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The Lexington Cemetery is the final resting place for many people. Among them is James Albert Varney Jr., known for playing Ernest P. Worrell in a series of films and commercials.
Starting his career on television, Varney became a regular on Johnny Cash and Friends. In 1980, he first appeared as Ernest in a commercial for Beech Bend Park in Kentucky. The character played by Varney would later appear in commercials for Mello Yello, Guy’s Potato Chips, and many local ads. With his catchphrase, “Know what I mean, Vern?” Varney became a successful pitchman.
The character’s popularity made it into the mainstream with the Saturday morning show, Hey Vern! It’s Ernest, which would win Varney a Daytime Emmy Award. Varney would eventually bring Ernest to the big screen in numerous films.
Varney played a variety of roles such as Jed Clampett in the movie version of The Beverly Hillbillies, a rich billionaire on Roseanne, and Slinky Dog in the first two Toy Story films. Varney died from lung cancer in 200o at the age of 50. He was buried alongside his family in Lexington, Kentucky where he was also born and raised.
His grave is often decorated with pictures and cans of Mello Yello. He’s fondly remembered by the fans that grew up loving his films.
Know Before You Go
The Lexington Cemetery is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The grave location is Section C-1, Lot Q, Grave 28. There’s a map when you first arrive.