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Ernest Borgnine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ernest Borgnine
Publicity photo for McHale's Navy, 1962
Ermes Effron Borgnino

(1917-01-24)January 24, 1917
DiedJuly 8, 2012(2012-07-08) (aged 95)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park[1]
Years active1947–2012
  • Rhoda Kemins
    (m. 1949; div. 1958)
  • (m. 1959; div. 1963)
  • (m. 1964; div. 1964)
  • Donna Rancourt
    (m. 1965; div. 1972)
  • (m. 1973)
Military career
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1935–1945
RankGunner's mate first class
Battles/warsWorld War II
Battle of the Atlantic

Ernest Borgnine (/ˈbɔːrɡnn/ BORG-nyne; born Ermes Effron Borgnino; January 24, 1917 – July 8, 2012) was an American actor whose career spanned over six decades. He was noted for his gruff but relaxed voice and gap-toothed Cheshire Cat grin.[2] A popular performer, he also appeared as a guest on numerous talk shows and as a panelist on several game shows.

Borgnine's film career began in 1951 and included supporting roles in China Corsair (1951), From Here to Eternity (1953), Vera Cruz (1954), Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), and The Wild Bunch (1969). He also played the unconventional lead in many films, winning the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1956 for Marty (1955), which also won the 1956 Academy Award for Best Picture. Borgnine then starred as the title character in the sitcom McHale's Navy (1962–1966) and co-starred as Dominic Santini in the action series Airwolf (1984–1986).

Borgnine earned his third Primetime Emmy Award nomination at age 92 for his work on the 2009 series finale of ER. He was known as the original voice of Mermaid Man on SpongeBob SquarePants from 1999 until his death in 2012.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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Early life and education

Borgnine was born Ermes Effron Borgnino (Italian: [borˈɲiːno]) on January 24, 1917, in Hamden, Connecticut,[3][4] the son of Italian immigrants. His mother, Anna (née Boselli) hailed from Carpi, near Modena, while his father Camillo Borgnino was a native of Ottiglio near Alessandria.[5] Borgnine's parents separated when he was two years old, and he then lived with his mother in Italy for about four and a half years. By 1923, his parents had reconciled, the family name was changed from Borgnino to Borgnine, and his father changed his first name to Charles. Borgnine had a younger sister, Evelyn Borgnine Velardi (1925–2013).[6] The family settled in New Haven, Connecticut, where Borgnine graduated from James Hillhouse High School. He took to sports while growing up, but showed no interest in acting.[7]

Military service

Borgnine wearing a chief petty officer's cap in October 2004

Borgnine joined the United States Navy in October 1935, after graduation from high school.[8] He served aboard the destroyer/minesweeper USS Lamberton[9] and was honorably discharged from the Navy in October 1941.[10] In January 1942, he reenlisted in the Navy after the attack on Pearl Harbor. During World War II, he patrolled the Atlantic Coast on an antisubmarine warfare ship, the patrol yacht USS Sylph.[11] In September 1945, he was once again honorably discharged from the Navy. He served a total of almost 10 years in the Navy and obtained the grade of gunner's mate first class. His military awards include the Navy Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal with "A" Device, American Campaign Medal with 316" bronze star, and the World War II Victory Medal.[10]

Later honors

In 1997, Borgnine received the United States Navy Memorial, Lone Sailor Award.[12] On December 7, 2000, Borgnine was named the Veterans Foundation's Veteran of the Year.

In October 2004, Borgnine received the honorary title of chief petty officer from Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Terry D. Scott. The ceremony for Borgnine's naval advancement was held at the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, DC. He received the special honor for his naval service and support of naval personnel and their families worldwide.[13][14]

Acting career

1946–1952: Theatre and television roles

Borgnine returned to his parents' house in Connecticut after his Navy discharge without a job to go back to and no direction. In a British Film Institute interview about his life and career, he said:

After World War II, we wanted no more part in war. I didn't even want to be a Boy Scout. I went home and said that I was through with the Navy and so now, what do we do? So I went home to mother, and after a few weeks of patting me on the back and "You did good," and everything else, one day she said, "Well?" like mothers do. Which meant, "All right, you gonna get a job or what?"[15]

He took a local factory job, but was unwilling to settle down to that kind of work. His mother encouraged him to pursue a more glamorous profession, and suggested to him that his personality would be well suited for the stage. He surprised his mother by taking the suggestion to heart, although his father was far from enthusiastic. In 2011, Borgnine remembered,

She said, "You always like getting in front of people and making a fool of yourself, why don't you give it a try?" I was sitting at the kitchen table and I saw this light. No kidding. It sounds crazy. And 10 years later, I had Grace Kelly handing me an Academy Award.

He studied acting at the Randall School of Drama in Hartford, then moved to Virginia, where he became a member of the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia.[16] It had been named for the director's allowing audiences to barter produce for admission during the cash-lean years of the Great Depression. In 1947, Borgnine landed his first stage role in State of the Union. Although it was a short role, he won over the audience. His next role was as the Gentleman Caller in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie.[17]

In 1949, Borgnine went to New York, where he had his Broadway debut in the role of a nurse in the play Harvey. Borgnine made his TV debut as a character actor in Captain Video and His Video Rangers, beginning in 1951. These two episodes led to countless other television roles that Borgnine would gain in Goodyear Television Playhouse, The Ford Television Theatre, Fireside Theatre, Frontier Justice, Laramie, Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, and Run for Your Life. An appearance as the villain on TV's Captain Video led to Borgnine's casting in the motion picture The Whistle at Eaton Falls (1951) for Columbia Pictures.[18] Later on, in 1957, he would appear in the first episode of the TV series Wagon Train.

1953–1961: Film stardom

Borgnine and Betsy Blair in a trailer for Marty, 1955
Grace Kelly presents the Oscar for Best Actor to Borgnine for his performance in Marty, 1956

Borgnine moved to Los Angeles, California, where he eventually received his big break in Columbia film directed by Fred Zinnemann, the romantic war drama From Here to Eternity (1953), playing the sadistic Sergeant "Fatso" Judson, who beats a stockade prisoner in his charge, Angelo Maggio (played by Frank Sinatra). The film received critical acclaim including the Academy Award for Best Picture. The following year he acted in four films, three of them Western dramas, Johnny Guitar starring Joan Crawford, The Bounty Hunter with Randolph Scott, Vera Cruz starring Burt Lancaster and Gary Cooper, he also starred in the Biblical drama Demetrius and the Gladiators. Borgnine built a reputation as a dependable character actor, and played villains in early films, including movies such as Johnny Guitar and Vera Cruz.

In 1955 he starred as a villain in the John Sturges neo-Western Bad Day at Black Rock starring Spencer Tracy, Lee Marvin, and Walter Brennan. He also starred as warmhearted butcher in Marty, the 1955 film version of the television play of the same title. The film debuted at the Cannes Film Festival where it received acclaim and the Palme D'Or. Borgnine won numerous accolades including the Academy Award for Best Actor beating Frank Sinatra, James Dean (who had died by the time of the ceremony), and former Best Actor winners Spencer Tracy and James Cagney. He also received the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama, the National Board of Review Award for Best Actor, and the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor.

1962–1966: McHale's Navy

Publicity photo of Borgnine in McHale's Navy in 1963
Borgnine, Tim Conway, Gary Vinson and Carl Ballantine (in top bunk) in McHale's Navy in 1962

In 1962, Borgnine signed a contract with Universal Studios for the lead role as the gruff but lovable skipper, Quinton McHale, in what began as a serious one-hour 1962 episode called "Seven Against the Sea" for Alcoa Premiere, and later reworked to a comedy called McHale's Navy, a World War II sitcom, which also co-starred unfamiliar comedians Joe Flynn as Capt. Wally Binghamton and Tim Conway as Ens. Charles Parker. The insubordinate crew of PT-73 helped the show become an overnight success during its first season, landing in the top 30 in 1963.

He thrived on the adulation from fans for their favorite navy man, and in 1963 received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. At the end of the fourth season, in 1966, low ratings and repetitive storylines brought McHale's Navy to an end. At the time McHale's Navy began production, Borgnine was married to actress Katy Jurado. Her death in 2002 drew Borgnine and Conway much closer; about his acting mentor's long career, Conway said: "There were no limits to Ernie. When you look at his career—Fatso Judson to Marty, that's about as varied as you get in characters and he handled both of them with equal delicacy and got the most out of those characters."[19]


With Rochelle Rac and Jane Dulo in 1962

Borgnine's film career flourished for the next three decades, including roles in The Flight of the Phoenix (1965), The Dirty Dozen (1967) with Lee Marvin, Ice Station Zebra (1968), The Poseidon Adventure (1972), Emperor of the North (1973), Convoy (1978), The Black Hole (1979), Super Fuzz (1980) and Escape from New York (1981). One of his most famous roles was that of Dutch in the Western classic The Wild Bunch (1969) from director Sam Peckinpah. Of his role in The Wild Bunch, Borgnine later said, "I did [think it was a moral film]. Because to me, every picture should have some kind of a moral to it. I feel that when we used to watch old pictures, as we still do I'm sure, the bad guys always got it in the end and the good guys always won out. Today, it's a little different. Today, it seems that the bad guys are getting the good end of it. There was always a moral in our story".[15]

During this time he also appeared on numerous television shows such as Little House on the Prairie (a two-part episode entitled "The Lord is My Shepherd"), The Love Boat, Magnum, P.I., Highway to Heaven, Murder, She Wrote, Walker, Texas Ranger, Home Improvement, Touched by an Angel, the final episodes of ER, and many others.


Borgnine, Nancy Reagan, Tova Borgnine and President Ronald Reagan in 1987

Borgnine returned to Universal Studios in 1983, for a co-starring role opposite Jan-Michael Vincent, on Airwolf. After he was approached by producer Donald P. Bellisario, who had been impressed by Borgnine's guest role as a wrestler in a 1982 episode of Magnum, P.I., he immediately agreed to join the series. He played Dominic Santini, a helicopter pilot, which became an immediate hit. Borgnine's strong performances belied his exhaustion due to the grueling production schedule, and the challenges of working with his younger, series lead. The show was canceled by CBS in 1986.

He appeared with Jonathan Silverman in The Single Guy as doorman Manny Cordoba, which lasted two seasons. According to Silverman, Borgnine came to work with more energy and passion than all other stars combined. He was the first person to arrive on the set every day and the last to leave. In 1989, Borgnine went to Namibia to shoot the film Laser Mission, starring Brandon Lee.[20] It was released in 1990.[21]

In 1996, Borgnine starred in the televised fantasy/thriller film Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders (partially adapted from the 1984 horror film The Devil's Gift). As narrator and storyteller, Borgnine recounts a string of related supernatural tales, his modern-day fables notably centering on an enchanted and malicious cymbal-banging monkey toy stolen from the wizard Merlin. The film was later featured in the parodical television series Mystery Science Theater 3000, and has since gained a prominent cult following.[22] Also in 1996, Borgnine toured the United States on a bus to meet his fans and see the country. The trip was the subject of a 1997 documentary, Ernest Borgnine on the Bus. He also served one year as the chairman of the National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans, visiting patients in many Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers.

Borgnine at the Creative Arts Emmys in 2009

In 1997, Borgnine appeared in the big-screen adaptation comedy film McHale's Navy, where he played Rear Admiral Quinton McHale, who was also the father of Tom Arnold's character, Quinton McHale Jr. In 1998, Borgnine appeared in the Trey Parker and Matt Stone comedy BASEketball as entrepreneur Ted Denslow. Starting in 1999, Borgnine provided his voice talent to the animated sitcom SpongeBob SquarePants as the elderly superhero Mermaid Man (where he was paired up with McHale's Navy co-star Tim Conway as the voice of Mermaid Man's sidekick Barnacle Boy). He expressed affection for this role, in no small part for its popularity among children. After his death, Nickelodeon reaired all of the episodes in which Mermaid Man appeared, in memoriam. Borgnine also appeared as himself in The Simpsons episode "Boy-Scoutz 'n the Hood", in addition to a number of television commercials. In 2000, he was the executive producer of Hoover, in which he was the only credited actor.

In 2007, Borgnine starred in the Hallmark original film A Grandpa for Christmas. He played a man who, after his estranged daughter ends up in the hospital because of a car accident, discovers that he has a granddaughter he never knew about. She is taken into his care, and they soon become great friends. Borgnine received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture made for Television for his performance. At 90, he was the oldest Golden Globe nominee ever. In 2010 he costarred in The Wishing Well. Borgnine's autobiography Ernie was published by Citadel Press in July 2008. Ernie is a loose, conversational recollection of highlights from his acting career and notable events from his personal life. On April 2, 2009, he appeared in several episodes of the final season of the long-running medical series ER. His role was that of a husband dealing with the decline of his wife, who would die in the final episode of the series. In his final scene, his character is in a hospital bed lying beside his just-deceased wife. His performance garnered an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, his third nomination and his first in 29 years (since being nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Special in 1980 for All Quiet on the Western Front).

In 2009, at age 92, he starred as Frank, the main character of Another Harvest Moon, directed by Greg Swartz and also starring Piper Laurie and Anne Meara. On October 2, 2010, Borgnine appeared as himself in a sketch with Morgan Freeman on Saturday Night Live. On October 15, 2010, he appeared in Red, which was filmed earlier that year. In late 2011, Borgnine completed what was his last film, playing Rex Page in The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vicente Fernandez.

Personal life and death

Borgnine with future wife Katy Jurado, 1958

Borgnine married five times. His first marriage, from 1949 to 1958, was to Rhoda Kemins, whom he met while serving in the Navy.[23] They had one daughter, Nancee (born May 28, 1952). He was then married to actress Katy Jurado from 1959 to 1963. Borgnine's rancorous marriage to actress and singer Ethel Merman in 1964 lasted only 42 days. Merman's description of the marriage in her autobiography was a solitary blank page. Borgnine's friend Tim Conway later said: "Ernie is volatile. I mean, there's no question about that, and Ethel was a very strong lady. So you put two bombs in a room, something is going to explode, and I guess it probably did."[24]

From 1965 to 1972, Borgnine was married to Donna Rancourt, with whom he had a son, Cristopher (born August 9, 1969), and two daughters, Sharon (born August 5, 1965) and Diana (born December 29, 1970). His fifth and final marriage was to Tova Traesnaes, where they remained married from February 24, 1973, until his death.

In 2000, Borgnine received his 50-year pin as a Freemason at Abingdon Lodge No. 48 in Abingdon, Virginia. He joined the Scottish Rite Valley of Los Angeles in 1964, received the Knights Commander of the Court of Honor (KCCH) in 1979, was crowned a 33° Inspector General Honorary in 1983 and received the Grand Cross of the Court of Honour in 1991.[25]

Borgnine was a heavy smoker until 1962.[26]

Borgnine died on July 8, 2012, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of renal failure. He was 95. Borgnine had undergone surgery a month prior to his death and had been to the hospital days before his death for a medical checkup.[27] He was cremated and had a military funeral.[28]


Borgnine as "Grand Clown" in Milwaukee's annual Great Circus Parade in 1973


Year Title Role Notes
1951 China Corsair Hu Chang
The Whistle at Eaton Falls Bill Street
The Mob Joe Castro
1953 Treasure of the Golden Condor Bit part
The Stranger Wore a Gun Bull Slager
From Here to Eternity Staff Sergeant James R. "Fatso" Judson
1954 Johnny Guitar Bart Lonergan
Demetrius and the Gladiators Strabo
The Bounty Hunter Bill Rachin
Vera Cruz Donnegan
1955 Bad Day at Black Rock Coley Trimble
Violent Saturday Stadt, Amish Farmer
Marty Marty Piletti
Run for Cover Morgan
The Last Command Mike Radin
The Square Jungle Bernie Browne
1956 Jubal Shep Horgan
The Catered Affair Tom Hurley
The Best Things in Life Are Free Lew Brown
Three Brave Men Bernard F. "Bernie" Goldsmith
1958 The Vikings Ragnar
The Badlanders John "Mac" McBain
Torpedo Run Lt. Commander Archer "Archie" Sloan
1959 The Rabbit Trap Eddie Colt
Summer of the Seventeenth Doll Roo Webber
1960 Man on a String Boris Mitrov
Pay or Die Police Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino
1961 Go Naked in the World Pete Stratton
Black City Peppino Navarra
The Last Judgement Pickpocket
The Italian Brigands Sante Carbone
Barabbas Lucius
1964 McHale's Navy Lt. Commander Quinton McHale, Sr Spin-off of the series of the same name
1965 The Flight of the Phoenix Trucker Cobb
1966 The Oscar Barney Yale
1967 Chuka Sergeant Otto Hansbach
The Dirty Dozen Major General Sam Worden
1968 The Man Who Makes the Difference Himself Documentary short film
The Legend of Lylah Clare Barney Sheean
The Split Bert Clinger
Ice Station Zebra Boris Vaslov
1969 The Wild Bunch Dutch Engstrom
A Bullet for Sandoval Don Pedro Sandoval
1970 The Adventurers Fat Cat
Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came? Sheriff Harve
1971 Sam Hill: Who Killed Mr. Foster? Deputy Sam Hill
Willard Al Martin
Bunny O'Hare Bill Green / William Gruenwald
Hannie Caulder Emmett Clemens
The Trackers Sam Paxton
Rain for a Dusty Summer The General
1972 The World of Sport Fishing Himself Documentary
Film Portrait
Ripped Off Captain Perkins
The Revengers Hoop
The Poseidon Adventure Det. Lt. Mike Rogo
1973 Emperor of the North Pole Shack
The Neptune Factor Chief Diver Don MacKay
Legend in Granite Vince Lombardi
1974 Twice in a Lifetime Vince Boselli
Law and Disorder Cy
Sunday in the Country Adam Smith
1975 The Devil's Rain Jonathan "John" Corbis
Hustle Santuro
1976 Holiday Hookers Max
Shoot Lou
1977 Fire! Sam Brisbane
The Greatest Angelo Dundee
Crossed Swords John Canty
Jesus of Nazareth Roman Centurion
1978 The Ghost of Flight 401 Dom Cimoli
Cops and Robin Joe Cleaver
Convoy Sheriff Lyle 'Cottonmouth'
1979 Ravagers Rann
The Double McGuffin Mr. Firat
The Black Hole Harry Booth
All Quiet on the Western Front Stanislaus "Kat" Katczinsky
1980 When Time Ran Out Detective Sergeant Tom Conti
Super Fuzz Sergeant Willy Dunlop
1981 High Risk Clint
Escape from New York Cabbie
Deadly Blessing Isaiah Schmidt
1983 Young Warriors Lieutenant Bob Carrigan
Carpool Mickey Doyle
1984 Code Name: Wild Geese Fletcher
Love Leads the Way: A True Story Senator Brighton
Man Hunt Ben Robeson
1985 Alice in Wonderland The Lion
1988 Skeleton Coast Colonel Smith
The Opponent Victor
Spike of Bensonhurst Baldo Cacetti
The Big Turnaround Father Lopez
Moving Target Captain Morrison
1989 Gummibärchen küßt man nicht Bischof
Laser Mission Professor Braun
Jake Spanner, Private Eye Sal Piccolo
1990 Any Man's Death Herr Gantz
Appearances Emil Danzig
Tides of War Doctor
1991 The Last Match Coach
Mountain of Diamonds Ernie
1992 Mistress Himself Cameo
1993 Tierärztin Christine Dr. Gustav Gruber
Hunt for the Blue Diamond [de] Hans Kroger
1994 Outlaws: The Legend of O.B. Taggart Sheriff Laughton
1995 Tierärztin Christine II: The Temptation Dr. Gustav Gruber
Captiva Island Arty
1996 The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage Himself Voice; Documentary
All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 Carface Carruthers Voice
Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders Grandfather
1997 Ernest Borgnine on the Bus Himself Documentary
McHale's Navy Admiral Quinton McHale Sr. Based on the series of the same name
Gattaca Caesar
1998 Small Soldiers Kip Killigan Voice
BASEketball Ted Denslow
12 Bucks Lucky
Mel Grandpa
An All Dogs Christmas Carol Carface Carruthers Voice
1999 Abilene Hotis Brown
The Lost Treasure of Sawtooth Island Ben Quinn
The Last Great Ride Franklin Lyle
2000 Castle Rock Nate
Hoover J. Edgar Hoover Also executive producer
The Kiss of Debt Godfather Mariano
2002 11'09"01 September 11 Pensioner Segment: "United States of America"
Whiplash Judge DuPont
2003 The American Hobo Narrator Documentary
The Long Ride Home Lucas Moat
2004 Blueberry Rolling Star
Barn Red Michael Bolini
The Trail to Hope Rose Eugene
The Blue Light Faerie King
2005 That One Summer Otis Garner
3 Below Grandpa
Rail Kings Steamtrain
2006 The Bodyguard's Cure Jerry Warden
2007 Oliviero Rising Bill
A Grandpa for Christmas Bert O'Riley
2008 Strange Wilderness Milas
I Am Somebody: No Chance in Hell [it] Judge Holliday
Frozen Stupid Frank Norgard
2010 Enemy Mind Command Voice
The Genesis Code Carl Taylor
Red Henry Britton / Recordskeeper
Another Harvest Moon Frank
2011 Night Club Albert
The Lion of Judah Slink Voice
Love's Christmas Journey Nicolas
Snatched Big Frank Baum
2012 The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vicente Fernandez Rex Page


Year Title Role Notes
1951 Captain Video and His Video Rangers Nargola 3 episodes
Goodyear Playhouse Sgt. Lenahan Episode: "The Copper"
1951, 1952 The Philco Television Playhouse Mathew O'Rourke 2 episodes
1954 The Lone Wolf Saks Episode: "The Avalanche Story (a.k.a. The Reno Story)"
The Danny Thomas Show Cop Episode: "Rusty Runs Away"
Ford Theatre Gus White Episode: "Night Visitor"
Waterfront Jack Bannion 2 episodes
1957 Navy Log Host Episode: "Human Bomb"
1957–61 Wagon Train Willy Moran / Earl Packer / Estaban Zamora 4 episodes
1957, 1960 Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre Willie / Big Jim Morrison 2 episodes
1959, 1960 Laramie Boone Caudie / Major Prescott 2 episodes
1961 The Blue Angels Unknown Episode: "The Blue Leaders"
1962–1966 McHale's Navy Lt. Commander Quinton McHale 4 seasons; 138 episodes
1966 Run for Your Life Harry Martin Episode: "Time and a Half on Christmas Eve"
1967 Get Smart Guard, TV Viewer 2 episodes
1971 The Trackers Sam Paxton Television film
1973 Legend in Granite Vince Lombardi Television film
1974 Little House on the Prairie Jonathan Episode: "The Lord is my Shepherd"
Twice in a Lifetime Vince Lombardi Television film
1976–1977 Future Cop Cleaver 7 episodes
1977 Jesus of Nazareth Roman Centurion Miniseries
Fire Sam Brisbane Television film
1978 The Ghost of Flight 401 Dom Cimoli Television film
1979 All Quiet on the Western Front Stanislaus Katczinsky Television film
1982 Magnum, P.I. Earl "Mr. White Death" Gianelli Episode: "Mr. White Death"
The Love Boat Dominic Rosselli Episode: "The Italian Cruise"
1983 Blood Feud J. Edgar Hoover Television film
Masquerade Jerry Episode: "Pilot"
Carpool Mickey Doyle Television film
1984 The Last Days of Pompeii Marcus Miniseries
Love Leads the Way: A True Story Senator Brighton Television film
1984–1986 Airwolf Dominic Santini Main role (seasons 1–3)
1985 The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission Major General Sam Worden Television film
1986 Highway to Heaven Guido Liggio Episode: "Another Kind of War, Another Kind of Peace"
1987 Treasure Island in Outer Space Billy Bones
The Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission Major General Sam Worden Television film
Murder, She Wrote Cosmo Ponzini Episode: "Death Takes a Dive"
1988 The Dirty Dozen: The Fatal Mission Major General Sam Worden Television film
1989 Ocean Pedro El Triste Miniseries
Jake Spanner, Private Eye Sal Piccolo Television film
Jake and the Fatman Col. Tom Cody Episode: "My Shining Hour"
1992 Home Improvement Eddie Phillips Episode: "Birds of a Feather Flock to Taylor"
1993 The Simpsons Himself Voice, episode: "Boy-Scoutz 'n the Hood"
1993–1994 The Commish Frank Nardino 2 episodes
1995–1997 The Single Guy Manny 43 episodes
1996–1998 All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series Carface Caruthers Voice, 6 episodes
1998 JAG Artemus Sullivan Episode: "Yesterday's Heroes"
1998 Pinky and the Brain Father Voice, episode: "The Third Mouse/The Visit"
1999 Early Edition Antonio Birelli Episode: "The Last Untouchable"
1999–2012 SpongeBob SquarePants Mermaid Man Voice, 17 episodes
2000 Walker, Texas Ranger Eddie Ryan Episode: "The Avenging Angel"
2002 Touched by an Angel Max Blandish Episode: "The Blue Angel"
7th Heaven Joe Episode: "The Known Soldier"
Family Law Frank Collero Episode: "Alienation of Affection"
2003 The District Uncle Mike Murphy Episode: "Last Waltz"
2004 The Trail to Hope Rose Eugene Television film
2007 A Grandpa for Christmas Bert O'Riley Television film
2009 ER Paul Manning Episodes: "Old Times" and "And in the End..."
Aces 'N' Eights Thurmond Prescott Television film
The Wishing Well Big Jim Television film
2010 Saturday Night Live Himself Episode: "Bryan Cranston/Kanye West", "What Up with That?" sketch
2011 Love's Christmas Journey Nicholas Television film


Year Title Role Playwright Venue Ref.
1952 Mrs. McThing Nelson Mary Chase Martin Beck Theatre, Broadway [29]

Video games

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2001 SpongeBob SquarePants: SuperSponge Mermaid Man Voice only [30]
2009 SpongeBob's Truth or Square [30]
2010 SpongeBob's Boating Bash

Awards and honors

Borgnine won the 1955 Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Marty Piletti in the film Marty.[16] At the time of his death, he was the oldest living recipient of the Best Actor Oscar.[31] For his contributions to the film industry, Borgnine received a motion pictures star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960. The star is located at 6324 Hollywood Boulevard.[32] In 1998, the Palm SpringsWalk of Stars dedicated a Golden Palm Star to Borgnine.[33] He was honored with the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award at the 17th Screen Actors Guild Awards, held January 30, 2011.[34]

Borgnine's hometown of Hamden, Connecticut, where he enjoyed a large and vocal following, named a park and a small road in his honor.[35] From 1972 to 2002, Borgnine marched in Milwaukee's annual Great Circus Parade as the "Grand Clown".[36] In 1994, Borgnine received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor from the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations.[37] In 1996, he was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.[38]

In 2000, Borgnine received his 50-year pin as a Freemason in Abingdon Lodge No. 48, Abingdon, Virginia. He joined the Scottish Rite Valley of Los Angeles (in the Southern Jurisdiction of the U.S.A) in 1964, received the KCCH in 1979, was crowned a 33° Inspector General Honorary in 1983, and received the Grand Cross of the Court of Honour in 1991.[39] He was also a member of the Loyal Order of Moose at that organization's Lodge in Junction City, Oregon. He volunteered to be Stories of Service National spokesman, urging his fellow World War II vets to come forward and share their stories.

In 2007, Borgnine was presented with California's highest civilian honor, the Commendation Medal.[40][41]

Year Award Category Title Result Ref.
1955 Academy Award Best Actor in a Leading Role Marty Won
BAFTA Award Best Foreign Actor Won
Golden Globe Award Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Won
National Board of Review Award Best Actor Won
New York Film Critics Circle Award Best Actor Won
1959 Locarno International Film Festival Best Actor The Rabbit Trap Won
1962 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Series (Lead) McHale's Navy Nominated
1979 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Special All Quiet on the Western Front Nominated
1981 Golden Raspberry Award Worst Supporting Actor Deadly Blessing Nominated
1988 Independent Spirit Award Best Supporting Male Spike of Bensonhurst Nominated
1999 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series Nominated
2007 Golden Globe Award Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film A Grandpa for Christmas Nominated
2009 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series ER: And in the End... Nominated
2009 Rhode Island International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award Won
2011 Screen Actors Guild Award Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award Won


  1. ^ Affairs, MC1 Christopher Okula | Navy Public Affairs Support Element West Public (July 19, 2012). "U.S. Navy renders honors at funeral of Ernest Borgnine". Military News. Retrieved July 8, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "Ernest Borgnine Biography". Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  3. ^ "Ernest Borgnine". International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers 4th Ed. Vol. 3: Actors and Actresses. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale. 2006: "Born: Ermes Effron Borgnino in Hamden, Connecticut, January 24, 1917 (some sources say 1915 or 1918).": St. James Press. 2000.{{cite encyclopedia}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  4. ^ Clooney, Nick (2003). The Movies That Changed Us: Reflections on the Screen. Simon and Schuster. p. 114. ISBN 0-7434-1044-0.
  5. ^ "Ernest Borgnine Biography (1917– )". Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  6. ^ "Evelyn Velardi Obituary: View Obituary for Evelyn Velardi by Mt. View Mortuary & Cemetery, San Bernardino, CA". Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  7. ^ Fantle, David; Johnson, Tom (2004). Reel to Real: 25 Years of Celebrity Interviews from Vaudeville to Movies to TV. Badger Books. pp. 106–113. ISBN 978-1932542042.
  8. ^ Pat Grandjean (October 2010). "Q & A: Ernest Borgnine". Connecticut magazine. Archived from the original on March 31, 2016. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  9. ^ "DMS-2 Lamberton".
  10. ^ a b "Biography - Ernest Borgnine". Archived from the original on October 3, 2008. Retrieved March 23, 2008.
  11. ^ "Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships - Sylph". United States Navy. Archived from the original on March 14, 2004. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  12. ^ "Lone Sailor Award Recipients". Archived from the original on October 16, 2015. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  13. ^ "Actor Ernest Borgnine dead at 95". CNN. July 8, 2012. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
  14. ^ "Ernest Borgnine Makes Chief" (Press release). U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation. October 18, 2004. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  15. ^ a b "Marty + Ernest Borgnine in Conversation". British Film Institute. October 10, 2007. Archived from the original on October 12, 2010. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  16. ^ a b Gates, Anita (July 8, 2012). "Ernest Borgnine, Oscar-Winning Actor, Dies at 95". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 2, 2023. Retrieved July 27, 2023.
  17. ^ "Ernest Borgnine Grew up in North Haven". July 10, 2012.
  18. ^ Kisseloff, Jeff; THE BOX: An Oral History of Television, 1929–1961; Viking Penguin, 1995
  19. ^ "Remembering Ernest Borgnine on 50th Anniversary of McHale's Navy Premiere". Forbes. October 11, 2012. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  20. ^ "Borgnine to play scientist". The Courier-Journal. January 29, 1989.
  21. ^ Hartl, John (August 17, 1990). "Chong's 'Far Out, Man!' is en route to rental stores". York Daily Record. Vol. 229.
  22. ^ "Episode guide: 1003 – Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders". Satellite News. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
  23. ^ M. A. Schmidt (April 10, 1955). "Ernest Borgnine: Fiendish 'Fatso' to Meek 'Marty'". The New York Times. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  24. ^ "Question: As I remember, ..." TV Guide. October 26, 2004. Archived from the original on July 27, 2023. Retrieved July 27, 2023.
  25. ^ "Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, S.J., U.S.A.: Dedication of Long Beach Scottish Rite Theatre to Actor & Brother Ernest Borgnine". May 7, 2011. Archived from the original on May 10, 2012. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
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  29. ^ "Mrs. McThing". Playbill. Retrieved August 25, 2023.
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  32. ^ "Hollywood Walk of Fame – Ernest Borgnine". Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
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  38. ^ Klinka, Karen (April 5, 1996). "MURPHY AND BORGNINE RIDE INTO COWBOY HALL OF FAME". Deseret News. Retrieved October 16, 2022.
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  41. ^ Miller, Julie (July 9, 2012). "Remembering Ernest Borgnine with His 1955 Oscar-Winning Performance (and His Best Trivia)". Vanity Fair. Retrieved February 24, 2020.

Further reading

  • "Ernest Borgnine". Biographies in Navy History. Naval Historical Center, Department of the Navy. March 8, 2008. Archived from the original on October 3, 2008. Retrieved March 23, 2008.
  • Wise, James. Stars in Blue: Movie Actors in America's Sea Services. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1997. ISBN 1557509379. OCLC 36824724.

External links

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