney on February 10, 1987 at Bally's Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Photo: Getty Images

Advertisement

Although he made his rounds, in the long run, Jim settled into comedy as his real gift. He had a regular role on "Johnny Cash" and "Friends." He also toured as a stand up comic.

Furthermore, Jim was a recurring guest on the hit talk show "Fernwood 2 Night." In 1985, he co-hosted the "New Year's Eve special" in HBO with Cash and Kris Kristofferson. He also starred in "Alice," a CBS television show.

Jim's character, Ernest P. Worrell, first appeared in a series of advertisements. He earned fame from his catchphrase, "KnoWhutImean, Vern?" He was used by dairy companies and even the hamburger and ice cream chain Braums.

Advertisement
Jim Varney on March 18, 1989 at the Universal Ampitheater in Universal City, California. | Photo: Getty Images

Jim Varney on March 18, 1989 at the Universal Ampitheater in Universal City, California. | Photo: Getty Images

Jim showed up in a slew of Ernest films — "Ernest Goes to Camp" (1987), "Ernest Saves Christmas" (1988), "Ernest Goes to Jail" (1990), "Ernest Scared Stupid" (1991), "Ernest Rides Again" (1993), "Ernest Goes to School" (1994), "Slam Dunk Ernest" (1995), "Ernest Goes to Africa" (1997), and "Ernest in the Army" (1998).

Advertisement

In 2000, Jim died of lung cancer at his home in Tennessee outside of Nashville.

Jim Varney on February 22, 1989 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles California. | Photo: Getty Images

Jim Varney on February 22, 1989 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles California. | Photo: Getty Images

According to EW, the popularity of Ernest is huge. His creator, Nashville ad executive John Cherry, said, "Every time we do a study on who Ernest appeals to, it's the under-13 and over-35 age groups."

Advertisement

"If you're under 13, it's OK, and when you're over 35, you know it doesn't count anymore — you don't have to be cool," John added.

Jim Varney and wife Jane Varney on June 14, 1988 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, California. | Photo: Getty Images

Jim Varney and wife Jane Varney on June 14, 1988 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, California. | Photo: Getty Images

Advertisement

Meanwhile, David Hoberman, president of Disney's Touchstone Pictures, said that he thinks individuals have consistently wanted to see somebody push themselves into some difficulty and that Ernest does it in pleasant manners.

According to IMDb, Jim won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series for his spectacular performance on "Hey, Vern, It's Ernest!" in 1989.

Jim Varney on July 31, 1988 at the Universal Ampitheater in Universal City, California. | Photo: Getty Images

Jim Varney on July 31, 1988 at the Universal Ampitheater in Universal City, California. | Photo: Getty Images

In 2000, Jim died of lung cancer at his home in Tennessee outside of Nashville. As reported by Wide Open Country, he was a longtime chain smoker.

Advertisement
info
Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Advertisement
Related posts

Jim Nabors Solidified Love to Partner of 38 Years after Being Called Names by Co-stars Due to His Sexuality

February 17, 2022

Inside Jim Nabors' Home Where He Lived with Partner of 38 Years & Died in Front of His Beloved

April 27, 2022

Loretta Lynn Fought for Her Beloved Husband Though He Called Other Women into Their Bed

October 04, 2022

Camilla Alves McConaughey & Husband Longed to Be Parents from a Young Age — Their Kids Have Hearts 'Full of Kindness'

March 22, 2022

Ron Howard Was Most Concerned about His Kids' Values — Inside His Decision to Protect Them

April 26, 2022

Tom Brady & Pregnant Bridget Moynahan Split - She Wed Husband at Secret Ceremony 9 Years Later

February 20, 2022

Grandparents Kick Pregnant Teen Out in the Cold, Years Later They Ask For Her Help — Story of the Day

March 12, 2022

Woman Learns of Son’s Disappearance after He Went Camping with Stepfather Who Doesn’t Like Him – Story of the Day

May 14, 2022

Parents Take Daughter's Blood Test before Lifesaving Surgery, Discover She's Not Their Child

May 02, 2022

Kate Winslet’s 1st Husband Isolated Her from Family - She Divorced Him Shortly After Welcoming Their Baby

April 02, 2022

Chrissy Metz's Ex-husband Martyn Eaden Filed for Divorce in 2014 — Her Love Life Flourished after They Split

January 26, 2022

Inside Chubby Checker's Interracial Marriage That Faced Danger as His Mother Did Not Understand His Wife

April 13, 2022

Michelle Obama Felt ‘Lost & Alone’ as She Could Not Conceive at 35 - She Described Having a Baby as ‘Magical'

March 12, 2022

Loretta Lynn Had a Peaceful Death at Her Ranch Where She Lived for 55 Years & Built Her Own Museum

October 05, 2022