Oscar Winning Veteran Actor Ernest Borgnine Has Passed Away at 95

July 9, 2012
Source: Chicago Sun-Times

Ernest Borgnine

Last week entertainment suffered the loss of TV icon Andy Griffith, and now the film world has been rattled with the loss of another legend. The Chicago Sun-Times has word that Ernest Borgnine, who most famously won an Academy Award for his turn in the Best Picture winning Marty, has passed away at 95-years old after falling victim to renal failure. Borgnine showed no signs of slowing down on the big screen up to his sudden death today as he most recently had a great bit part in the geriatric action thriller RED. But of course, Mr. Borgnine had a long line of appearances on film and TV before that. More below.

The veteran actor once joked that the secret to his long life came from frequent masturbation, but the key to his long and happy life as a legendary entertainer came in a much less sexual package. When Borgnine was honored with the Screen Actors Guild lifetime achievement award last year, he told Deadline, “It was my mom who told me, ‘Ernie, if you make even one person happy with your smile or a funny thing you did every day, you’ll have accomplished a great deal.’ And that’s all I’ve ever tried to do.” And appearances in over 200 films and TV episodes have certainly done that.

In addition to winning an Oscar for his turn in Marty, Borgnine also had memorable turns in films like The Dirty Dozen, The Wild Bunch, The Flight of the Phoenix, The Poseidon Adventure and Escape from New York. The small screen also gave him a bright spot with work in "McHale's Navy" and more recent work saw him making great use of his voice as Mermaid Man on "Spongebob Squarepants." Though more recent years didn't see Borgnine in a lot of high profile projects, Borgnine always had fun with films like BASEketball and Strange Wilderness. Borgnine was an infectiously charming character actor who will not soon be forgotten, and our thoughts go out to his friends and family. Rest in peace.

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  • Salvin
    A brilliant talent that will be sorely missed.
  • Andy
    I will Always remember him as Dominic Santini from Airwolf. That was my first introduction to the old man and I loved him from the first day. it was much later that I found out that he had won an Oscar. He always looked Jovial and he certainly made me smile more than once. RIP Ernie!!!
    • Agent13
      No doubt. As many things as he's been in it's always Airwolf I think of first. RIP.
  • LosZombies
    Rest In Peace Mermaid Man :'( EEEEEVVVVIIIILLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!
  • cinemabandit
    Loved him in Basketball!
    • son_et_lumiere
      thanks for the reminder! i have to hand it to him, he was certainly game for anything. he didn't half go for it in Baseketball - the 'too sexy for my shirt' reading-of-the-will scene still leaves me slack jawed. RIP, sir.
  • Ehsan Davodi
    ( Borgenine while removing his hat ) : I think the boys are right. 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! Ever Live Borgenine (WILD BUNCH)
  • Hattori Hanzo
    Fan of him since McHale's Navy andThe Dirty Dozen, but he had me for life as Dutch in The Wild Bunch. Loved his comment when he was 93 when he said he was going to act until his dies. Now he has one shot left at another oscar as the lead in The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vincente Fernandez which comes out later his year. If ever there was someone worthy of another oscar it's the great Ernest Borgnine.
  • honored to grow up in his home town, RIP
  • David Banner
    Thanks for all the laughs.
  • grimjob
    Loved this man. Best cabdriver ever! RIP
  • Loved him in Escape from New York, Airwolf obviously. 95 is a good kick at the ball though, rest up somes.
  • bozo connors
    Earliest memory of Mr. Borgnine... [Snake runs into Cabbie's taxi cab while being chased by the Crazies] "Bad neighborhood, Snake! You don't want to be walking from the Bowery to 42nd Street at night. I've been driving a cab here for 30 years and I'm telling you: you don't walk around here at night! Yes, sir! Those Crazies'll kill you and strip you in ten seconds flat! Usually I'm not down around here myself, but I wanted to catch that show. This stuff is like gold around here, you know. " [Cabbie casually lights a Molotov cocktail and throws it at approaching Crazies, which explodes in front of them, stopping them... and Cabbie speeds away with Snake in his taxi] Kind of a "bit" part... but he sure elevated it to lead part level. Thanks to him and his family for sharing his amazing craft with the world.
    • Ehsan Davodi
      Bozo For me Borgenine was Sweatest Angryman I ever knew. I Love Him Forever
  • Bob
    Rest in peace Ernest.we miss you
  • crystaltowers
    Gattaca. I know it was just a tiny part, but perhaps that's testament to his presence. Even playing a forgotten member of the underclass, he was memorable.
  • mooreworthy
    He did the voice of Mermaid man on Spongebob. He brought a smile to my little girl every time. Thanks Ernest.
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