Actor Ernie Lively, whose career spanned five decades in Hollywood, has died at 74.
The actor’s rep verified with PEOPLE that Lively died on Thursday, June 3, 2021, following cardiac complications in Los Angeles, California. Lively leaves behind his wife of 42 years, Elaine Lively, and his five children, including actress Blake Lively.
Lively’s career dates back to the 1975’s fan-favorite series, The Waltons. He portrayed Longstreet B. Davenport on Dukes of Hazzard and appeared on The Beverly Hillbillies, Murder, She Wrote, and many other popular shows. Lively also starred in numerous movies and even portrayed his real-life daughter’s onscreen father in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
According to PEOPLE, Lively underwent heart surgery in 2013 after realizing his heart only partially functioned. Lively was the first known patient to receive retrograde gene therapy as a treatment for the heart. The procedure involves injecting a patient’s own stem cells into the heart to repair muscle and artery damage.
“I woke up the other morning and told my wife, ‘I haven’t felt this good in years,'” Ernie told the outlet following surgery. “I moved to Utah because of the snow, but I haven’t been able to ski. I literally didn’t have the heart to do it. Now, I’m excited about living the rest of my life instead of sitting around.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Lively’s family and friends.