Ernie Sabella

Actor, Singer
"Hey, I'm short and sorta fat. I can make people laugh. That's about it" is how character actor Ernie Sabella describes himself. A specialist in low-level sleaze and surliness, he has spiced up productions on stage, TV ... Read more »
Born: 09/18/1949 in Bronx, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (46)

That's So Raven 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Lion King 1 1/2 2003 (Movie)

Pumbaa (Voice)

Ed 1984 - 1992, 1994 - 1995, 1997 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Providence 1984 - 1992, 1994 - 1995, 1997 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Quantum Leap 1984 - 1992, 1994 - 1995, 1997 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Practice 1984 - 1988, 1990 - 1992, 1994 - 1995, 1997 - 2001 (Tv Show)

Actor

Annie (TV) 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Mad About You 1984 - 1988, 1990 - 1992, 1994 - 1995, 1997 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Actor

Malcolm and Eddie 1984 - 1988, 1990 - 1992, 1997 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Actor

Encore! Encore! 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa 1995 - 1999 (TV Show)

Voice

The Out-Of-Towners 1999 (Movie)

Getaway Driver (Actor)

A Different World 1984 - 1988, 1990 - 1992, 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

A Magical Walt Disney World Christmas 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Coach 1984 - 1988, 1990 - 1992, 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

Davis Rules 1984 - 1988, 1991 - 1992, 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

Disney's One Saturday Morning 1984 - 1988, 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Voice

Major Dad 1984 - 1988, 1990 - 1992, 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

Married... With Children 1984 - 1988, 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Lion King II: Simba's Pride 1998 (Movie)

of Pumbaa (Voice)

In & Out 1997 (Movie)

Aldo Hooper (Actor)

Mouse Hunt 1997 (Movie)

Maury (Actor)

Roommates 1995 (Movie)

Stash (Actor)

The 67th Annual Academy Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Quiz Show 1994 (Movie)

Car Salesman (Actor)

Stand By Me 1994 (Movie)

of Pumbaa (Voice)

The Lion King 1994 (Movie)

of Pumbaa (Voice)

Seinfeld 1992 (Tv Show)

Actor

Going Under 1991 (Movie)

(Actor)

I'm Home 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Fright Night II 1989 (Movie)

Dr Harrison (Actor)

A Fine Romance 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Punky Brewster 1984 - 1988 (Tv Show)

Actor

She's the Sheriff 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Perfect Strangers 1985 - 1987 (Tv Show)

Actor

Roxie 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Tough Guys 1986 (Movie)

Hotel Clerk (Actor)

Cheers 1985 (Tv Show)

Actor

It's Your Move 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

100 Centre Street 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

City Heat 1984 (Movie)

Ballistics Expert (Actor)

13 Thirteenth Avenue 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Copacabana (TV Show)

Actor

Just My Imagination (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

"Hey, I'm short and sorta fat. I can make people laugh. That's about it" is how character actor Ernie Sabella describes himself. A specialist in low-level sleaze and surliness, he has spiced up productions on stage, TV, and increasingly, on the big screen. Sabella established himself on Broadway and regional theater before becoming a familiar TV face in sitcoms, busted pilots, and occasional TV dramas since the mid-1980s. Teen sitcom cultists may remember him as the cheesy building super who continually attempted to thwart junior grifter Jason Bateman on the uproarious "It's Your Move" (NBC, 1984-85). Sabella has also managed to amass an impressive list of guest spots including a subway nudist in a memorable "Seinfeld" outing; a member of the Short Guys Club who demands an apology from "Murphy Brown"; and a P.I. hired by Norm to follow his possibly errant wife on "Cheers".

Sabella worked with rising stage star Nathan Lane in the acclaimed 1992 Broadway revival of "Guys and Dolls". While the musical was still in rehearsals, the pair insisted on reading together for two roles in Disney's "The Lion King" (1994)--and the results were deemed magical. Sabella and Lane were given free rein to improvise and both their expressive vocal and physical mannerisms were incorporated into the animation. Sabella was Pumbaa the flatulent warthog to Lane's Timon the meercat. The scene-stealing comedy team was also a hit on the road as they promoted the latest Disney behemoth. Sabella had previously appeared in just a few small film roles but several other assignments quickly followed, including Robert Redford's period TV drama, "Quiz Show", and the family drama "Roommates" (both 1994).

Relationships

Cheryl

Companion

Lorraine Sabella

Mother
died in 1978 divorced from Sabella's father

David Sabella

Brother
born c. 1965

EDUCATION

University of Miami

Miami , Florida

University of London

Milestones

1998

Replaced Joel Grey in the role of Amos Hart in the Broadway revival of "Chicago"; co-starred with his brother David who was featured as Little Mary Sunshine

1997

Made cameo appearance in "Mousehunt", starring Lane

1995

Co-starred with Lane in Broadway revival of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

1994

Succeeded Lane as the star of a series of Nyquil TV ads (on Lane's recommendation)

1994

First substantial feature role, the voice of Pumbaa in Disney's blockbuster animated feature, "The Lion King"

1992

Worked with actor Nathan Lane in the Broadway production of "Guys and Dolls"; played Harry the Horse

1992

While "Guys and Dolls" was still in rehearsals, auditioned for "The Lion King" role of Pumbaa the warthog with Nathan Lane performing Timon the meerkat

1989

Cast as a regular character, George Shipman, on the short-lived comedy-adventure, "A Fine Romance"

1987

Cast as a regular character, Vito Carteri, on the short-lived (two episodes) sitcom, "Roxie"

1984

TV series debut as a regular, "It's Your Move"; played Lou Donatelli on the NBC sitcom

1984

Feature debut, "City Heat", starring Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds

1983

TV debut, playing a troll in "13 Thirteenth Avenue", an unsold horror-comedy pilot

Cast as Donald 'Twinkie' Twinkacetti, a regular during the first season of the popular ABC sitcom "Perfect Strangers"

Broadway debut, playing the head in the trunk in "The Robber Bridegroom"

Raised in Pleasantville, New York

Had featured role in the NBC sitcom "Encore! Encore!", starring Nathan Lane

Starred as Pseudolous in the La Jolla Playhouse production of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" in California

Began acting in high school at the urging of drama teacher Rose Cremenese

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