The Importance of Being Ernie
From My Three Sons to Mad Men, a Hollywood Survivor Tells All
I SPENT MY ENTIRE LIFE PLAYING NERDS. . .—Barry Livingston
A true Hollywood survivor, Barry Livingston is one of the few child stars who turned early success into a lifelong career. As "Ernie" on the 1960s sit-com My Three Sons—which also featured his real-life brother Stanley as "Chip"—Barry become instantly recognizable for his horn-rimmed glasses and goofy charm. Five decades later, after working on TV shows like Mad Men and Desperate Housewives, and in feature films like Zodiac and The Social Network, Barry Livingston is one actor who knows The Importance of Being Ernie. . .
In this fascinating and funny memoir, Barry reveals his most unforgettable anecdotes: Working on set with Fred McMurray, Ozzie and Harriet, Lucille Ball and Dick Van Dyke. Riding a limousine with Elvis Presley. Trying to upstage Ron "Opie" Howard. Even shooting a Superbowl beer commercial with Brad Pitt. At first, Barry's lazy eye and horn-rimmed glasses nearly derailed his career, getting him kicked off his first major film starring Paul Newman. Eventually, his "nerdy" look became his biggest asset, landing Barry a recurring role on Ozzie & Harriet and a regular part on My Three Sons. Fifty years later, Barry is still going strong—from the stage and small screen to to featured film roles opposite Adam Sandler and Robert Downey, Jr.. Like most Hollywood actors, Barry experienced some incredible highs and lows along the way, but he never gave up. "I've been around half a century," he affirms. "And I'm not going away." This is how one child star beat the odds and survived the dark side of the Hollywood dream factory—with charm, wit, determination. . .and big horn-rimmed glasses. This is The Importance of Being Ernie.
Barry Livingston has been a professional actor on stage and screen for more than fifty years. Best known for his role as "Ernie" on the long-running TV program, My Three Sons, Livingston continues to appear regularly in feature films and television shows. He is married with two children, and lives in Los Angeles.
Praise For The Importance Of Being Ernie
"This wryly told saga of a child star who miraculously avoided the crash-and-burn fate of so many of the once-famous. . . an engaging tale of the unusual life of a humorous, modest, and observant man. Barry Livingston delivers a frank and funny tale of TV, movies, and family life." —Brent Maddock, co-author of Tremors and Short Circuit
"For a child star, he's almost normal. This poor kid had to sit on William Frawley's lap; we're lucky he's not on a roof with a rifle. . .. Barry is one of those rare child stars who grew up to become an accomplished adult actor. Having logged fifty years in show business, working with everyone from Lucille Ball and Jack Benny to Brad Pitt and Robert Downey, Jr., he's got a great story to tell." —Paul Jackson, Producer Charmed and Sliders.
"I have known Barry Livingston since he was nine years old. He always made me laugh. Now he's kept me awake reading his wonderful autobiography. There's a lot of talent in those size eight shoes." —Gene Reynolds, director of TV's M.A.S.H.and Promised Land
- Kensington, October 2011
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