Ernie Sabella

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Ernie Sabella
Born Ernest Sabella
(1949-09-19) September 19, 1949 (age 68)
Westchester County, New York, U.S.[1]
Occupation Actor, voice actor
Years active 1976–present
Known for Voice of Pumbaa
Notable work The Lion King
Spouse(s) Cheryl Sabella (m. 1999)

Ernest "Ernie" Sabella[1] (born September 19, 1949) is an American actor and voice actor who is best known for his role as the voice of Pumbaa from The Lion King franchise. He is also known for his work in Broadway theatre, including starring roles in Guys and Dolls and Man of La Mancha.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Westchester, New York, Sabella graduated from Westlake High School in Thornwood, New York and from the University of Miami,[2] where he studied at the Department of Theatre Arts and performed at the university's Jerry Herman Ring Theatre.

His stage credits include The Robber Bridegroom (1976), Little Johnny Jones (1982), Guys and Dolls (1992) as Harry the Horse, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1996), Chicago as Amos Hart (replacement), Man of La Mancha (2002, as Sancho Panza) and Sweet Charity (2005).[3]

Film credits include Quiz Show (1994) as the car salesman, In & Out (1997) as Aldo Hooper, Disney's The Lion King (1994) and multiple sequels and spin-offs as Pumbaa. He also has worked with Nathan Lane, who had voiced Timon, in Guys and Dolls, Mouse Hunt, The Producers (in a deleted scene) and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. In the latter production, Sabella portrayed Marcus Lycus while Lane played Pseudolus. Sabella also joined Lane for his Saturday Night Live monologue, where they sang "Hakuna Matata".

On television, Sabella portrayed apartment manager Lou Donatelli in the Jason Bateman comedy It's Your Move (1984–85).[4] He appeared in an episode of Cheers titled "Love Thy Neighbor" (Season Four Episode Eight air date November 21, 1985)[4] in which he played the role of a private investigator named Santo Carbone, who was Carla Tortelli's cousin. He played store owner and landlord Donald Twinkacetti on Perfect Strangers (1986–1987). [4] He played Leo in the short-lived situation comedy Encore! Encore! starring Nathan Lane (2000).[4] Sabella had a five-episode stint on Saved by the Bell in 1991 as Leon Carosi,[4] an uptight resort manager and owner who employed the main cast's characters. Leah Remini was featured as his daughter. His other recurring roles include the lazy teacher Mr. Petrachelli on That's So Raven (2003), the floundering attorney Harland Bassett on The Practice (2000-2001), and characters on Newhart (1983).[4]

In the Quantum Leap episode "Catch a Falling Star", he played the dual role of Manny, a stage actor, and Sancho Panza, Manny's character in a touring production of Man of La Mancha. Sabella had a brief appearance as a naked man on a subway train in a 1992 episode of Seinfeld titled "The Subway".[4]

He starred in a series of television commercials for NyQuil cold medicine in 1994 and was recently seen in a MasterCard commercial (2007). He also did work as the guy from Lynx in 2003.

Sabella co-starred as Sidney Bernstein in the Broadway musical comedy Curtains, which opened officially on March 22, 2007[5] and ran until June 29, 2008.

Sabella voiced the character Siegecrafter Blackfuse in World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.

He played the role of apartment building superintendent Leon in the 9th episode "Hold Outs" of the 6th season (2015) of the CBS police procedural drama Blue Bloods. [4]

In 2015, Sabella reprised his voice role as Pumbaa in the TV pilot movie The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar.

In 2016, Sabella became a full-time cast member for the Disney Junior television series The Lion Guard.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Sabella met his wife Cheryl backstage during a Broadway performance of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum in 1996, they married in 1999.[7][2] His wife works as a computer programmer in their home town.[2]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1984 City Heat Ballistics Expert
1986 Tough Guys Hotel Clerk
1988 Fright Night Part 2 Dr. Harrison
1990 Faith Stanley
Going Under The Mole
1994 The Lion King Pumbaa (voice)
Quiz Show Car Salesman
1995 Roommates Stash
1996 Around the World with Timon & Pumbaa Pumbaa (voice) Direct-to-video
1997 In & Out Aldo Hopper
MouseHunt Maury, the Cat Care Society Owner
1998 The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride Pumbaa (voice) Direct-to-video
1999 The Out-of-Towners Getaway Driver
2001 Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse Pumbaa (voice) Direct-to-video
2004 The Lion King 1½ Pumbaa (voice) Direct-to-video
2010 Listen to Your Heart Tony
2015 The Challenger Frankie
2016 Bakery in Brooklyn Dave

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1980 Broadway on Showtime Sing Song, Big Harp Episode: "Little Johnny Jones", "The Robber Bridegroom
1982 St. Elsewhere Patient Episode: "Pilot"
1982–1984 Cagney & Lacey Cabbie Episodes: "A Killer's Dozen", "Recreational Use"
1983 The New Odd Couple Policeman Episode: "My Strife in Court"
1983 13 Thirteenth Avenue Vlastock Spoltechzep TV Movie
1983 Newhart Ed Halstead, Police Officer Episodes: "The Looks of Love", "The Man Who Came Forever", "A View from the Bench"
1983–1984 Knots Landing Frank Edmunds Episodes: "Finishing Touches", "Loss of Innocence"
1983–1987 Hill Street Blues Pauli, Paulie Shellcop, Paulie 4 episodes
1984 Alice Franklin Episode: "Vera, the Horse Thief"
Oh Madeline Phelps Episode: "Monday Night Madeline"
The Facts of Life Husband Episode: "All by Herself"
The New Mike Hammer Salvatore Juno Episodes: "The Perfect Twenty", "Vickie's Song"
Domestic Life Ralph Pomeroy Episode: "Showdown at Walla Walla"
100 Centre Street Harry Pike TV Movie
Punky Brewster Elroy Kramer Episode: "Parents Night"
1984–1985 It's Your Move Lou Donatelli 18 episodes
1985 Diff'rent Strokes Ben Episode: "Sam's Missing"
Hardcastle and McCormick Clyde Whitley Episode: "Strange Hold"
Cheers Santo Carbone, Stan Episodes: "Love Thy Neighbor", "Whodunit"
Copacabana Sam Gropper TV Movie
1986 It's a Living Walter Cliff Episode: "Gander Gap"
Benson Bo Episode: "Parade Rest"
1986–1987 Perfect Strangers Mr. Donald 'Twinkie' Twinkacetti 22 episodes
1987 Roxie Vito Carteri 6 episodes
Married... with Children Mr. Pond Episode: "Peggy Sue Got Work"
Hunter Earnie Episode: "Turning Point"
1988 Sledge Hammer! Al Fresco Episode: "The Secret of My Excess"
Mr. Belvedere Mr. Plumer Episode: "Roommates"
1989 A Fine Romance George Shipman 13 episodes
Open House Episode: "Murder, He Wrote"
My Two Dads Officer Ringer Episode: "Dad Patrol"
Quantum Leap Manny, Sancho Panza Episode: "Catch a Falling Star - May 21, 1979"
1990 Coach Ernie Episode: "Men Don't Heal"
1990–1991 Good Grief Tyrone, Flipper Episodes: "The Big Bang Theory", "Cub Scouts and Horses & Whiskers on Kittens"
1991 Babes Mo Episode: "The Last Temptation of Marlene"
Murphy Brown Julian Episode: "Small"
Saved by the Bell Leon Carosi 6 episodes
Major Dad Phil Episode: "Lady in Waiting"
1992 Seinfeld Naked Man Episode: "The Subway"
A Different World Campus Security Episode: "The Cat's in the Cradle"
Davis Rules Coach Episode: "Strike Down the Band"
Dangerous Curves Jack Kilty Episode: "Die Laughing"
Just My Imagination Arnold Mayer TV Movie
1994 Mad About You Maurice Episode: "Till Death Do Us Part"
1995 Pins and Needles Marvin TV Movie
Blame It on Ernie
1995–1999 Timon & Pumbaa Pumbaa, Bampuu (voice) 85 episodes
1997 Disney's One Saturday Morning Pumbaa (voice)
1998–1999 Encore! Encore! Leo 5 episodes
1999–2001 The Practice Harland Bassett 4 episodes
1999 Malcolm & Eddie Mort Diamond Episode: "The Tapawingo Witch Project"
The Wonderful World of Disney Mr. Bundles Episode: "Annie"
2000 Find Out Why Pumbaa (voice) 8 episodes
Providence Lou Keppler 3 episodes
2001 Ed Gary Swirdlock Episode: "Hook, Line and Sinker"
2001–2002 Disney's House of Mouse Pumbaa (voice) 14 episodes
2003 That's So Raven Mr. Petrachelli Episodes: " Escape Claus", "Mother Dearest"
2015 Blue Bloods Leon Episode: "Holds Out"
2015 The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar Pumbaa (voice) TV Movie
2016–present The Lion Guard Pumbaa (voice) 9 episodes

Other[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1997–1998 Timon & Pumbaa's Wild Adventures series Pumbaa Voice
2008–2013 Timon & Pimbaa: Wild About Safety series

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role
1995 Animated Storybook: The Lion King Pumbaa
Timon & Pumbaa's Jungle Pinball
The Lion King: Activity Center
Timon & Pumbaa's Jungle Games
1998 The Lion King II: Simba's Pride Active Play
2000 The Lion King: Simba's Mighty Adventure
2003-2004 Timon & Pumbaa Virtual Safari
2004 Who Wants to be King of the Jungle
2005 Kingdom Hearts II
2007 Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix+

Theme park attractions[edit]

Year Title Role
1995–present Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable Pumbaa

Awards and nominations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ernie Sabella Biography". FilmReference.com. Film Reference. Archived from the original on 18 April 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "A real character: Actor Ernie Sabella sets up shop in Southern Nevada" Las Vegas Sun, January 17, 2002
  3. ^ Sabella Broadway" ibdb.com, retrieved February 15, 2018
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Ernie Sabella Credits" tvguide.com, retrieved February 15, 2018
  5. ^ Bacalzo, Dan (2007-01-04). "Full Cast Set for Broadway's Curtains: Ernie Sabella Joins Musical". TM Theater News. TheaterMania Inc. Retrieved 2007-01-12. 
  6. ^ Lion Guard ew.com
  7. ^ Gladstone, Douglas. "Remember The Naked Subway Rider In Seinfeld? Meet Ernie Sabella" Westchester Magazine, June 2014

External links[edit]