Ernest Borgnine

Ernest Borgnine

Posted by Sicilian Cowboy on Jul 9, 2012 3:16 pm

Born in Hamden CT, lived briefly in Italy and then in North Haven CT growing up (Hamden has named a street after him). After serving ten years in the Navy, Borgnine became an actor and starting his career in legitimate theaters in Virginia and then New York, and he had a role in “Harvey” on Broadway with James Stewart.

He wound up in Hollywood in 1951, and after several small roles, he landed the role of “Fatso” Judson, the head of the stockade at Pearl Harbor, who's aborted knife fight with Maggio (Frank Sinatra) leads to Maggio's later beating and death.

("I'm gonna cut this wop's heart out...anybody steps in I give it to 'em first!")

He continued playing bad-guy roles (Johnny Guitar, Demetrious and the Gladiators, Vera Cruz, Bad Day at Black Rock), but was then offered the chance to reprise a role hed had performed in a 1953 Goodyear Television Hour production entitled “Marty”, where he played a soft-spoken butcher from the Bronx who was looking forward to a lonely bachelorhood when he discovers a girl who makes him happy.

His famous line is : “Well, all I know is I had a good time last night. I'm gonna have a good time tonight. If we have enough good times together, I'm gonna get down on my knees and I'm gonna beg that girl to marry me!”

For his portrayal, he won the Best Actor Oscar, beating out Sinatra, James Dean, James Cagney and Spencer Tracy. Over the course of his career, he also won two Golden Globe Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, among several others.

His career spanned 5 decades, and included notable roles in “Flight of the Phoenix”, “The Dirty Dozen”, “The Poseidon Adventure,” “The Wild Bunch” and “Escape From New York”.

Among his many TV roles was a starring stint in “McHale’s Navy”, and co-starring in “Airwolf”. He had guest roles in numerous series, including “Little House on the Prairie”, “Run for Your Life”, “Magnum PI”, “Highway to Heaven”, “Murder She Wrote” and “ER”, for which he won an Emmy Award at age 92.

He re-united with McHale buddy Tim Conway to do voices for “SpongeBob Square Pants”, and even appeared on Saturday Night Live in 2001. He leaves his wife Tova (his fifth) along with one son and three daughters.

FWIW, if I were a mid 1960's sitcom actor, I wouldn't buy any green bananas this week.


Re: Ernest Borgnine

Posted by MLB on Jul 9, 2012 3:37 pm

So long Ernie. RIP

Green bananas are a bad choice for senior citizens of all stripes.