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The Importance Of Being Ernest: The Life of Actor Jim Varney

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  94 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Ernest, the lovable blue-collar buffoon, was a staple of pop culture in countless commercials, nearly a dozen movies and an award-winning Saturday-morning TV show. Today, millions of fans still mourn the loss of actor Jim Varney, who portrayed Ernest and who died at age 50 in 2000 of cancer. Ernest fans are finally getting the biography they ...more
Paperback, 290 pages
Published December 10th 2013 by CreateSpace (first published December 5th 2013)
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Donna White
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm an Ernest fan, so I was delighted to find out "stuff that even Vern doesn't know." This book details Jim Varney's early passion for acting and how he spent a lifetime perfecting those skills. The most admirable trait you see in Jim over and over is the drive to put in the long hours and the hard work to get it right. Fans have seen his numerous commercials and kid-friendly movies. Few people know that he started out in stage productions, and that he was involved with charities. Jim Varney wa ...more
Rick Lee Lee James
Great Book, Know What I Mean?

If you grew up watching Ernest Powertools Worrell like I did then you should read this book. I always wondered about the man behind the comedy and it turns out he was a very interesting individual who was more talented than most of us ever knew. This book was written by Jim Varney’s nephew and gives an in-depth look at Jim’s early life, his rise to fame, and his struggles to break type as an actor. This book with written with skill and with an obvious love for the ma
Zachary Owen
Jun 18, 2019 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. It held my interest, but it was dry in spots (and Justin Lloyd's writing voice is a little rough). What it did offer me, though, was a glimpse of a very human Jim Varney, who dealt with depression much of his life and was loved by many. It's really too bad he felt trapped by his role as Ernest and it would have been interesting to see him branch out more, but I still have fond memories of watching those films growing up. I remember my dad read ...more
Shaun Jex
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Today, I finished The Importance of Being Ernest: The Life of Actor Jim Varney. Justin Lloyd (Jim's nephew) paints such a beautiful picture of Jim Varney. He was a fascinating, complex man, much more than the simple, bumbling Ernest character we all knew and loved. The book does an amazing job of portraying him as the full human being that he was, warts and all. It celebrates his passions and interests, talks about his struggles, and gives keen insight into the life of a man who became a cultura ...more
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I already knew that Jim Varney was so much more than just "that Ernest guy" when it came to acting skills, but I learned so much more about him that I never knew, such as his talents for music and songwriting. The book is written by his nephew, who did a wonderful job; he described Jim so well and in such complete, heartwarming detail, I almost feel like I knew him personally. Even though that (sadly) isn't the case, reading about his passing & his funeral still broug ...more
Rebecca Jones
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who doesn't love Ernest!!!!

I grew up watching the movies and the Saturday morning show! It was so inspiring to read and to know he had bigger goals and to see him in those non-Ernest roles and to know he can do more!!! Just read about his family and where he can from just opened more doors for me!!
Mary Smith
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book because as a child I loved Ernest P Worrell, this was such an interesting look into the life of Jim Varney. It brought tears to my eyes multiple times reading about his interests and dreams and charitable work. It was very heartening to know that he remained the same man through it all.

Jim Varney was and still is a vastly underrated actor and comedian.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoyed Ernest and my husband has been a huge fan. Enjoyed hearing stories we would never had heard otherwise. We are planning a trip to visit some of the places mentioned. Glad his family member wrote this book.
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I grew up with the Ernest Commercials and Movies. This was truly a beautiful book and told his life story that I would have never known. Well written and I loved the family pictures.
Jim Varney still makes me smile to this day and he is missed
Ron Turner
May 28, 2018 rated it liked it
It's written by his nephew so it's not exactly impartial, but still a fascinating look at one of my childhood favorites. I grew up watching Ernest sell ice cream, go to camp, save Christmas and fight trolls. He was just getting started when he died of cancer. He was only 50 :-(
Andrew Sutherland
Oct 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An amazing look into the life of Jim Varney, my favorite Shakespearean actor of all time.
Severin Discher
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm grateful to have insight into a childhood idol, someone I wish I had the chance to meet before he died. The book offers plenty of details into the man he was, his bittersweet career as Ernest, and the sad and premature passing.

+ The author went through an enormous effort to collect details from every retrievable aspect of Jim's life, even supplementing some of it with his own stories of growing up around him.
+ I had no idea Jim attended to many children's hospitals to visit sick kids, was n
Andrew Fast
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Interesting book, wanted to give it 5 stars for the author's efforts, but a little too disjointed and too many gaps in some key areas they hinted at but didn't go into more detail. I appreciate the story and the way the author tried to find a flow like a conversation taking many turns forward and backward. Really made me respect Jim Varney, he went to Lafayette (2x) where my wife went so that was cool to see him on their Alumni Wall of Fame too.
Rona Roberts
Jan 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Straightforward, clearly written, and, appropriately, "ernest" story of successful central Kentucky actor Jim Varney, written by a patient, loving, and clear-eyed nephew.
Lara Abdallah
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved learning so much about Jim Varney's life,he is one of my favorite people of all time,he was an amazing person.
Julie Cummins
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May 28, 2020
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