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Authors: Barry Livingston

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The Importance of Being Ernie:

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The Importance of Being Ernie
 
From
My Three Sons
to
Mad Men
, a Hollywood Survivor Tells All
 
BARRY LIVINGSTON
 
 
CITADEL PRESS
Kensington Publishing Corp.
WWW.KENSINGTONBOOKS.COM
 
All copyrighted material within is Attributor Protected.
There are so many people—family, friends, and colleagues—who I owe a debt of gratitude, for enriching my career and my life. To them I offer my heartfelt thanks. One person deserves so much more, my wife, Karen. She has been my touchstone for over three decades. Her patience, wisdom, humor, counsel, and love elevate me in every way. To her I dedicate this book.
Table of Contents
 
Title Page
Foreword
PROLOGUE
 
CHAPTER 1
-
Birth of a Nerd
 
CHAPTER 2
-
Wild on Wilcox
 
CHAPTER 3
-
Swim School and the Big Break
 
CHAPTER 4
-
A Well-Rounded Performer
 
CHAPTER 5
-
Working with Legends
 
CHAPTER 6
-
Memories Are Magic
 
CHAPTER 7
-
The Top Secret TV Series
 
CHAPTER 8
-
Moving Up in the World
 
CHAPTER 9
-
My Six Loves
 
CHAPTER 10
-
The Amazing TV
 
CHAPTER 11
-
My Three Sons
 
CHAPTER 12
-
Ernie Becomes Famous
 
CHAPTER 13
-
My Pal, Lucille Ball
 
CHAPTER 14
-
Bub and Uncle Charley
 
CHAPTER 15
-
Ernie to the Rescue
 
CHAPTER 16
-
The CBS Years and Fred De Cordova
 
CHAPTER 17
-
Making a Best Friend, Losing a Best Friend
 
CHAPTER 18
-
The Times They Are A-Changin’
 
CHAPTER 19
-
My First Girlfriend
 
CHAPTER 20
-
A Kindred Spirit and Partner in Crime
 
CHAPTER 21
-
The End Is Here, Now What?
 
CHAPTER 22
-
Free to Be Me
 
CHAPTER 23
-
The Well-Rounded Performer Sings and Dances
 
CHAPTER 24
-
Moving to the Bunker
 
CHAPTER 25
-
Work After
My Three Sons
 
CHAPTER 26
-
Myrna
 
CHAPTER 27
-
Meanwhile, Back Home at the Ranch
 
CHAPTER 28
-
Life Beyond the Camera
 
CHAPTER 29
-
My First Mentor
 
CHAPTER 30
-
Starring in a New TV Series
 
CHAPTER 31
-
The Skin of Our Teeth
 
CHAPTER 32
-
Back to Los Angeles, Yawn
 
CHAPTER 33
-
The Slow Slide into Oblivion
 
CHAPTER 34
-
Love at Long Last
 
CHAPTER 35
-
Big Changes for One and All
 
CHAPTER 36
-
The Poison Donut
 
CHAPTER 37
-
The Darkest Hours
 
CHAPTER 38
-
Staying Sober with John Cassavetes
 
CHAPTER 39
-
Finding My Soul Mate During CPR
 
CHAPTER 40
-
The Worst and the Best
 
CHAPTER 41
-
Wanted, Again
 
CHAPTER 42
-
Unwanted, Again
 
CHAPTER 43
-
Back to the Dinner Theater
 
CHAPTER 44
-
New Roles
 
CHAPTER 45
-
A Brave New Nerd
 
CHAPTER 46
-
My Dad
 
CHAPTER 47
-
Nerd in the New Millennium
 
CHAPTER 48
-
A
My Three Sons
Movie?
 
CHAPTER 49
-
Embracing Ernie
 
CHAPTER 50
-
More Top Secret Projects
 
CHAPTER 51
-
Working with Future Legends
 
CHAPTER 52
-
Big Love
 
CHAPTER 53
-
The Social Network
EPILOGUE
-
Back to the Autograph Show
Acknowledgments
Copyright Page
Foreword
 
by Stanley Livingston
 
 
 
 
My brother Barry and I have shared a lifetime together. We shared a bedroom growing up. We broke into show business together. We shared a ride to work together. We shared a dressing room. We shared credit, appearing in some of television’s most memorable shows together. We share a legacy in showbiz together.
Although there exists a little thing called nepotism in show business, I have to set the record straight. My brother has always been his own man (even as a child). Each and every television and movie part he landed—in an extraordinary fifty-plus-year career—he fought for and won because of his determination as a person and his undeniable talents as an actor.
I watched my brother wisely re-invent himself as an actor after
My Three Sons
ended in 1972. Most actors would have packed it in and started selling insurance or used cars. Not Barry. He headed off to work on the stages of Broadway and Off-Broadway, and began his career and life anew.
I watched my brother go through some challenging moments as well as some high points as an actor—and as a human being. I never heard him complain about the hardships or brag about his good fortune. My brother is stoic and relentless. He always stays the course.
Along the way, my brother found love and marriage, and became the quintessential family man. As a busy working actor, he has never put his career in front of his family. Sometimes I think my brother is “Steve Douglas” or “Ozzie Nelson” reincarnate. He has more than a picture-perfect home life. He has the “real deal”—a wife, a son, and a daughter who are truly loving and not afraid to express it.
This book is a new venture for my brother and will show another side of his many talents—his amazing gift as a writer. Of course, I already knew that. But you are about to find out. My brother can spin a yarn and has a dazzling way with words.
The Importance of Being Ernie
proves that.
For my reel- (and real-) life brother I have only love, admiration, and respect. I’m not sure we ever had a real fight. We have never been rivals—only supporters of each other’s endeavors and dreams. The truth is if Barry weren’t my brother, he’d be my best friend. Can a brother be a best friend? I’m sure of it!
 
With Love ...
Stanley Livingston
Los Angeles
March 2011
BOOK: The Importance of Being Ernie:
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