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Actor Ernie Lively has sadly passed away at the age of 74 following cardiac complications, his family has announced.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the talented star was surrounded by his wife Elaine and all of his children, including actress Blake Lively, when he died.

Ernie made a huge name for himself during his 50-year career in the acting business, starring in movies such as The Dukes of Hazzard and Turner & Hooch.

Most famously, he played his daughter Blake's on-screen father in two of her Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies before she hit the big time with the drama Gossip Girl.


Born in Baltimore, Ernie worked as an English professor and served as a lieutenant during the Vietnam war before turning his focus to acting.

As well as his success in movies, he was also credited in television shows such as Murder, She Wrote, Seinfeld and The X-Files.

Ernie's love for the business was clearly evident as all five of his children following him into acting.

While Blake has experienced the most mainstream success, one of his other daughters Lori, 54, now works as a respected acting coach.

Ernie's three other children Jason, Eric and Robyn have also worked steadily in the business for several years.

Ernie previously had a heart attack in 2003 and, ten years later, made medical history when he became the first patient to undergo retrograde gene therapy for the heart.

Speaking after the surgery, Ernie told People: "I woke up the other morning and told my wife, 'I haven't felt this good in years.'"

"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. Dr. Patel saved my life."

Blake, who is married to actor Ryan Reynolds, is yet to comment publicly on the passing of her father.

Ernie is survived by his wife Elaine, sister Judith, four children and nine grandchildren.

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