Monday, July 9, 2012

RIP Ernest Borgnine

Ernest Borgnine

Ernest Borgnine, Academy Award-winning actor, passed away yesterday. He was 95 years old. He began his career as an actor on the stage, playing character roles from the beginning. He appeared in shows as varied as Tennessee Williams' Glass Managerie, to the Pulitzer Prize winning play Harvey, written by Mary Chase. While he might have won his Oscar for his lead int eh 1955 movie Marty, I will perhaps remember him best as the star of McHale's Navy, a show I thought was so very funny when I was a child. The show played from 1962 to 1966. It was classic comedy of the time, using physical comedy, and even a bit of slap-stick to make the viewers laugh. For his performance on the show, Borgnine won one of his four Emmy Awards. The show also had an unforgettable theme song.

I also must admit I remember him in The Poseidon Adventure, one of the early disaster films, filled with action, adventure, and stars. Released in December of 1972, it was the must successful film in 1973, at least according to box office receipts. The film won an Oscar for the theme song, sung by Maureen McGovern. "The Morning After" McGovern was already a Broadway actress, and this her first national, and international, success.

In 1974, McGovern followed with another hit, the theme song from The Towering Inferno. She was a go-to-singer for soundtracks during the 1970s. But back to Borgnine, he was also known by some for his three-year-run in the TV show Airwolf. A much younger crowd would know him from his voice work on SpongeBob SquarePants, playing Mermaid Man.

HE was also married five times during his lifetime, including a month-long match to belter Ethel Merman. He is survived by three daughters and 1 son, and his last wife, Tova Traesnaes Borgnine. They were together 39 years. She was also known as a businesswoman in her own right, having a cosmetic line on both QVC and infomercials. Borgnine had a career of 65 years as a working actor. Rest in peace Ernest Borgnine.

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