Ernie Lively, an actor best known for playing the father of his daughter Blake Lively’s character in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, has passed away. Lively, whose career as an actor spanned 50 years, reportedly died on Thursday of cardiac complications in Los Angeles while surrounded by his wife and all of his children. He was 74 years old.
In response to the news, actor and Ernie’s friend Jim Beaver posted to Twitter: “My buddy, fellow actor, fellow Marine Vietnam vet Ernie Lively has died at 74. I hadn’t seen much of him since he moved away from LA, but I treasure all my memories of working and hanging out with him. Welcome home, Marine.”
Ernest Wilson Brown Jr., aka Ernie Lively, was born on Jan. 29, 1947. In 1979, he married talent manager Elaine Lively, with whom he fathered actors Blake and Eric Lively. Ernie also adopted Elaine’s three children from her previous marriage. Along with his acting endeavors, Lively also worked as an English professor and served as a lieutenant in Vietnam, returning as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. The actor was also known as a mentor for many budding actors looking to make it in Hollywood.
After serving in the military, Lively took up acting. Some of his earliest work includes roles on shows like The Waltons, The Dukes of Hazzard, and Misfits of Science. The actor would later have roles in other well-known programs such as The X-Files, Seinfeld, Murder, She Wrote, and The West Wing. He has also appeared in movies like Air America, Showdown in Little Tokyo, The Man in the Moon, The Beverly Hillbillies, Mulholland Falls, and Wes Craven’s horror flick Shocker. In the late 70s and early 80s, Lively appeared frequently in commercials for Hardee’s alongside Phil McHale.
Perhaps the best known role for Lively is as Mr. Vreeland in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, the father of Blake Lively’s character Bridget Vreeland. He reprised the role for the sequel The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. Lively also had a memorable role as Chief Leonard Biggs in the 1992 action movie Passenger 52 with Wesley Snipes, Bruce Payne, Elizabeth Hurley, and Tom Sizemore. The actor’s final credit was for last year’s mystery thriller Phobic.
Enrie Lively is also the patriarch of a family of actors. As noted above, he is the father of Blake Lively, who made her professional acting debut in Ernie’s movie Sandman. Other actors in the family include Ernie’s sons Jason Lively (National Lampoon’s European Vacation) and Eric Lively (So Weird, The L Word) and daughters Robyn Lively (Twin Peaks, Doogie Howser, M.D.) and Lori Lively (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, ER).
Ernie’s also include his wife, Elaine; children Bart, Lani, and Ryan; nine grandchildren; and a sister, Judith. Our thoughts go out to the Lively family at this difficult time. Ernie will always be remembered and he would certainly be proud to see his legacy living on through his family. May he rest in peace. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.
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