Ernest Borgnine 1917-2012
July 8, 2012 3:08 PM   Subscribe

Ernest Borgnine, Oscar-winning actor whose career spanned 60 years, died today at the age of 95. Born in Hamden, Connecticut to Italian immigrants, Borgnine spent 10 years in the Navy before trying his hand act acting at the behest of his mother. After making his acting debut on Broadway in 'Harvey', Borgnine's big movie break came in From Here to Eternity in 1953. This was followed in 1953 by an Oscar for his role in Marty. Some of Borgnine's other memorable performances included roles in Bad Day at Black Rock, The Wild Bunch, Ice Station Zebra, The Dirty Dozen, and The Poseidon Adventure.

His extensive television credits included memorable with roles in McHale's Navy and, two decades later, Airwolf. He continued his acting careeer into the 21st century, taking on various roles and voiceover work including a recurring role in the Spongebob Squarepants series.

He was also involved extensively in various charities and benefits including a 30 year run as the Grand Clown in Milwaukee's annual Great Circus Parade. In 1996 he purchased a bus and travelled cross-country to see the US and meet his many fans. He was married five times, including a notable 32-day marriage to Ethel Merman.
posted by CosmicRayCharles (124 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 


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posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:11 PM on July 8, 2012


In tribute
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:11 PM on July 8, 2012


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posted by Ink-stained wretch at 3:12 PM on July 8, 2012


Oh, that is to bad. I love watching him.
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posted by SLC Mom at 3:12 PM on July 8, 2012


He was such an interesting person to look at and watch for changes in expression. Such a long, successful run!
posted by Burhanistan at 3:14 PM on July 8, 2012


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posted by Melismata at 3:15 PM on July 8, 2012


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posted by cazoo at 3:16 PM on July 8, 2012


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posted by Thorzdad at 3:16 PM on July 8, 2012


I'll remember him today not only as a very fine actor and solid figure of a man, but also as a fella who knew how to enjoy retirement.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 3:19 PM on July 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


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posted by rocket88 at 3:20 PM on July 8, 2012


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posted by tribalspice at 3:24 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


It seems like a lot of fine people are passing lately.

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posted by gauche at 3:24 PM on July 8, 2012


Solemn strikes the funeral chime...

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posted by malocchio at 3:25 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


One of my favorites is his turn as the sadistic Shack in "Emperor of the North"

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posted by Scott H at 3:25 PM on July 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Somewhere a toy monkey taps together his cymbals for the last time.

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posted by The Whelk at 3:26 PM on July 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


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posted by Atreides at 3:26 PM on July 8, 2012


Vale. What a legend.
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posted by peacay at 3:27 PM on July 8, 2012


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posted by Smart Dalek at 3:27 PM on July 8, 2012


I first saw him in Escape from New York when he already had the likable grandpa thing going. I only recently saw From Here to Eternity and Bad Day at Black Rock and I must say that he played a couple of the best thugs ever. Wasn't expecting that at all.
posted by jake1 at 3:27 PM on July 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


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posted by gaspode at 3:27 PM on July 8, 2012


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I'm of the age that remembers him best for his role on Airwolf. I can still hum the theme song.
posted by axiom at 3:27 PM on July 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


Ernest Borgnine has always been old to me. I've loved him for decades. I'm glad he had a good run.
posted by cjorgensen at 3:29 PM on July 8, 2012


I'd like to say a few words for the dear, dead departed. And maybe a few hymns'd be in order. Followed by a church supper. With a choir!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:29 PM on July 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


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posted by radwolf76 at 3:29 PM on July 8, 2012


One of my favorite movie sequences and lines is from Marty:

Angie (Joe Mantel): What do you wanna do tonight?
Marty Pilletti (Ernest Borgnine): I dunno, Angie. What do you wanna do?


The eternal question of the lonely and bored Saturday when you're young and you need so much for something great to happen before you stop being so young anymore...

But I bet in real life Borgnine always had something fun planned on a Saturday night. He just seems like that sort of an energetic and joyful guy.

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posted by Skygazer at 3:31 PM on July 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


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posted by smirkette at 3:33 PM on July 8, 2012


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posted by lampshade at 3:36 PM on July 8, 2012


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posted by Kevin Street at 3:37 PM on July 8, 2012


Marty is one of those movies that I watch whenever it's on.

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posted by Splunge at 3:38 PM on July 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


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And Marty was 1955, not 1953, as Herb Stempel could certainly tell you.
posted by dobbs at 3:38 PM on July 8, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'll always remember a beautiful moment in Marty when he is so happy to have met Clara and feel hope for love that he punches the bus stop sign. Beautiful acting moment. RIP...
posted by jasper411 at 3:40 PM on July 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


Fuck. Rest in peace, Ernie.
posted by jonmc at 3:41 PM on July 8, 2012


Aww, I loved Airwolf as a kid. What a loss.
posted by fremen at 3:43 PM on July 8, 2012


So iconic. The first thing I saw him in (as a little kid with an early bedtime) was McHale's Navy where he was a PT boat captain who played middleman between his rowdy (and Sgt. Bilko-inspired) crew and the straight-laced commanders. Sharing the screen with Tim Conway and Car Ballantine among others, he played straight man in a very wacky comedy, but he still was clearly the star. Nothing else he did after could surprise me.

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posted by oneswellfoop at 3:43 PM on July 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


. Sorely missed, struck me as a very joyful guy.
posted by arcticseal at 3:44 PM on July 8, 2012


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posted by schade at 3:45 PM on July 8, 2012


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He was also Illustrious Brother Ernest Borgnine 33° - a Master Mason, and 33rd-degree Scottish Rite Mason. The 33rd degree is special and only awarded by your peers after what is usually a lifetime of service to the Craft and society in general.

Here he is at the 2012 Scottish Rite Leadership Conference as the keynote speaker.
posted by mrbill at 3:50 PM on July 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


Another one which, if asked about this morning, would have put the money on 'already gone'.

Anyway, spent many hours watching this guy.

Anchors away, Ernie!

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posted by trip and a half at 3:51 PM on July 8, 2012


Gah! "Aweigh!" Damn homophones.
posted by trip and a half at 3:54 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by tommasz at 3:54 PM on July 8, 2012


. "I don't want to set the world on fire, I just want to keep my nuts warm".
posted by reiichiroh at 3:54 PM on July 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you live in an eastern seaboard city, you, on a daily basis, will see guys who remind you of Ernest Borgnine. You (like me) may even be ralated to them. Ernest Borgnine's genius was how he brought them to life on the screen fully formed. Thanks , paisan.
posted by jonmc at 3:55 PM on July 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


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posted by shakespeherian at 3:55 PM on July 8, 2012


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It feels like he was in every other movie I watched growing up. And Airwolf.
posted by Artw at 3:56 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by brujita at 3:57 PM on July 8, 2012


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A friend of mine spent a day with him shooting interview footage for a DVD a number of years ago. Ernest was always one of my favorite actors, and I asked what he was like, and his eyes got wide, and he said:

"He's like... Santa."

He had nothing but good things to say about him, and struck him as one of the nicest, most friendly and genuine guys he has ever met.
posted by chambers at 3:59 PM on July 8, 2012 [13 favorites]


Now only Kirk Douglas remains...
posted by Senator at 4:03 PM on July 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I got to meet him once waaay back when I was a kid, during the McHale's Navy years --- I remember thinking my daddy must be really special, because this big movie star came out of his way in the restaurant we were at to shake my daddy's hand..... I didn't know at the time how much Mr. Borgnine enjoyed meeting other sailors, and that he'd come running over because he'd seen my father's Navy uniform.

Anyhow, Ernest Borgnine wasn't the first famous person I met, but he impressed me with how thoughtful and generous of a gentleman he was.

Sailor, ship your oars.
posted by easily confused at 4:03 PM on July 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


Our paths crossed on a movie location when I was 16. Seemed like a amicable guy until I lit a cigarette in front of him (ahhh, the '70's...). He went into full-on scary Borgnine and chewed my ass out. Scared the crap out of me.
posted by wallabear at 4:09 PM on July 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Marty is one of my favorite movies, but my favorite bit from him is from Baseketball.
posted by rhizome at 4:12 PM on July 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


A true genius. I recently was watching "Pulp Fiction" and it now occurs to me how much better that film could have been if Borginine had played Marsellus Wallace.
posted by thelonius at 4:13 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by vibrotronica at 4:13 PM on July 8, 2012


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Before he died, Ernest Borgnine gave us all the secret of his longevity, for which we thank him.
posted by Roentgen at 4:14 PM on July 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


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I'll be running home tonight past Tortilla Flats in the West Village, home of the annual Borgnine Night, and I'm sure there will be a vigil.

God bless, and R.I.P.
posted by AJaffe at 4:14 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]




A lovely man, and great talent. "Marty" rings as true today as it did back then. He was perfectly cast in the role.

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posted by dbiedny at 4:18 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by brundlefly at 4:22 PM on July 8, 2012


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The fact he was still working was impressive.
And in so many, many things.
Including things I didn't know existed.
Future Cop: The Series, for example.

I suspect he's going to be the gift that keeps on giving for many years.
posted by Mezentian at 4:23 PM on July 8, 2012


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posted by Mintyblonde at 4:24 PM on July 8, 2012


I really loved him. Damn! :(
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posted by Katjusa Roquette at 4:34 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


When my great uncle Morris was a boy, he ran away to join the navy. He had a long run of it, and they pulled him in again to be Chief Petty Officer aboard a submarine that sunk an aircraft carrier that attacked Pearl Harbor.

This, my father liked to tell me, was the basis for the film Torpedo Run. In that film, the Chief Petty Officer was played by Ernest Borgnine. So I grew up with him as the actor who played a family member.

Morris died a long time ago. And then again today.

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posted by Bunny Ultramod at 4:42 PM on July 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


College buddy and I had this thing where if we were channel surfing and landed on anything with him in it, well, that was what we watched for the duration. This was late 70s and he was Every.Where. It morphed into a drinking game whenever we saw Ernest "just sign the check. Yeah, okay, I glanced at the script now start the cameras and let's roll" Borgnine. Everything within those quotations became longer drawn-out "Aristocrat" moments with each sighting. Good times.

He outlived my friend by 10 years.

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posted by hal9k at 4:55 PM on July 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


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Very sad. EB was my facebook celebrity look-alike. And I love that he reach a new generation with his voice acting as Mermaidman in the Spongebob series. I kinda thought he would live forever.
posted by Mittenz at 5:05 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


When I was a youngster, my Dad never talked about his time in the Navy during WWII. So when I watched McHale's Navy, I thought that was the kind of shenanigans that Dad enjoyed during his time in the South Pacific.

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posted by jabo at 5:11 PM on July 8, 2012


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He really classed up Escape From New York.
posted by porpoise at 5:13 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seconding ThatFuzzyBastard with Borgnine on The Bus as a very touching look at the guy.

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posted by Purposeful Grimace at 5:15 PM on July 8, 2012


Escape from New York, man; the ending owed as much to his character as it did to Snake Plissken.

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posted by Halloween Jack at 5:30 PM on July 8, 2012


The Whelk above brought up one of he less remembered roles with the cymbal monkey line, that as the grandpa who tells his grandson stories of Merlin and his shop of Mystical Wonders, which usually turned out to be terrifying and not really in keeping with Borgnine's charming persona. Made him out to be something of a sadist, a kind of evil Peter Falk.

I say "less remembered," but the fanaticism MST fans tend to show means it'll probably be one of the primary ways his memory lives on. It's not easy to find McHale's Navy on the air anymore but MST3K DVDs are easily available from Netflix I hear.
posted by JHarris at 5:35 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Borgnine will for me forever be associated in my mind to The Devil's Rain, a mindbogglingly bad and cheesy '70s horror movie where he shared credits with Shatner's toupee and had himself a Satan-Goat do with hors an all. It truly is one of those things you must watch to convince yourself it actually exists. Brave man, to have taken on such a role and munched through all the scenery with gusto.
posted by Iosephus at 5:38 PM on July 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by Renoroc at 5:38 PM on July 8, 2012


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posted by ob1quixote at 5:40 PM on July 8, 2012


Barnacle Boy will be very sad and lonely tonight.
posted by kjh at 5:41 PM on July 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Iosephus, follow me to Deadly Blessing (two shots to begin and one more each time he utters "Incubus" at Sharon "just hand me the script and cue me when to take my top off" Stone).
posted by hal9k at 5:47 PM on July 8, 2012


I say "less remembered," but the fanaticism MST fans tend to show means it'll probably be one of the primary ways his memory lives on. It's not easy to find McHale's Navy on the air anymore but MST3K DVDs are easily available from Netflix I hear.

Not to mention Spongebob. And a movie you may have heard of: The Dirty Dozen. (Both of which I can use to explain to the kids who I'm talking about. Such a distinctive voice and face.)
posted by DU at 5:48 PM on July 8, 2012


Friend of mine ran into him at the supermarket a couple months back. Very gracious, and a good sport.

Thanks, Mr. Borgnine.
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:49 PM on July 8, 2012


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posted by disclaimer at 5:50 PM on July 8, 2012


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(Can anybody tell me if he showed up on Freakazoid? It seems like the kind of thing he would have liked to do.)
posted by Countess Elena at 5:58 PM on July 8, 2012


Nobody rides Shack's train without a ticket.
posted by digsrus at 5:58 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


He had a good life and a great career. That said, another good one is gone :( He is part of the reason I joined the Navy!

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posted by UseyurBrain at 6:16 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I say "less remembered," but the fanaticism MST fans tend to show means it'll probably be one of the primary ways his memory lives on. It's not easy to find McHale's Navy on the air anymore but MST3K DVDs are easily available from Netflix I hear.

That's exactly how I became familiar with Ernest Borgnine and, in fact, that MST3K episode was the first episode of the show that I watched live, as it was airing, which turned out to be the only time I could have done so.

Imagine my surprise a handful of years later when I begin working in Hamden and come across "Ernest Borgnine Park," which is a park in so much that it has a greenness to it, but not so much a park in that people have a really hard time visiting it, since it's in a five-way intersection behind a building. You really, really have to want to go to Ernest Borgnine Park.

Small towns being what they are, it turned out that the woman who got the park approved and brought Ernest in for a ribbon-cutting and celebration of him (in a nicer park) was instrumental in getting my employer's business up and running and approved by the town council.

So although I never met the guy, I love that some of the best years of my life were on this woman's to-do list, right below "ERNEST BORGNINE." And that certainly earns a raise of the glass.
posted by greenland at 6:28 PM on July 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


In his lifetime, Mr. Borgnine ascended to greatness. His death makes that greatness only more apparent.

RIP, Mr. Borgnine. You are beloved.

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posted by mistersquid at 6:42 PM on July 8, 2012


No love for Johnny Guitar?

It would be impossible for me to pick my favorite movie he was in -- from good movies like From Here to Eternity and The Dirty Dozen to bad movies like The Poseidon Adventure and The Black Hole, he was always awesome in them.
posted by Gelatin at 6:49 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, I would pick Convoy, every time.
posted by Artw at 6:53 PM on July 8, 2012


Speaking of the nexus between MST3K and Ernest Borgnine, let us not forgot the Rifftrax of Laser Mission.

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posted by dhens at 6:57 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Roentgen: ".

Before he died, Ernest Borgnine gave us all the secret of his longevity , for which we thank him.
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I'm going to live forever.
posted by Splunge at 6:57 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by Cash4Lead at 7:03 PM on July 8, 2012


McHale's Navy
posted by sensi63 at 7:20 PM on July 8, 2012




I thought I heard something (way back) about him being blacklisted in the 50's, but IMDB shows him pretty busy during that time. Does that ring a bell with anyone?
posted by Horselover Fat at 7:27 PM on July 8, 2012


My father is a Freemason and told me not long ago that he was at some convocation of Masons where Brother Borgnine was the guest of honor, and absolutely owned the place. In addition to the fact that everybody in the place grew up when Ernest Borgnine was still ERNEST BORGNINE, he was a world-class raconteur and absolutely refused to leave any room where he hadn't talked to everyone in it. He was in a wheelchair because hell, he was in his 90s, and his people were practically pleading with him to rest for a minute, and he'd just shrug them off and shake another hand and listen to another story about how "I was the McHale on my ship back in the war, too -- why, this one time..." And every single man in that room came away thinking that not only had he met Ernest Borgnine, but that he had really connected with him.

My father ended that email to me with this:
I have known a few great men, about whom I could honestly say, "No one was ever worse off for having met him." But I have never known one about whom I could say, "Everyone was better off for having met him," until I met Ernest Borgnine.
posted by Etrigan at 7:30 PM on July 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


I always had a soft spot for Ernest Borgnine. He apparently had a house in my area, and I still insist I saw him a few years ago seated at the next table in a local restaurant. R.I.P., Ernest. Til we meet again at the Old Country Buffet in the sky.
posted by Mael Oui at 7:36 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


What an unfortunate thing to happen on "Dozen Egg Night."

(seriously, I have a degree in film and have seen him in tons of things, but he will always be most indelibly linked in my mind to BASEketball, for some reason.)
posted by Navelgazer at 7:40 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ernest Borgnine was beautiful.
posted by ovvl at 8:02 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I. Ernest Borgnine completely deserved that Oscar for "Marty." Some folks lump his win in with the mistakes the Academy made. These people are snobs and heathens and reveal their inability to gauge art by their suggestion that his performance is anything less than sublime perfection.

II. In college, when they would play "Its The End Of The World As We Know It" and the Leonard Bernstein bit would come up, my friends and I would all yell Ernest Borgnine's name instead. We were not being ironic. Our loyalty was first and foremost to Mr. Borgnine because he represented the kind of selfless acting to which we all aspired. He played solid support so well. Everyone on screen with him looked like a better actor because of him.

III. For some reason, when I was a child, Borgnine was the standard for what an ugly person looked like in my family. Then I saw "Marty" when I was 30 and I think he became somebody that I wanted to look like. He was a handsome man and you can see it in his eyes, even if you couldn't always see it in his features. Does that make sense?

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posted by Joey Michaels at 8:24 PM on July 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


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posted by Ranucci at 8:49 PM on July 8, 2012


That video of Borgnine on the bus is a lot of fun, ThatFuzzyBastard. Thanks for posting that.

Watched a lot of "McHale's Navy" reruns as a kid, and despite all his other roles, I'll probably always think of that part first when remembering him. But what a fantastic career - his work has been seen by national/international audiences in seven different decades. And no doubt people will continue to enjoy various things he's been in for many years to come.

(BTW, Antenna TV still shows 14 "McHale's Navy" episodes a week...)

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posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 8:56 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]




Navelgazer, you took the words right out of my mouth... no, really, that was the first thing I said when I heard the news.

What a long, full life. May he rest in peace.
posted by palomar at 10:02 PM on July 8, 2012


Noooooooooo!



Ernest Borgine has a special place in my family.

My young daughter was once creeped out by the whole 'Bloody Mary' game thing, which was going round the Grade One crowd. To give her a tool to put herself in control of a scary situation I told her that all she had to do was say 'Ernest Borgnine' three times really fast and Bloody Mary would disappear. I have no idea why I used that particular name but: success!

Fast forward years later and now both my daughter and 5 year old son can be heard on occasion to blurt out 'ernest-borgnine-ernest-borgnine-ERNEST-BORGNINE!' really fast to ward off potential evil.

:(

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And then we found out he was Mermaid Man and the legend grew.
posted by mazola at 10:41 PM on July 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


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posted by Vibrissae at 11:02 PM on July 8, 2012


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posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:04 PM on July 8, 2012


just watched The Black Hole today. and let's not forget his awesome simpsons cameo.
posted by davidmsc at 11:05 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Huh. Something about him repelled me from the get-go. His vulgarity, that crass bray of a laugh, the gap teeth, glinty eyes and overly cleft chin, his frying pan of a face, his big gut and greasy black hair, that voice that was too high somehow. He radiated male chauvinist pig. He bragged about jerking off as his key to longevity to TV anchorpeople. Master Mason to masturbation.

Still, there was something I liked about his acting in McHale's Navy, jovial, mischievously determined anti-authoritarian. It was busting at the seams with hilarity, even in the outtakes. And Marty, the movie, rocked so hard, a revelation. What a brilliant movie that was for him, true and deep. He epitomized the common man in ways that Archie Bunker did, but without the bitterness. I did like his joie de vivre. It makes sense he lived to 95, he had that much life force, élan vital. I'm glad he lived and had a long, satisfying, full run. Bravo Ernie!

Because it is the day of his death, the following is posted in his honor, as he wished (according to Wikipedia but I don't have a better cite that that. I do hope it was his actual wish.). It's as apt now as when he said it 14 years ago. May he rest in peace.

During an interview in 1998, he admitted to some personal feelings about politics:

I'm 81 years old and I like to speak my mind. As a legacy, on the day I die, I'd like to have a newspaper publish all the things that I find wrong in the United States today. And my first would be to get rid of the politicians. We put politicians into Congress and the Senate for what? For representation. But who do they represent? They represent not only their party, but the people who give them the money, the lobbyists.

posted by nickyskye at 11:28 PM on July 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


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posted by caclwmr4 at 11:29 PM on July 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by Defying Gravity at 12:11 AM on July 9, 2012


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posted by infini at 1:04 AM on July 9, 2012


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Thought he'd go on forever... was in so many films I saw as a kid.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:42 AM on July 9, 2012


RIP Mermaid Man.
posted by IndigoRain at 3:06 AM on July 9, 2012


He was real sharp as Mermaid Man. I don't know of many actors pushing 90 who could get comedic timing and inflection for a voice-acting role down pat, which was a new discipline for Borgnine. He managed to upstage Tim Conway (Barnacle Boy) and that is in and of itself a major accomplishment.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:39 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ernest Borgnine is Airwolf.
posted by PenDevil at 5:12 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


When he turned up in RED my husband and I cheered. He looked so wonderfully young, even though we both knew he was past 90.

We can only wish to have half the fun in life this guy had.

We'll miss ya, Ernie. But damn, you had a terrific run.

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posted by kinnakeet at 5:45 AM on July 9, 2012


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posted by cass at 8:17 AM on July 9, 2012


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posted by Goofyy at 8:58 AM on July 9, 2012


As a kid I had Airwolf on the brain, as a 20-something I discovered Escape from New York, in recent years I was lucky enough to stumble onto Marty. From this thread it appears there is plenty of his work left to dig into, what a neat guy.

Resistance is NOT futile - RIP Borg9

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posted by Cosine at 9:17 AM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by alby at 9:29 AM on July 9, 2012


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posted by annsunny at 9:39 AM on July 9, 2012


What a fine actor he was, and a good guy. He will be missed!
posted by pickettj1970 at 9:59 AM on July 9, 2012


R.I.P. Ernest - you had a long and vibrant career. And also - Holy shit, there's a rifftrax of Laser Mission? I *LOVE* THAT MOVIE. It's like the Troll 2 of action films! The plot is that the Cubans (?!) kidnap Ernest, who is playing the Laser Master (!!!), and then steal the world's biggest diamond in order to put onto a satellite in order to focus Nuclear Lasers (wha!) and hold the world's greatest cities for ransom, or something. Also, the main star is Brandon Lee, who has the most spectacularly nonsense-awful action quips I've ever seen.

In order to properly celebrate the life of Borgnine, you must see Laser Mission.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:53 AM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Aww...I watched untold hours of McHale's Navy back-to-back with F Troop on weekday afternoons when I was a kid. Both made light of what had been very unfunny situations to those really involved, but I loved them because they were hilarious. McHale caught between the crazies on his boat (Gruber, Parker) and those in command (Binghamton, Carpenter) and while never having any of the funny bits that those four got, still dominating the screen with a presence that gave the show what little verisimilitude it could claim.

Thanks for all those afternoons, Mr. Borgnine.

aav.

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posted by the sobsister at 2:05 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is how my children will remember him.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 2:17 PM on July 9, 2012


Well, way too soon after the last time I did this ... US readers can set their DVRs:

TCM Remembers Ernest Borgnine Thursday, July 26

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will remember the life and career of actor Ernest Borgnine on Thursday, July 26. Borgnine passed away Sunday, July 8th at the age of 95. TCM's 24-hour memorial tribute is set to begin at 6 a.m. (ET) ... The following is a complete schedule (all times Eastern):

6:00 a.m. - The Catered Affair
8:00 a.m. - The Legend of Lylah Clare
10:30 a.m. - Pay or Die
12:30 p.m. - Torpedo Run
2:30 p.m. - Ice Station Zebra
5:15 p.m. - The Dirty Dozen
8:00 p.m. - Private Screenings: Ernest Borgnine (interview w/ Robert Osborne)
9:00 p.m. - Marty
10:45 p.m. - From Here to Eternity
1:00 a.m. - The Wild Bunch
3:30 a.m. - Bad Day at Black Rock
5:00 a.m. - Private Screenings: Ernest Borgnine
posted by pmurray63 at 6:38 PM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Watched Marty. We noticed that his bride to be wasn't going to be just thinking about Ernest Borgnine.

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posted by telstar at 4:15 AM on July 10, 2012


Holy shit, there's a rifftrax of Laser Mission?

'ACTION BORGNINE! Not sure where is, or what he is supposed to be doing, but... ACTION!'

Maybe it's from his time in the Navy, but he had such a great work ethic. Hire him for a movie, big or small, good or bad, and you get 100% of what he's got, and he will never never 'phone it in'. He said somewhere in an interview something like: "Who cares if it's a crappy movie, you got to do a job buddy, and you better do it right. They hired me for my skills and what I can do, I'm there to be in the picture, and half-assing it because you don't think the film is worth it is cheating both me and them."

With that attitude, virtually nothing could ever sully his reputation as an actor.
posted by chambers at 12:51 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


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