In the early 1970s, he auditioned for a local commercial and won the part of Sgt. Glory, a character created by the Nashville-based Carden & Cherry Advertising Agency. The series of commercials that followed proved to be extraordinarily popular and ran for almost five years in Tennessee. Varney continued to pitch spots and work the comedy club circuit. Then in 1980 he got another call from Carden & Cherry Advertising. This time they wanted him for a new character -- Ernest P. (for Powertool) Worrell. The public's response to this characterization was immediate and positive. Before long, Ernest became a pitchman for everything from dairy products, soft drinks and car dealerships.
His major motion picture breakthrough came in 1987 when he starred in Touchstone Pictures' Ernest Goes to Camp. He went on to star in the successful sequels, Ernest Saves Christmas, Ernest Goes to Jail, Ernest Scared Stupid, and others. Other film roles include the voice of Slinky Dog in Toy Story and Toy Story 2.
Varney also has an Emmy Award for his television series Hey Vern, It's Ernest! In 1992 the Tennessee State Senate honored Varney for his outstanding contributions to the State, particularly to children's charities. In 1993, he played Jed Clampett in Fox' production of The Beverly Hillbillies.
Varney died in 2000 of lung cancer on his farm in Tennessee. His last roles were for Atlantis: The Lost Empire and for Miramax Films' Daddy and Them.
Jim Varney Facts
|Birth Name||James Albert Varney Jr.|
|Birthday||June 15, 1949|
|Birthplace||Lexington, Kentucky, USA|
|Date of death||February 10, 2000 (age 50)|
|Height||6' 1" (1m85) How tall is Jim Varney compared to you?|