Ernie Lively, a character actor who amassed more than 100 credits during a 45-year film and TV career and was Blake Lively’s father, has died. He was 74. The actor’s rep confirmed to Deadline that he died June 2 in Los Angeles of cardiac complications.
He played the father of Blake Lively’s character in 2005’s The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and its 2008 sequel.
Ernie Lively began his screen career with guest roles on such popular series as The Waltons, Fantasy Island and a recurring role on The Dukes of Hazzard. He focused mainly on TV series and telefilms during the 1970s and ’80s, appearing in multiple episodes of Hill Street Blues, Falcon Crest, Newhart and later Murder, She Wrote and The West Wing. He also guested on such hit shows as Seinfeld, Fame, Scarecrow & Mrs. King, Remington Steele and thirtysomething.
He began to land small roles in films by the late ’80s, appearing in Turner & Hooch, Shocker, Hard to Kill, Air America, The Man in the Moon, Passenger 57 and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, among others.
Born Ernest Brown Jr. on January 29, 1947, in Baltimore, Lively served in the Marines in Vietnam before turning to acting. He also was an acting coach and mentor, credited with helping to shape the careers of such clients as Alyson Hannigan, Brittany Murphy, Scott Grimes and others — including his children Blake and Eric Likely and stepchildren Lori, Jason and Robyn Lively.
He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Elaine Lively; all five children and son-in-law Ryan Reynolds; a sister, Judith; and several grandchildren.