Jim Varney Net Worth

Jim Varney Net Worth 2023: Wiki Biography, Married, Family, Measurements, Height, Salary, Relationships

James Albert Varney, Jr. net worth is
$12 Million

James Albert Varney, Jr. Wiki Biography

James Albert Varney, Jr. was born on 15 June 1949, in Lexington, Kentucky USA, and was a writer, comedian and actor best known for his character Ernest P. Worrell, used for movies and commercials. He’s also known to have been the voice of Slinky Dog in the first two “Toy Story” movies. His various efforts helped raise his net worth to where it was prior to his passing in 2000.

How rich was Jim Varney? As of mid-2016, sources inform us of a net worth that is at $12 million, mostly earned through his numerous opportunities as an actor. Aside from commercials, film and television, he was also popular in the theatre. He’s also did voice-acting work, and all of these helped increase his wealth.


Jim Varney Net Worth $12 Million

At a young age, Jim’s mother noticed how he could easily memorize parts of a book and start re-enacting the cartoon characters he watched on television. This soon led him to an opportunity in theatre and he won numerous competitions while attending Lafayette High School. At the age of 17, Varney was already performing at various venues and later on he’d become an actor in numerous theatre productions such as “Blithe Spirit”, “Fire on the Mountain”, and “Boeing 707”, a solid start to his net worth.

Varney rose to prominence as the character Ernest Worrell during a commercial that advertised the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders in 1980. His character was suddenly used by various companies and produce such as milk and other dairy products. This led to him creating other characters such as Sgt. Glory, who was a drill instructor also used for commercials. More opportunities appeared including commercials for gas, convenience stores and car dealerships. This also led to more television shows for him such as “Pop! Goes the Country” alongside Tom T. Hall. Later on, Jim would create another character named Auntie Nelda, and would then reprise Ernest in various films, the result of the character’s popularity, including “Ernest Saves Christmas”, “Ernest Scared Stupid”, “Ernest Rides Again”, “Dr. Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam”, and “Ernest Goes to Africa”. His commercials continued with clients such as Leadco and later Blake’s Lotaburger. Aside from films, his character Ernest also had a television series entitled “Hey Vern, It’s Ernest”, and the film “Ernest Goes to Camp” became a huge success. The various Ernest movies were compiled and made into VHS and DVD releases, considerably adding to his net worth.

Aside from his popularity as the character, Varney also had other shows and movies in which he portrayed other characters. These can be seen in “Johnny Cash and Friends”, “Fernwood 2 Night”, “Operation Petticoat” and “Pink Lady and Jeff”. He also became well known for portraying Jed Clampett in “The Beverly Hillbillies”. He continued doing movies and later would get voice opportunities in “Toy Story”, “Toy Story 2” and “Atlantis: The Lost Empire”. He even had an episode voicing for “The Simpsons”, and tried his hand at independent movies.

For his personal life, Jim was firstly married to Jacqueline Drew from 1977 to 1983, and then to Jane Varney from 1988 to 1991. During the filming of “Treehouse Hostage” in 1998, it was discovered that he had lung cancer because of his smoking habit. He quit smoking and later supported anti-smoking campaigns, and underwent chemotherapy, but it wasn’t successful and he died in February 2000. His final film “Atlantis: The Lost Empire”, was dedicated to him.

Full NameJim Varney
Net Worth$12 Million
Date Of BirthJune 15, 1949, Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.
Died2000-02-10, White House, Tennessee, United States
Height6' 1" (1.85 m)
ProfessionActor, Writer, Comedian
EducationLafayette High School, Murray State University
SpouseJacqueline Drew (1977-1983), Jane Varney (1988-1991)
ParentsJames Albert Varney, Sr., Louise Varney
Movies“Toy Story” (1995), “Blithe Spirit”, “Fire on the Mountain”, “Boeing 707”, The Rousters (1983), Snowboard Academy (1996)
TV Shows“Pop! Goes the Country”, “Ernest Saves Christmas”, “Ernest Scared Stupid”, “Ernest Rides Again”,, “Hey Vern, It’s Ernest”, “Johnny Cash and Friends”, “Fernwood 2 Night”, “Operation Petticoat”, “Pink Lady and Jeff”
1Known for his character Ernest P. Worrell.
2Raspy voice.
1[After being asked if he was a chain smoker] Nah, I'm not a chain smoker. they're real hard to light, and you have to carry that big torch around.
2I'd like to do a piece of Shakespeare. Any upcoming Shakespeare film. Just a bit to say I did a classic.
3I like to sing. I write music. Country songs. You have to if you're in Nashville. It's part of the lease. You sign a lease that says, I will write country songs and pay my rent on time.
4I started to do a study on how not to do stand-up comedy. Yeah, it's lonely work. You die, you die alone. It's you, the light, and the audience. If you win, you win big. If you lose, you lose big time.
5[On making Ernest Scared Stupid] I loved it. As a kid, anything that gave me nightmares I had to watch.
6Life's just a bus stop to somewhere infinitely better.
1Varney himself sang the song "Gee I'm Glad It's Raining" for his movie "Ernest Goes To Camp" in a single take. When he finished performing it for the movie, reportedly there wasn't a single dry eye on set.
2Shares his birthday with country singer Waylon Jennings who was one of his closest friends!.
3Was a fan of The Beverly Hillbillies (1962). In fact, it was said to be his family's favorite show.
4Jim Varney was supposed to be in a movie called Pirates of the plain. Directed By John Cherry. But when got sick the lead went to Tim Curry instead. This somehow became a rumor that Jim was filming Ernest the pirate but died before it was finished.
5Youngest child and only son of James Albert Varney Sr (1910-1985) and Louise Varney (1913-1994). He has three older sisters.
6Varney was very good friends with actor Blake Clark and Clark took over the role of "Slinky Dog" in Toy Story 3 (2010), after Varney's death. In an interview for "Toy Story 3", Clark described Varney as a very good and kind man and one of his bestest friends.
7Remained good friends with his second wife Jane after their divorce and she became his spokesperson later in life.
8Was very good friends with Robin Williams.
9When given the chance to have a lifelong dream fulfilled by such groups as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, several hundred terminally ill children have asked to meet Ernest. He never let them down.
10Studied Shakespeare at the Barter Theatre in Virginia and performed in a folk show during Opryland's first year of operation
11Standup comedy launched his TV career. His first national appearance came at age 25, when he embarked on the talk show circuit, that included The Merv Griffin Show (1962) and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962).
12Along with Robin Williams, Varney was one of Los Angeles's Comedy Store's original alumni.
13The character of Ernest was actually introduced in a commercial for Bowling Green, Kentucky's Beech Bend Raceway Park.
14Between 1987 and 1990, Disney released four Ernest movies that generated a total of $100 million. Five more Ernest films were released independently, mainly for the video and television markets.
15Among one of the companies he portrayed his beloved character, Earnest, was for the Kroger grocery store chain. These aired mainly in the marketing area of Tennessee, parts of Mississippi and Ohio where Kroger grocery store chains are predominate.
16As Ernest, Jim Varney used to do Purity Dairy commercials which ran in Nashville, TN.
17As his Ernest P. Worrell persona, he did advertisements for the Southern California auto mall Cerritos Auto Square. After his death, commercials now feature a CGI Ernest.
18He used to do commercials for the Dodge dealership in Henderson, Kentucky, sitting in the Dodge Viper "high in the sky."
19When he discovered he had lung cancer, he reportedly threw away his cigarettes and quit smoking cold turkey. Unfortunately, it was too late.
20Despite his persona as Ernest P. Worrell, he reportedly had a near genius I.Q. level. He was said to be occasionally exasperated with fans who met him and assumed he was exactly like the Worrell character he portrayed.
21Known to fans as Ernest P. Worrell, his most famous character, who propelled him to the public eye. Ernest appeared in commercials "alongside" his off-camera friend Vern. Ernest would address the camera as if it were Vern.
22His final movie, "Ernest the Pirate" (2000) had nearly completed shooting at the time of his death. For that reason, it got canceled, and was never released on VHS, DVD, or as part of an "Ernest" box set on anything.
23Lived in Lexington, Kentucky while growing up, and graduated from Lafayette Senior High School with the class of 1968. He listed a former teacher, Thelma Beeler, as being one of the main contributing factors in his becoming an actor.
24Jim Varney died at about 4:45 am February 10, 2000 at his White House, Tennessee home.
25Was a heavy smoker and died of lung cancer.
26Included in a 1986 home video collection of Ernest commercials is a public service spot with Ernest trying to convince "Vern" to quit smoking, thus avoiding "The Big 'C'-Cancer. Chemotherapy City."


Atlantis: The Lost Empire2001Video GameCookie (voice)
Daddy and Them2001Hazel Montgomery
Atlantis: The Lost Empire2001Jebidiah Allardyce 'Cookie' Farnsworth (voice)
Toy Story 21999Video GameSlinky Dog (voice)
Toy Story 21999Slinky Dog (voice)
Treehouse Hostage1999Carl Banks
Existo1999Marcel Horowitz
Hercules1998TV Series
3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain1998Lothar Zogg
Ernest in the Army1998Pvt. Ernest P. Worrell Army Captain Arab on Quicksand
The Simpsons1998TV SeriesCooder
Blood, Friends and Money1997The Old Mariner
Annabelle's Wish1997VideoMr. Gus Holder (voice)
100 Proof1997Rae's Father
Ernest Goes to Africa1997Ernest P. Worrel Hey You, the Hindu Auntie Nelda ...
Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man1997TV SeriesWalt Evergreen
Snowboard Academy1996VideoRudy James
Roseanne1996TV SeriesPrince Carlos
Toy Story Activity Center1996Video GameSlinky Dog (voice)
Toy Story1995Slinky Dog (voice)
Slam Dunk Ernest1995VideoErnest P. Worrell
The Expert1995Snake
Your World as I See It1994ShortErnest P. Worrel Aster Clement Baby Ernest ...
Ernest Goes to School1994Ernest
Ernest Rides Again1993Ernest
The Beverly Hillbillies1993Jed Clampett
Wilder Napalm1993Rex
Ernest's Greatest Hits Volume 21992VideoErnest P. Worrell
Ernest Scared Stupid1991Ernest / Phineas Worrell
Disneyland's 35th Anniversary Special1990TV MovieErnest
Ernest Goes to Jail1990Ernest P. Worrell Mr. Felix Nash Auntie Nelda
Ernest Goes to Splash Mountain1989TV MovieErnest
Fast Food1989Wrangler Bob Bundy
Hey, Vern, It's Ernest!1988TV SeriesErnest P. Worrell Auntie Nelda Baby Ernest ...
Ernest Saves Christmas1988Ernest P. Worrell Aster Clement Auntie Nelda ...
Ernest Goes to Camp1987Ernest P. Worrell
Hey Vern, Win $10,0001987VideoErnest P. Worrell
The Ernest Film Festival1986VideoErnest P. Worrell
The Rousters1983-1984TV SeriesEvan Earp
Knowhutimean? Hey Vern, It's My Family Album1983VideoErnest P. Worrell Davy Worrell & Company Ace Worrell ...
The Rousters1983TV MovieEvan Earp
Spittin' Image1982Sheriff
Third Annual Final Warning!!1979TV MovieVarious
Alice1978TV SeriesMilo Skinner
America 2-Night1978TV SeriesVirgil Simms
Fernwood Tonight1977TV SeriesVirgil Simms
Riding High1977TV Movie
Johnny Cash and Friends1976TV Series
Pop! Goes the Country1974TV SeriesVarious Characters (1982-1983)


Dr. Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam1986additional dialogue
Knowhutimean? Hey Vern, It's My Family Album1983Video


The Beverly Hillbillies1993performer: "HOT ROD LINCOLN"
Ernest Goes to Camp1987performer: "GEE I'M GLAD IT'S RAININ'"


Stupa-Man2008special thanks
Atlantis: The Lost Empire2001in memory of


The Making of 'Atlantis: The Lost Empire'2002Video documentaryHimself
The Story Behind 'Toy Story'2000Video documentary shortHimself (uncredited)
Ed's Night Party1997TV SeriesHimself
Oops! The World's Funniest Outtakes 51997TV MovieHimself - Guest
Showbiz Today1995TV SeriesHimself
The Wonderful World of Disney: 40 Years of Television Magic1994TV Movie documentaryHimself
XXX's & OOO's1994TV MovieHimself
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno1993TV SeriesHimself
Comic Relief IV1990TV Special documentaryHimself
The Home Show1990TV SeriesHimself
Live with Kelly and Michael1989TV SeriesHimself
Comic Relief III1989TV Special documentaryHimself
The 31st Annual Grammy Awards1989TV SpecialHimself
Happy New Year, America1988TV SpecialHimself / Ernest
CBS This Morning1988TV SeriesHimself
Walt Disney World Celebrity Circus1987TV SpecialHimself - Performer
The New Hollywood Squares1987TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Hee Haw1986TV SeriesHimself
Pink Lady1980TV SeriesHimself / Various Characters
Dinah!1976TV SeriesHimself

Archive Footage

The Marvelous M Show2012-2016TV SeriesErnest P Worrell / Ernest P. Worrell / Aster Clement
Toy Story at 20: To Infinity and Beyond2015TV Movie documentaryHimself - Slinky Dog
Cinemassacre's Monster Madness2010TV Series documentaryErnest / Phineas Worrell
E! True Hollywood Story2001TV Series documentaryHimself
Jeff Foxworthy's Comedy Classics2000Video documentary
The 72nd Annual Academy Awards2000TV SpecialHimself (Memorial Tribute)

Won Awards

1989Daytime EmmyDaytime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Performer in a Children's SeriesHey, Vern, It's Ernest! (1988)

Nominated Awards

1988Razzie AwardRazzie AwardsWorst New StarErnest Goes to Camp (1987)

Known for movies

IMDB Wikipedia

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2 thoughts on “Jim Varney Net Worth”

  1. What a waste. Jim claimed to be a warlock and slept under a plastic pyramid in the basement of Dottie’s Massage Parlor on 8th Avenue in the 70’s. He was the most selfish, self absorbed person ever. His wife Jacquie was talented. A commedian and a song writer she appeared on talent shows and in club venues. But Jim was jealous of her success and moved them back to Nashville. They divorced because of Jim’s complelely selfish behavior . He met Jane…who looked like a Goth and she and Jim lived like gutter trash outside of Nashville. I know this because I knew Jim and his manager Joe Liles from the 70’s until Jim died in 2000 and Joe died in 2016.

  2. The dumbest person ever in real life. Slept under a plastic pyramid in the basement of Dotty’s massage parlor in Nashville, Tenn. Selfish as the day is long.

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