Happy 106th Birthday Ernest Borgnine

Today is the 106th birthday of the actor Ernest Borgnine. He has a huge resume of work and a personal life as big. The world is a better place because he was in it and still feels the loss that he has left.

NAME: Ernest Borgnine
AKA Ermes Effron Borgnino
DATE OF BIRTH: 24-Jan-1917
DATE OF DEATH: 8-Jul-2012
CAUSE OF DEATH: Kidney failure
REMAINS: Cremated
WIFE: Rhoda Kemins (m. 1949, div. 1958 one daughter)
DAUGHTER: Nancee Borgnine (“Gina Kemins-Borgnine”, b. 18-Aug-1952)
WIFE: Katy Jurado (actress, m. 1958, div. 1963, d. 28-Jun-2002)
WIFE: Ethel Merman (singer, m. 27-Jun-1964, div. 3-Aug-1964)
WIFE: Donna Rancourt (m. 1965, div. 1972, two daughters, one son)
DAUGHTER: Sharon Borgnine (b. 5-Aug-1965)
SON: Cris Borgnine (b. 9-Aug-1969)
DAUGHTER: Diana Rancourt-Borgnine (b. 29-Dec-1970)
WIFE: Tova Traesnaes (CEO of Tova Cosmetics, m. 1972)
OSCAR for Best Actor 1956 for Marty
GOLDEN GLOBE 1956 for Marty
HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME 6324 Hollywood Blvd.

BEST KNOWN FOR: Ernest Borgnine was an American actor whose career spanned over six decades.

He was born Ermes Effron Borgnino on January 24, 1917 in Hamden, Connecticut. His parents were Charles and Anna Borgnine, who immigrated from Carpi, a small town in Northern Italy at the turn of the century. As a child, Borgnine enjoyed watching sports, especially boxing, but acting did not interest him.

In 1935, following his graduation from high school, Borgnine was uncertain about his future and he entered the Navy. He stayed in the Navy for ten years and returned home in 1945 still undecided about a career. After toiling at a few jobs at local factories, his mother suggested that he try acting since he had such a forceful personality. He took her advice seriously and promptly enrolled at the Randall School of Drama in Hartford.

Borgnine finished his courses at the Randall School of Drama and joined Robert Porterfield’s famous Barter Theater in Abington, Virginia. He worked four years at the theater playing every type of role imaginable and doing odd jobs around the theater. His big break came in 1949 when he made his acting debut on Broadway playing a male nurse in the play “Harvey”.

Borgnine moved to Hollywood in 1951 to pursue a career in screen acting. He made his debut in The Whistle at Eaton Falls. His film career gained momentum in 1953 when he won the role of Sergeant “Fatso” Judson in From Here To Eternity. That memorable role led to numerous supporting roles as heavies in a steady string of dramas and westerns.

Borgnine was able to avoid type casting in 1955 by winning the role of Marty Piletti, a sensitive butcher, in Marty. He won the Academy Award as well as every other major award for the film, despite strong competition from Spencer Tracy, Frank Sinatra, James Dean and James Cagney. Throughout the 50s and early 60s, Borgnine gave memorable performances in films such as The Catered Affair (1956) with Bette Davis, The Vikings (1958) and Barabbas (1962). Later notable films included The Dirty Dozen (1967), The Wild Bunch (1969), The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and Emperor of the North Pole (1973).

Beginning in 1962 and ending in 1966, Borgnine played the leading role in the popular television series “McHale’s Navy”. Borgnine would return to television in 1984 in the action series AirWolf and in 1995 in the comedy The Single Guy. He also appeared in several television movies.

When not in front of the camera, Borgnine was active in numerous charities, and tirelessly spoke at benefits throughout the country. He earned several honorary doctorates from colleges across the United States as well as numerous Lifetime Achievement Awards. In 1996, he bought a bus and traveled across the United States to see the country and meet his many fans.

Ernest Borgnine has always said that his greatest love is acting and he continued to work up until his death in 2012. His amazing prolific career included appearances in over 100 feature films, three television series, as well as lending his voice to such animated films as All Dogs Go To Heaven 2 (1996) and the popular television series SpongeBob SquarePants. In 2009, he received an Emmy nomination (his third) for his guest appearance on the series ER

Borgnine’s autobiography Ernie was published by Citadel Press in July 2008.

Borgnine was married to cosmetic company owner Tova (Traesnaes) Borgnine from 1973 until his death. Borgnine was previously married to Rhoda Kemins (1949-58), actress Katy Jurado (1958-1963), Ethel Merman (1964) and Donna Rancourt (1965-1972). He has one daughter with Kemins and two children with Rancourt.

Ernest Borgnine died at the age of 95 on July 8, 2012 in Los Angeles.

SpongeBob SquarePants Mermaid Man (voice 1999-2005)
Airwolf Dominic Santini (1984-86)
McHale’s Navy Lt. Cmdr. Quinton McHale (1962-66)

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One comment

  1. When you look at his CVA of work, you realize just how versatile an actor he was. Comedy, drama, humanitarian, and set piece, he moved his mind, body and soul into the part he was playing. A very great actor with little ego, he was one of the screens best. His like is missed.


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