Jim Varney Net Worth At Death – Salary, Income, Earnings

Jim Varney Net Worth At Death

Jim Varney had an estimated net worth of $12 Million at deathComedic actor Jim Varney played his signature character Ernest P. Worrell in hundreds of commercials and five Disney films including ‘Ernest Goes to Camp.’ He earned the majority of his income from movies and TV shows.

Jim Varney’s big break came in 1976, when he was cast in a variety TV show. He went on to appear in several TV shows after that. In the early 1980s, he appeared in hundreds of commercials as his signature character, Ernest P. Worrell. From the late 1980s to the late 1990s, he appeared in five Ernest films.

To calculate the net worth of Jim Varney, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as loans and personal debt, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Jim Varney
Net Worth: $12 Million
Monthly Salary: $100 Thousand+
Annual Income: $1 Million+
Source of Wealth: Actor, Comedian, Writer, Voice Actor, Musician

Learn More: Top 30 Richest Actors In The World

Early Life and Career

Varney was born in Lexington, Kentucky on June 15, 1949. At the age of eight, he began acting in local theater; his first professional acting role was as Puck in a regional production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1965. He relocated to New York City in 1967, where he worked as a stand-up comedian and performed in dinner theater and Off-Broadway productions.

Varney’s big break came in 1976, when he was cast as a regular on the variety show Johnny Cash and Friends. He later appeared in several short-lived TV shows, including Operation Petticoat (1977), Fernwood 2-Night (1977), The New Operation Petticoat (1978), and Pink Lady (1980).

Playing Ernest P. Worrell

In 1972, Varney debuted his signature character, Ernest P. Worrell, in a regional television commercial. Varney used Ernest’s accident-prone, denim-clad rube shtick in hundreds of commercials in the 1980s, for everything from ice cream and cars to fast food, soft drinks, and furniture. Varney made his feature film debut in 1986, when he co-wrote Dr. Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam and played Ernest and a number of other characters.

Ernest Goes to Camp, co-written and directed by John Cherry, an advertising executive who came up with the original Ernest character idea, was released by Disney in 1987. The film, which cost only $3.5 million to make, grossed $24 million at the box office. Ernest Saves Christmas (1988), which cost $6 million to produce, grossed $28 million. Varney made three more Ernest films with Disney after the success of the first two. Five others were released independently, primarily for television markets. Ernest Goes to Jail (1990), Ernest Rides Again (1993), Ernest Goes to School (1994), and Ernest in the Army rounded out the series (1998).

Ernest’s popularity spawned an entire line of merchandise over the years, including tie-in products such as greeting cards and a talking doll. Varney won an Emmy Award for Best Performer in a Children’s Series in 1988 for his Saturday morning children’s show, Hey Vern, It’s Ernest. He also appeared as a guest star on popular TV shows such as Roseanne and The Simpsons.

Learn More: Top 30 Richest Actors In The World

Post-Ernest Roles

Varney’s first film role other than Ernest was Jed Clampett in the 1993 big-screen adaptation of the comedy TV series Beverly Hillbillies. He also provided the voice of Slinky Dog in the blockbuster animated films Toy Story (1995) and Toy Story 2 (1999). He also appeared in 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain as Lothar Zogg, opposite Hulk Hogan (1998).


Varney was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1998. He then had surgery to remove the majority of his right lung, followed by radiation treatments. Varney publicly revealed his cancer battle in 1999, but he continued to work, finishing his last film, Daddy and Them (2001), starring and directed by Billy Bob Thornton. He died on February 10, 2000, at the age of 50, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Further Reading

Related Lists of Celebrities’ Net Worth

Or, browse all celebrities’ net worth.

Who Are The 30 Richest Actors In The World?

The list of the world’s richest actors can change from year to year, depending on their current net worth and financial performance. Here is the current list of the 30 richest actors in the world, based on the latest Forbes list, and some interesting facts about each of them.

Learn More: Top 30 Richest Actors In The World

Leave a Comment