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Jim Varney

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NEWS
February 11, 2000 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Jim Varney, the comedic actor who achieved a loyal following by playing country rube Ernest P. Worrell in commercials, television shows and movies, died Thursday of lung cancer at his home in White House, Tenn. He was 50. Dressed in his trademark baseball cap, T-shirt, blue denim vest and jeans, the rubber-faced, nasal-twanged Varney offered an appearance of haplessness and harmlessness. "It's a lovely outfit that can be worn gracefully six days a week," he once said of his choice of attire.
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NEWS
February 11, 2000 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Jim Varney, the comedic actor who achieved a loyal following by playing country rube Ernest P. Worrell in commercials, television shows and movies, died Thursday of lung cancer at his home in White House, Tenn. He was 50. Dressed in his trademark baseball cap, T-shirt, blue denim vest and jeans, the rubber-faced, nasal-twanged Varney offered an appearance of haplessness and harmlessness. "It's a lovely outfit that can be worn gracefully six days a week," he once said of his choice of attire.
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 16, 1993 | CHRIS WILLMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"I want to welcome Jim Varney into a very exclusive club," says Buddy Ebsen of his sincerest flatterer, as seen in the new film "The Beverly Hillbillies." "That's the Uncle Jed Club. There are hundreds of actors that have played Hamlet, but only two have played Jed Clampett."
NEWS
July 19, 1998 | Kevin Thomas
In the 1987 The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne (Bravo Sunday at 10 a.m.) Maggie Smith is brilliant and heartbreaking as a desperate Irish spinster thrown into spiritual crisis. Bob Hoskins is equally fine as the man whose intentions she disastrously misreads. Allen and Albert Hughes, the 21-year-old twin brothers who directed the 1993 Menace II Society (KCAL Sunday at 6 p.m.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 16, 1993 | CHRIS WILLMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The world loves an imbecile--it's not just the French. After the Nutty Professor, and before Beavis and Butt-head, there was--and, for better or worse, still is--Ernest P. (Powertools) Worrell, the non-savant idiot who currently "rides again" in the fifth installment of the kid-oriented "Ernest" movie series. And each Ernest film has generated at least $25 million at the box office. This one, though, the first to be released independently, opened this weekend with an unpromising $905,000.
NEWS
February 12, 1995 | Chris Willman
As uneven as its farcical pleasures may be, this runaway 1994 hit is capable of inducing a lot of giggle fits. Jim Carrey (pictured), whose tiniest expressions of physicality are so exaggerated that he makes Jim Varney look like Charles Bronson, refuses to be anything less than utterly inhuman on screen.
NEWS
July 19, 1998 | Kevin Thomas
In the 1987 The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne (Bravo Sunday at 10 a.m.) Maggie Smith is brilliant and heartbreaking as a desperate Irish spinster thrown into spiritual crisis. Bob Hoskins is equally fine as the man whose intentions she disastrously misreads. Allen and Albert Hughes, the 21-year-old twin brothers who directed the 1993 Menace II Society (KCAL Sunday at 6 p.m.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 10, 1990 | LOU CEDRONE, BALTIMORE EVENING SUN
Jim Varney walked into the room at the Jefferson Hotel here looking a little more worldly than he does as Ernest, the character he has portrayed in hundreds of commercials and in three movies. It was probably the hair. As Ernest, Varney's hair is secondary to his features. As Ernest, he usually wears a hat, one that hides his hair, and when the hair is showing, it is slick with mousse. In person, Varney's hair is dry, full and just a little bit wind-blown. In person, he is a funny man.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 30, 1989 | LEONARD KLADY
Brush Up Your Shakespeare: Glenn Close is in negotiations to play Gertrude in the Bard's "Hamlet" for director Franco Zeffirelli in early 1990. The Dyson Lovell production stars Mel Gibson as the moody Dane disturbed by his re-married mother's fatal attraction. . . . Kevin Kline hits the campaign trail in Paramount's "Running Mates," a romantic-political-comedy about a presidential aspirant involved with a woman who might not be good for his career, to film in August. Diane Keaton is that woman in the Marvin Worth production of Carol Eastman's screenplay.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 1, 1998
Columbia TriStar and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation will host a gala premiere screening of the new family action film "3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain" at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Culver Plaza Mann Theatre, Culver City. A party will follow the screening at the Atrium, across the street at Sony Pictures Plaza. The film, which will be released April 10, stars Hulk Hogan, Loni Anderson and Jim Varney. The three child actors who portray the ninjas will also be on hand.
NEWS
February 12, 1995 | Chris Willman
As uneven as its farcical pleasures may be, this runaway 1994 hit is capable of inducing a lot of giggle fits. Jim Carrey (pictured), whose tiniest expressions of physicality are so exaggerated that he makes Jim Varney look like Charles Bronson, refuses to be anything less than utterly inhuman on screen.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 16, 1993 | CHRIS WILLMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The world loves an imbecile--it's not just the French. After the Nutty Professor, and before Beavis and Butt-head, there was--and, for better or worse, still is--Ernest P. (Powertools) Worrell, the non-savant idiot who currently "rides again" in the fifth installment of the kid-oriented "Ernest" movie series. And each Ernest film has generated at least $25 million at the box office. This one, though, the first to be released independently, opened this weekend with an unpromising $905,000.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 16, 1993 | CHRIS WILLMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"I want to welcome Jim Varney into a very exclusive club," says Buddy Ebsen of his sincerest flatterer, as seen in the new film "The Beverly Hillbillies." "That's the Uncle Jed Club. There are hundreds of actors that have played Hamlet, but only two have played Jed Clampett."
ENTERTAINMENT
April 10, 1990 | LOU CEDRONE, BALTIMORE EVENING SUN
Jim Varney walked into the room at the Jefferson Hotel here looking a little more worldly than he does as Ernest, the character he has portrayed in hundreds of commercials and in three movies. It was probably the hair. As Ernest, Varney's hair is secondary to his features. As Ernest, he usually wears a hat, one that hides his hair, and when the hair is showing, it is slick with mousse. In person, Varney's hair is dry, full and just a little bit wind-blown. In person, he is a funny man.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 30, 1989 | LEONARD KLADY
Brush Up Your Shakespeare: Glenn Close is in negotiations to play Gertrude in the Bard's "Hamlet" for director Franco Zeffirelli in early 1990. The Dyson Lovell production stars Mel Gibson as the moody Dane disturbed by his re-married mother's fatal attraction. . . . Kevin Kline hits the campaign trail in Paramount's "Running Mates," a romantic-political-comedy about a presidential aspirant involved with a woman who might not be good for his career, to film in August. Diane Keaton is that woman in the Marvin Worth production of Carol Eastman's screenplay.
NEWS
October 9, 1994 | Kevin Thomas
Director Penelope Spheeris brings equal amounts of sophistication and affection to her smart, fresh spin on the 1962-1971 TV series, while honoring the cornball humor of the original. Hillbilly billionaire Jed Clampett (Jim Varney, far left) heads for the hills of Beverly with the hopes of making a lady out of his tomboy daughter Elly May (Erika Eleniak, center, with Cloris Leachman as Granny and Diedrich Bader as Jethro.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 1988 | Craig Modderno
The mainstream movie career of former teen porn star Traci Lords continues--this time she's co-starring opposite Jim Varney in "Fast Food," a $5 million Chuck Fries Films release due this spring. She'll play a spy hired by hamburger franchise owner Varney to uncover the ingredients used by a rival company (Varney does not play his famous Ernest character in this one). Michael A. Simpson directs.
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