Category:Actors from Lexington, Kentucky
Pages in category "Actors from Lexington, Kentucky"
The following 22 pages are in this category, out of 22 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 22 pages are in this category, out of 22 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Milt G. Barlow – Milt G. Barlow was an American blackface comedian and actor popular in minstrel and vaudeville shows over the latter half of the 19th century. Milton G. Barlow was born on June 29,1843, at Lexington and he was the son of James Madison and Elizabeth Susan Barlow. He was probably raised in the household of an uncle in Harrison County, Kentucky, after his parents divorced and his father, a silversmith, relocated to Salt Lake City. At the age of twelve Barlow began working as a devil for a newspaper in Cynthiana. He was forced to abandon the job at age fourteen when it began to affect his health, Barlow spent the next few years working on a Missouri farm before moving on to Louisville, Kentucky where he would resume working as a printer. Barlow served in the American Civil War enlisting on April 23,1861 and he would later serve with several Virginia cavalry companies before surrendering at Appomattox Court House in April 1865 along with the remnants of General Robert E. Lees army. One of Barlows earliest performances was in 1867 when he teamed up with James and William Arthur, in 1877 he formed with George Wilson, George H. Primrose, and John T. West, the very successful Barlow, Wilson, Primrose and West Minstrels. In later years he would form shows with George Wilson and later yet with Wilson, Barlow also toured in a number of plays, usually playing African American slaves or former slaves. His most notably performances were in Uncle Toms Cabin where he played the role and in productions in which he played Old Black Joe. Milt G. Barlow was, for better or worse, considered one of the best burnt-cork actors of his day and his finale performances were in 1903 playing the Minister to Dahomey, in A Texas Steer productions. Barlows first marriage to Martha Giles is something of a mystery for neither her nor their son Reginalds names appear in any public record available to this writer. In the 1870 US census Barlow is listed as a resident of Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife Molly and one-year-old daughter Lillie. Ten years later census records have him living at his mothers boarding house in Toledo, Ohio with his wife Mary and children, Lillie, age eleven and Harry, age nine. Molly and Mary were both born in Kentucky around 1847 and are possibly the same person, Mary Muir, a daughter of Samuel and Mary Cory Muir of Paris, Kentucky. Milt Barlow would later spend much of the year 1887 as a guest of New Yorks Ludlow Street Jail after a judge charged him with contempt of court for failing to make his alimony obligations. Barlow married next actress Lilly Hall on March 14,1888, milton G. Barlow died of throat cancer on September 27,1904, at the Home of the Incurables in New York City. He was survived by his wives and children, though curiously Reginald is not mentioned in any of his obituaries. Both Harry and Reginald would follow their fathers lead and take to the stage, after a distinguished military career Reginald Barlow would find success as a character actor on Broadway and in HollywoodMilt G. Barlow – Monarchs of Minstrelsy pub. 1911
2. Laura Bell Bundy – She signed to Mercury Records Nashville and released her first country music single, Giddy On Up, on February 20,2010. The albums second single, Drop on By, was released to radio on August 9,2010. Bell Bundy was born in Euclid, Ohio, and raised in Lexington and her mother, Lorna Bundy-Jones, manages a Victorias Secret store and her father, Don Bundy, is an electrical engineer. Her parents divorced in 1997 when she was 16 years old and she grew up dancing at Town and Village School of Dance in Paris, Kentucky. She made her debut in regional theatre when she was nine years old. She graduated from Lexington Catholic High School in 1999 and she is the niece of Marcia Malone Bell, Miss Kentucky 1978 and 1979 Top Ten Miss America semifinalist. Bell Bundy was diagnosed with celiac disease when she was about 18 years old, in 1995 at the age of 14, Bell Bundy appeared in the film Jumanji, playing the role of Bonnie Hunts character in 1969, Sarah Whittle. Bell Bundy originated the role of Tina Denmark in the Off-Broadway musical Ruthless, for this part, she was nominated for a 1993 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical. In 2002, at the age of 21, she made her Broadway debut in the musical Hairspray, Bell Bundy was next a standby for both Kristin Chenoweth and Jennifer Laura Thompson in the role of Glinda in Wicked. She ended her run as the standby in August 2004, after leaving the show in July 2008, she was succeeded by Bailey Hanks, the winner of Legally Blonde, The Musical — The Search for Elle Woods. Offstage, Bell Bundy has appeared in films including The Adventures of Huck Finn, Life with Mikey and she appeared in the 2006 film adaptation of Dreamgirls as a member of the fictitious pop group Dave and the Sweethearts. She also appears in several web videos as various comedic characters, such as Justice Goode. Bell Bundy released her country music album titled Longing For a Place Already Gone. After leaving Legally Blonde, The Musical on July 20,2008, she moved back to Nashville to work on her second album and she guest-starred in the TV series Cold Case with Adam Pascal and Tracie Thoms in the episode Willkommen. Bell Bundy was a judge at the Miss America 2009 pageant, Bell Bundy reprised the role of Elle Woods in the U. S. national tour of Legally Blonde, The Musical as a temporary replacement for the injured Becky Gulsvig. She began her run on January 13,2009 and ended on February 22,2009. She was to play Elle again during the Nashville engagement of the tour from June 23–28,2009. However, she fractured her arm during the June 27,2009 performance, Bell Bundy had a recurring role on the sixth season of CBS How I Met Your Mother as Becky, Robins co-anchorLaura Bell Bundy – Bell Bundy in April 2010
3. Mrs. Leslie Carter – Caroline Louise Dudley was an American silent film and stage actress who used her married name, Mrs. Leslie Carter, as her stage name to spite her former husband. She was called The American Sarah Bernhardt, caroline Dudley was born in Lexington, Kentucky. The exact date is not known but research points to the year 1857 and her father was Orson Dudley, a wholesale dry goods merchant of means, who gave to his daughter every advantage that money could bestow. Most of her childhood was spent in Dayton, Ohio and she aspired to the stage from childhood, but for family reasons she never appeared publicly, even at amateur entertainments. At the time of her 1880 marriage in Dayton to lawyer Leslie Carter and they had one child, a son, Dudley Carter. In 1887 she filed for divorce on the grounds of physical assault and abandonment, son Dudley chose to live with his mother and was cut out of his fathers will as a result. Press coverage of the trial was suppressed, but the filing and her association with Broadway impresario, David Belasco, skyrocketed her to theatrical fame. Her first hit was as the character in The Heart of Maryland. In The Heart of Maryland, she wore a wig with six-foot tresses and her great scene came as the heroine swinging in the belfry tower, her hands gripping the clapper to prevent the ringing of a huge curfew bell. The sensational swinging out of Mrs. Carter thirty-five feet above the stage with off-stage fans sending her long tresses streaming set New York audiences cheering, Carter became her generations greatest dramatic actress. When she broke with Belasco in 1906 after her remarriage, she was already considered a relic. In July 1906, she married actor Louis Payne who was often her leading man on stage and they adopted a daughter, Mary Carter Payne. In 1915, pioneer producer George Kleine hired her to recreate Madame Du Barry for the motion picture cameras. She was already in her fifties and too old for the part, but it was followed by a screen version of her first success. Her last stage hit was as a coquette, in Somerset Maughams drawing-room comedy, The Circle. Returning to vaudeville, Carters career collapsed in 1926 when she was fired during a Newark, New Jersey, tryout of The Shanghai Gesture, as she owned a half-interest in the show, which went on to be a Broadway success, she received half the royalties. She appeared in the version of the show after its New York run. She died in 1937 at Santa Monica, California of heart disease and she is buried in Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio in the family plot with her second husband, her son Dudley, and several other Dudley and Payne family membersMrs. Leslie Carter – Carter as Mme. Du Barry on the October 1902 cover of The Theatre
4. George Clooney – George Timothy Clooney is an American actor, filmmaker, and activist. He has received three Golden Globe Awards for his work as an actor and two Academy Awards, one for acting in Syriana and the other for co-producing Argo, in 1999, he took the lead role in Three Kings, a well-received war satire set during the Gulf War. In 2001, Clooneys fame widened with the release of his biggest commercial success, the heist comedy remake Oceans Eleven, in 2013, he received the Academy Award for Best Picture for producing the political thriller Argo. He is the person who has been nominated for Academy Awards in six different categories. In 2009, Clooney was included in Times annual Time 100 as one of the Most Influential People in the World and he is also noted for his political activism, and has served as one of the United Nations Messengers of Peace since January 31,2008. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Clooney was born in Lexington, Kentucky. His mother, Nina Bruce, was a beauty queen and city councilwoman and his father, Nick Clooney, is a former anchorman and game show host who hosted AMC for five years in the late 1990s. Clooney has Irish, German, and English ancestry and his maternal great-great-great-great-grandmother, Mary Ann Sparrow, was the half-sister of Nancy Lincoln, mother of President Abraham Lincoln. Clooney has a sister named Adelia. His aunt was the cabaret singer and actress Rosemary Clooney. Through Rosemary, his cousins include actors Miguel Ferrer, Rafael Ferrer, and Gabriel Ferrer, Clooney was raised a strict Roman Catholic, but said in 2006 that he does not know if he believes in Heaven, or even God. He has said, Yes, we were Catholic, big time, whole family and he began his education at the Blessed Sacrament School in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. He attended St. Michaels School in Columbus, Ohio, then Western Row Elementary School in Mason, Ohio, from 1968 to 1974, and St. Susanna School in Mason, the Clooneys moved back to Kentucky when George was midway through the seventh grade. In middle school, Clooney developed Bells palsy, a condition that partially paralyzes the face, the malady went away within a year. In an interview with Larry King, he stated that yes and it takes about nine months to go away. It was the first year of school, which was a bad time for having half your face paralyzed. After his parents moved to Augusta, Kentucky, Clooney attended Augusta High School and he has stated that he earned all As and a B in school, and was an enthusiastic baseball and basketball player. He tried out to professional baseball with the Cincinnati Reds in 1977George Clooney – Clooney at a ceremony for John Wells in January 2012
5. Joyce Compton – Not to be confused with British actress Betty Compton. Joyce Compton was an American actress and she was born Olivia Joyce Compton in Lexington, Kentucky. After graduating high school she spent two years studying at the University of Tulsa, studying dramatics, art, music and dancing and she won a personality and beauty contest and spent two months in a film studio as an extra. Compton first made a name for herself when she was named one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars in 1926, alongside Mary Brian, Dolores Costello, Joan Crawford, Dolores del Río, Janet Gaynor and Fay Wray. Compton appeared in a string of mostly B-movies from the 1920s through the 1950s. She was an actress and protested at being stereotyped as a dumb blonde. Among her over two hundred films were Imitation of Life, Magnificent Obsession, The Awful Truth, Mildred Pierce, a devout Christian, on her gravestone, just beneath her dates of birth and death, is written Christian Actress. She died from natural causes, aged 90, and was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills. For her contributions to the picture industry, Compton was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on the south side of the 7000 block of Hollywood Boulevard. Joyce Compton at the Internet Movie Database Joyce Compton at Find a Grave The Joyce Compton shrineJoyce Compton – Joyce Compton
6. Farah Fath – Farah LeeAllen Fath is an American actress. She portrayed Gigi Morasco on the ABC Daytime soap opera One Life to Live October 24,2007 to January 12,2012 and she played Mimi Lockhart from 1999 to 2007 on the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives. Farah Fath was born in Lexington, Kentucky to Lisa and Greg Fath and she has a younger sister, Victoria Tori Fath. She began her career in business at the age of five. She appeared in print campaigns for Duncan Hines and in a commercial for Pringles potato chips. Fath joined Days of Our Lives in September 1999 as Belle Blacks best friend Mimi Lockhart and she left the show in February 2007, along with onscreen mother Judi Evans. Fath debuted in the role of Gigi Morasco on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live on October 24,2007. Farah left One Life to Live in June 2011, on October 10,2011, Fath returned to OLTL this time as her sister, Stacy, who has plastic surgery to look like her. It turned out, though, that in an incident that supposedly left Gigi dead back in June 2011, it was Stacy who perished, leaving Gigi very much alive. On September 25,2011, Fath appeared on the defunct American reality television series Dirty Soap with many soap opera alumni including her boyfriend, John-Paul Lavoisier. In May 2015, it was announced that Fath will work with Days of Our Lives alum Alison Sweeney on the installment of Murder She Baked for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Fath had dated One Life to Live costar John-Paul Lavoisier, who plays Rex Balsom, from 2008 to 2013, Soap Opera Digest exclusively revealed that Fath is engaged to boyfriend of two years, Phil Galfond, in November 2014. Fath and Galfond married on May 15,2015, farah Fath at the Internet Movie DatabaseFarah Fath – Fath in June 2005
7. Edward Faulkner – Edward Faulkner is an American film and television character actor. He is most known for his roles in John Wayne films, including Hellfighters, The Green Berets, Rio Lobo, McLintock. and he also played small roles on other films and TV series including Dragnet and The Tim Conway Show. Treasury - episode - Operation, Hijack - SgtEdward Faulkner – Edward Faulkner in McLintock! (1963)
8. Richard Hell – Richard Hell is an American singer, songwriter, bass guitarist and writer. Richard Hell was an innovator of punk music and fashion and he was one of the first to spike his hair and wear torn, cut and drawn-on shirts, often held together with safety pins. Hell was in important, early punk bands, including Neon Boys, Television. Their 1977 album Blank Generation influenced many other punk bands, since the late 1980s, Hell has devoted himself primarily to writing, publishing two novels and several other books. He was the critic for BlackBook magazine from 2004 to 2006. Richard Lester Meyers grew up in Lexington, Kentucky in 1949 and his father, a secular Jew, was an experimental psychologist, researching animal behavior. He died when Hell was 7 years old, Hell was then raised by his mother, who came from Methodists of Welsh and English ancestry. After her husbands death, she returned to school and became a professor, Hell attended the Sanford School in Delaware for one year, where he became friends with Tom Miller, who later changed his name to Tom Verlaine. They ran away from school together and were arrested in Alabama for arson, Hell never finished high school, instead moving to New York City to make his way as a poet. In New York he met fellow young poet David Giannini, and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico for several months and they used an AM VariTyper with changeable fonts to publish the magazine. They began publishing books and magazines, but decided to go their ways in 1971. Before he was 21, his own poems were published in numerous periodicals, a book of poems credited to Stern, Wanna Go Out. was released by Dot in 1973. In 1972, Verlaine joined Hell in New York and formed the Neon Boys, in 1974, the band added a second guitarist, Richard Lloyd, and changed their name to Television. She formed a successful band of her own, the Patti Smith Group. Television was one of the bands to play at CBGB because their manager, Terry Ork. They also built the clubs first stage, Hell started playing his punk rock anthem Blank Generation during his time in Television. In early 1975, Hell parted ways with Television after a dispute over creative control, Hell claimed that he and Verlaine had originally divided the songwriting evenly but that later Verlaine sometimes refused to play Hells songs. Verlaine remained silent on the subject, Hell left Television the same week that Jerry Nolan and Johnny Thunders quit the New York DollsRichard Hell – Richard Hell live at the Club Chitta Kawasaki Japan
9. Josh Hopkins – William Joshua Josh Hopkins is an American actor and amateur musician. Hopkins was born in Lexington, Kentucky and he has participated in many TV series and films. He is the writer and performer of the song Feigning Interest, in 2015, he starred in the ABC thriller Quantico as Liam OConnor. Hopkins was born in Lexington, Kentucky on September 12,1970, Hopkins joined the fourth, and the last season, of New York Undercover in 1998. In 1999 Hopkins starred in Alanis Morissettes Unsent music video, Hopkins portrayed Paul Allen in the 1999 film Pirates of Silicon Valley, and Raymond Milbury on the television series Ally McBeal. He portrayed womanizer Charlie Babcock on the television series Pepper Dennis and he later worked with his former Ally McBeal co-star Calista Flockhart when he had a recurring role on Brothers & Sisters. He also had a regular role as Peter Manning on the cancelled Fox drama Vanished. In 2005, Hopkins guest starred on Foxs hit show Bones as Temperance Brennans former professor and lover, Michael Stires, Hopkins has also guest starred in CSI, Miami. Season 1 of the CBS series Cold Case saw Hopkins play the role of Assistant District Attorney Jason Kite, the show was especially noted for the on-screen chemistry between Hopkins character and the character of Detective Lilly Rush, played by Kathryn Morris. Hopkins starred in the 2008 CBS summer drama Swingtown as Roger Thompson, the series was originally intended for the Fall 2007 season, but was postponed due to the writers strike. It has sparked controversy for its portrayal of 1970s culture, including open marriage. In 2009, Hopkins appeared as Dr. Noah Barnes in season 2 of ABCs Private Practice and he went on to play the character Grayson Ellis on the sitcom Cougar Town, which premiered September 23,2009 on ABC and later moved to TBS. In 2015, Hopkins joined the main cast for Quantico playing the role of Liam OConnor, buddyTV ranked him #73 on its list of TVs Sexiest Men of 2011Josh Hopkins – Hopkins in 2010
10. Melissa McBride – Melissa Suzanne McBride is an American actress and former casting director, best known for her role as Carol Peletier on the AMC series The Walking Dead. McBride has garnered acclaim and received multiple awards and nominations for her role on the show. McBride was born in Lexington, Kentucky to parents John Leslie McBride and her father owned his own business, and her mother studied at the historic Pasadena Playhouse. She had three siblings, John Michael, Neil Allen, and Melanie Suzanne, McBride began her acting career in 1991, appearing in several television commercials for clients such as Rooms To Go, she was also a spokeswoman for Ford. In 1996, she appeared on the CBS miniseries A Season in Purgatory, from 2000 to 2010, she worked as a film and commercial casting director in Atlanta, Georgia and starred in several short films. McBride was in contention for a role in the film. The following year, she appeared in the Lifetime television movie Living Proof, McBrides earlier relationship with Darabont led him to cast her as Carol Peletier in the AMC television drama series The Walking Dead – her biggest role to date. McBride did not audition for the role, which she thought was temporary and she was a recurring cast member in Season 1 and was promoted to series regular for Season 2. McBrides name appeared in the credits sequence beginning with the first episode of Season 4. Carol was supposed to have killed off in the episode Killer Within. As the series progresses, McBrides character develops from a weak, dependent woman into a strong, cunning, the direction of her character is contrasted between the two media. In the comic series, Carol is much younger and exhibits a neurotic, self-centered, throughout her time in the comics, she grows increasingly unstable to the point of being self-destructive. The television show differs in these regards, as she is shown to be a stern, pragmatic, the Carol in the TV show is a wholly original creation that well continue to explore on the show to great effect. Everyone in the writers room loves that character, and were thrilled with what Melissa has brought to the table and she has definitely become a character that is one to watch, and theres some really exciting stuff ahead for her. McBride has received acclaim for her performance as Carol and won positive reviews from critics during Seasons 3,4. Many critics praised McBrides performance in the Season 4 episode centered on her character, others singled out Carols actions in the Season 5 premiere, No Sanctuary, which earned critical praise and positive fan reception. Despite the praise of critics and a fan campaign, McBride did not receive a nomination for the 2014 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. In March 2015, McBride was nominated for a Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Leading Actress in a Television series and she once again won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television at the 41st Saturn Awards, for the second year in a rowMelissa McBride – McBride at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con International.
11. Kevin Richardson (musician) – Kevin Scott Richardson is an American singer, songwriter, actor and model, best known as a member of the Backstreet Boys. Richardson was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame along with his cousin, Kevin Scott Richardson was born on October 3,1971 in Lexington, Kentucky, the son of Ann C. homemaker, and Jerald Wayne Richardson, Sr, an outdoors man and a handyman. He is the youngest of three boys, and is a first cousin of fellow Backstreet Boys member Brian Littrell and he spent his childhood in the outdoors, and could already ride a horse at age 4. He also got the nickname Train because he ran through guys like a train on the team and he is of Irish-Italian, English, Scottish, some German and Indian. At a young age, Richardson loved music and started learning how to play the piano by ear when he was 9 years old and he sang in his churchs choir since he was a child and was a part of his community and high school theater. He also adored performing, participating in the theater, was a member of the schools drama club. Of his two loves, acting and music, the latter ultimately won out and he also been in a lot talent shows, one where he sang a duet with a female classmate and played in a band where he was on the drums. At age 19, his father died on August 26,1991 after a 2-year battle with cancer. After graduating high school in 1990, Richardson, intent on leaving his mark in the business world, was torn between entering the Air Force to become a pilot or following his love of music. In Florida, he got a job as a cast member and performer at Walt Disney World and he played various characters including Aladdin, one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Prince Eric, Tigger The Rocketeer, Goofy, and Sebastian the Crab in the Little Mermaid show. He was also a tour guide. At nights, he did theater, playing an Italian gangster in a musical review performing various songs from the musical Chicago, Guys and Dolls. In June 1991, Richardson got the call from his mother, Richardson dropped everything and moved back home to Kentucky where he got a job and stayed with his family. On August 26,1991, just two later, Richardsons father lost his battle with cancer. This was a blow to Richardson, as he had lost not only his father. He stayed in Kentucky for almost a year, then after encouragement from his mother and he got a job with a friend who had written a musical, he gave him a part and helped him get back on his feet again. So, after seeing an ad about a new group called Backstreet Boys, he went to check them out, auditioned. Soon after, he brought his cousin Brian into the mix, in 1993, Richardson joined a new group called Backstreet BoysKevin Richardson (musician) – Richardson on tour, December 4, 2005
12. Michael Shannon – Michael Corbett Shannon is an American actor and musician. He made his debut opposite Bill Murray in Groundhog Day and received widespread attention for his performance in 8 Mile. Shannon is known for his versatility, performing in both comedies and dramas. Notable projects include Pearl Harbor, Bad Boys II, Bug, Before the Devil Knows Youre Dead, The Iceman, Man of Steel and Elvis & Nixon. He is a frequent collaborator with Jeff Nichols, appearing in all of his films, Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter, Mud, Midnight Special and he is also known for his role as Nelson Van Alden/George Mueller in the HBO period drama series Boardwalk Empire. Shannon has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, first for Revolutionary Road. 99 Homes further earned him nominations for a Screen Actors Guild Award, Shannon was born in Lexington, Kentucky, and is a grandson of entomologist Raymond Corbett Shannon. His father, Donald Sutherlin Shannon, was a professor at DePaul University. He was raised by his parents in both Lexington, Kentucky, and Chicago, Illinois. He attended New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois and he later became a stage actor in Chicago. He helped found A Red Orchid Theatre, where he regularly performs. He has since worked with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Northlight Theatre, Shannon originated the role of Peter Evans in Bug in 1996 and also starred in the 2006 film adaptation with Ashley Judd and Harry Connick Jr. directed by William Friedkin. His roles in Bug and Killer Joe were written by Steppenwolf ensemble member Tracy Letts, Shannon made his film debut with a small role in Groundhog Day in 1993 as a wedding groom. Later, he had roles in Jesus Son, Pearl Harbor,8 Mile and he played the villain in Kangaroo Jack. After a role in Bad Boys II, he had a role in Grand Theft Parsons as the hippie. In 2006, he played the leader of a white supremacist group, Lynard. Shannon has appeared in shows in the West End in London. Shannons role in Revolutionary Road, also starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, in the 2010 HBO television show Boardwalk Empire, Shannon plays the role of Federal Prohibition agent Nelson Van AldenMichael Shannon – Michael Shannon at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.
13. Jim Varney – He gained further notability for playing Jed Clampett in the movie version of The Beverly Hillbillies and providing the voice of Slinky Dog in Toy Story and Toy Story 2. James Albert Varney, Jr. was born in Lexington, Kentucky and he was the fourth child and only son of James Albert Varney, Sr. and Nancy Louise Varney. As a child, Varney displayed the ability to memorize long poems and significant portions of material from books, when Varney was a boy, his mother would put the black and white television on cartoons for him to watch. His mother discovered that Varney quickly began to imitate the cartoon characters, Varney began his interest in theater as a teenager, winning state titles in drama competitions while a student at Lafayette High School in Lexington. At the age of 15, he portrayed Ebenezer Scrooge in a theater production. Varney studied Shakespeare at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia and he listed a former teacher, Thelma Beeler, as being one of the main contributing factors in his becoming an actor. When he was 24, Varney was an actor at the Pioneer Playhouse in Danville, the theater was adjacent to an Old West-themed village and prior to the show the audience would tour the village where apprentices would play townsfolk. Varney and the usually played in the outdoor theater to audiences of only a few dozen people. Varney would regale the young apprentices by throwing knives into trees and he performed in Blithe Spirit, Boeing 707 and an original musical, Fire on the Mountain. In 1980, the first commercial featuring Varney as Ernest advertised an appearance by the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders at Beech Bend Park, the character was franchised for use in markets all over the country and was used often by dairies to advertise milk products. For example, the Midwestern dairy bar chain Braums ran several advertisements using Ernests catchphrase, KnoWhutImean, purity Dairies, based in Nashville, Pine State Dairy in Raleigh, NC, and Oakhurst Dairy in Maine ran commercials that were nearly identical, but with the dairy name changed. For the same agency, Varney created a different character, Sgt, glory, a humorless drill instructor who harangued cows of the client dairy into producing better milk. Glorys home was shown as he had a date, which was decorated with the products of the sponsor. Glory character also appeared in an advertisement for a grocery chain, Pruitts Food Town, in which he drilled the checkout clerks on proper behavior. He approaches one of them at the end of the commercial with a look of menace and says, the checkout bagger gives a very nervous and forced smile. Varney also starred as Ernest in a series of commercials ran in the New Orleans area as a spokesman for natural gas utilities. In one, he is seen kneeling down in front of Verns desk under a lamp hanging from the ceiling, stating, Natural Gas, Vern, its hot, fast, and cheap. Hot, fast, cheap, kinda like your first wife, Vern, you know, Vern then knocks the lamp into Ernests head, knocking him downJim Varney – Varney in the film The Expert (1995)