printed copy

The Importance Of Being Ernie

Barry Livingston

ISBN 9780806535098
Publish Date 10/25/2011
Format Hardcover
Categories Memoirs, Biography, TV/Film/Theatre, Citadel

“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

About Barry Livingston:

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.

Photo Credit: Lorenzo Hodges



Average Customer Review

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Customer Review

“A Sweet Trip Back to Bryant Park…and Beyond” (Monday, November 28, 2011)
Reviewer: Nancy Narma

Are you a child of the fifties? Do you remember “My Three Sons” –the popular sitcom of the fifties, sixties and beyond? What teenage girl didn’t tune in every week to gaze longingly, wishing Robbie or Chip lived next door? (Sorry Barry, Ernie was a bit too young for me—but we loved you just the same!) You will walk down memory lane with Barry Livingston, the talented actor (and real-life Brother to “Chip”--Stanley Livingston) who portrayed the youngest of the hunky Douglas household. You will learn behind the scenes stories about the “My Three Sons” cast, that you never knew. Barry will take you on a personal journey through his childhood adventures and his acting debut and adult history. You’ll chuckle with the regaling of some of his experiences, both on and off the set and give you the “inside skinny” on some well-known actors and actresses. I can’t decide which remembrance is my favorite; “Meeting Elvis” or “Hitching a ride with Myrna Loy”. Both are priceless. Barry proves that a child star can redefine himself and succeed. As you will discover, his talents go way beyond acting. Barry has also included a treasure trove of photos, which I enjoyed immensely and believe you will as well. Thank-you Barry, for the sweet memories of yesteryear. You will never be forgotten, for somewhere inside that manly exterior, is “Everyone’s Little Brother” , complete with overbite, horn-rimmed glasses and mischief in his eye just waiting to re-emerge. Here’s hoping a cast (or what is left of the original one) reunion and perhaps a movie is in the offing. We need to remind ourselves of the innocence of those decades and perhaps, just for a while—smile. I send best wishes for continued success.
Nancy Narma


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