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Jim Varney

Born: 1949-06-15 - Died: 2000-02-10
Cause of Death:
Lung Cancer


Death Summary: Jim Varney, who was a well known heavy smoker, died peacefully in his sleep of lung cancer on February 10, 2000 at 4:45 a.m. at his home in White House Tennessee.

When Varney was first diagnosed with lung cancer, he threw his cigarettes away and quit smoking cold turkey, unfortunately it was far to late to make a difference.

He is buried at the Lexington Cemetery in Kentucky.

Who was Jim Varney : Varney graduated from Lafayette Senior High School in Lexington Kentucky. He credited one of his teachers there for him becoming an actor.

Most people know Varney simply as "Ernest", for the character/persona he created Ernest P. Worrell. Between 1987 and 1990, Disney released four Ernest centric movies that generated over $99 million. Five more films were released about Ernest, mainly for straight to video and the television markets. In the late summer of 1988 Ernest even got his very own Saturday morning show entitled "Hey, Vern, It's Ernest!"... the show only lasted one season.

Ernest was well known for being slightly on the idiotic side, but in his personal life Varney had a near genius I.Q. level, and he sometimes became agitated when fans would meet him and just assume he was a moron.

At the time of his death, shooting was nearly complete for "Ernest the Pirate". For this reason the film was canceled, and was never released on VHS, DVD or on any other medium.
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172 Signatures in Jim Varney's guestbook

  1. Jo Says:

    Thought you were funny while you were alive, but I’ve rediscovered you, and now think you were hilarious. Sadly, I wish I could have appreciated you then like I do now. It’s bitter sweet to watch your wonderful talent. It’s kind of sad knowing you’re no longer in this world.

  2. Pater Says:

    You were a great influence on me as a child. You will be missed. :)

  3. Alejandro Dominguez Says:

    I grew up with his movies and I loved them.I never thought he was stupid.I thought just the opposite.I thought he was a genius even at 9 years old.I think alot of people thought he was really a genius.It was his comedic genius that attracted me to him.There was never a funnier man that I have seen in my life.It was no suprise to me he made 99 million dollars.

  4. Joanna, ky. 4-17-12 Says:

    My little boy (2 yrs old) LOVES Jim’s movies. He will set all day long and watch him. He was a very funny and silly man who knew how to make people laugh!! Rest in pease Ernest!

  5. Steve Berry Says:

    Still a non smoker…Thank You Jim. You are clearly not forgotten.

  6. Tim King Says:

    Like most people I grew up watching James Varney. I have always been a comedy fan. His voice is one way on screen but it would have been great to just talk and listen to him off screen.

    Most comedians are brilliant people – James Varney, Robin Williams, Steve Martin, etc. All can act silly and idiotic in character – but as humans are very smart people.

    Rest easy my friend – before your time and before the world was ready to let go.
    Tim

  7. MRS YOLANDA F. DAVIS Says:

    I REALLY LOVED ALL OF HIS MOVIES I JUST FOUND OUT THAT HE WAS GONE I AM SO VERY UPSET THAT HE WAS CUTE DOWN IN THE PRIME OF HIS LIFE HIS MOVIES WERE SO VERY FUNNY I DIDNT KNOW THAT HE WAS GONE , TO HIS FAMILY HE IS NO LONGER HEREHE WILL AND IS VERY SADLEY MISSED MAY GOD BLESSED U ALL HE WAS THE GREATEST

  8. K'Diva May 6,2012 Says:

    Today i am watching Ernest Scared Stupid Jim always been funny. I like when played Jed Clampett his commercials were funny. I always to know who was vern. I didn’ know he died of cancer my grandmother,aunt,sister all died of cancer so i know how the family felt. So Rest In Peace one of my favorite comics.

  9. angie munoz Says:

    I grew up watching Ernest s movies especially when I had my friends and family tell me that my dad looked exactly like him so it would encourage me to watch all of his amazing funny movies

  10. Adrianna Duran Says:

    I love watching his movies. He makes me laugh and put a smile on my face. God bless you and rest in peace.

  11. randy giacometti Says:

    Jim varney was the best in my book I have all his movies He has made me laugh for many years and I watch his movies over and over I wish he was still around but the good lord has him now may he rest in peace and he will be sadly missed by me and all his fans

  12. EMMA MARTIN Says:

    I LOVED JIM VARNEY! MAY HE REST IN PEACE..HE WAS A FUNNY GUY

  13. Alva Greene Says:

    Super actor! I love his movies as much now as I did watching them with my kids.
    I did not know of his passing, until now but which his family love, peace and the kind of joy Earnest wanted all of us to feel. God Bless and Keep.

  14. Barb G Says:

    Still remembered.. Gone but never forgotten..Thanks for making a kid laugh when she needed it and the adult laugh when she needs it too!

  15. Rudy Says:

    Funniest person I wish I could’ve met.sat down today and watched his movies with my kids. They were interested as well as me. It takes a brilliant person to be able to entertain both adults and children.personality is one of a kind and can never be re- produced.”Heroes are remembered but, Legends never die.”

  16. Hansie Says:

    Loved his movies and it was sad to lost him so young…

  17. Alice Martin Says:

    You were such a wonderful actor and an all around great guy. Beside that you are from Kentucky so you cannot be bad. You are missed and loved. I am watching Earnest Scared Stupid right now.

  18. Eric Warner Says:

    Man I grew up on this guy and im only 17 but i never knew he passed away untill a year ago.. man this sucks for him passin.. ForEver missed Jim Varney

  19. hello kitty Says:

    Hey guy. Just wanted to let you know we all really do miss you. You always kept me laughing and now a days you keep my kids laughing as well. Just to let you know we’re watching Earnest scared stupid. We love this movie. Rest in peace my friend.

  20. Dan Says:

    I sincerly miss you mr varney i hope to meet you in heaven with the rest of my family i bet you will make them laugh your biggest fan daniel. Army strong

  21. william lee Says:

    u will be missed a lot

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