Ernest Borgnine


Actor
Ernest Borgnine

About

Also Known As
Ermes Effron Borgnino
Birth Place
Hamden, Connecticut, USA
Born
January 24, 1917
Died
July 08, 2012

Biography

One of the most prolific and talented character actors in American film, Academy Award winner Ernest Borgnine appeared in every genre of motion picture for over 60 years, remaining active onscreen well into his ninth decade. After making both his Broadway and feature debuts in 1951, Borgnine made his mark as the vicious Sgt. "Fatso" Judson in "From Here to Eternity" (1953). Just two year...

Photos & Videos

The Dirty Dozen - Movie Poster
The Poseidon Adventure - Movie Posters
The Catered Affair - Advertising Art

Family & Companions

Rhoda Kemins
Wife
Has two brothers.
Rhoda Kemins
Wife
Married in 1949; divorced in 1958.
Katy Jurado
Wife
Has two.
Katy Jurado
Wife
Actor. Married in 1959; divorced in 1961.

Notes

In 2001, Borgnine was honored with a tribute at the National Film Theatre of London.

"How'm I doin'? If I was any better I'd be holed up in a coffin. I feel great. I have a whole new lease on life. Instead of sitting around spinning old yarns, I have new ones to spin." --Ernest Borgnine in USA Today, October 19, 1995.

Biography

One of the most prolific and talented character actors in American film, Academy Award winner Ernest Borgnine appeared in every genre of motion picture for over 60 years, remaining active onscreen well into his ninth decade. After making both his Broadway and feature debuts in 1951, Borgnine made his mark as the vicious Sgt. "Fatso" Judson in "From Here to Eternity" (1953). Just two years later, he earned audiences’ sympathy as the titular lovesick butcher in "Marty" (1955), a role that earned him the Oscar for Best Actor. From there, he was the star of the popular television sitcom "McHale’s Navy" (ABC, 1962-66), before returning to film with "Flight of the Phoenix" (1965) and "The Dirty Dozen" (1967). He was in top form as the right-hand man to William Holden’s aging outlaw leader in Sam Peckinpah’s violent revisionist Western "The Wild Bunch" (1969) and was a thorn in Gene Hackman’s side in "The Poseidon Adventure" (1972). In the 1970s, Borgnine found second life with a return to the small screen after a notable appearance in "Jesus of Nazareth" (NBC, 1977) and an Emmy-winning performance in "All Quiet on the Western Front" (CBS, 1979). He maintained a solid television presence with in "Airwolf" (CBS, 1984-86), "The Commish" (ABC, 1991-96) and voicing Mermaid Man on "SpongeBob SquarePants" (Nickelodeon, 1999- ). By the time he made his final appearances in "Red" (2010) and "The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vicente Fernandez" (2012), Borgnine was recognized as a versatile performer who was equally adept at playing all-too-human heroes as well as hissable villains.

Born Ermes Effron Borgnine on Jan. 24, 1917 in Hamden, CT, he was the only child of immigrant parents from Northern Italy. After his parents, Charles and Anna, separated when he was two, Borgnine lived in Italy with her mother before returning to the United States at the age of five. After James Hillhouse High School in 1935, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was discharged in 1941, only to re-enlist when the United States entered World War II, serving as a gunner’s mate 1st class until 1945. Borgnine returned to civilian life and labored at various factory jobs, but he found little enjoyment in a blue-collar career. Sensing his disillusionment, Borgnine's mother suggested that his larger-than-life personality and imposing presence might be positive qualities for an actor. In agreement, he enrolled at the Randall School of Drama in Hartford, CT and later joined the well-regarded Barter Theater in Abington, VA, where he honed his craft while working odd jobs at the theater. Finally, Borgnine had a break come his way in 1949 when he landed a supporting role as a nurse in a Broadway production of "Harvey" with Joe E. Ross.

Flush with success from his work on the stage, Borgnine relocated to Los Angeles in 1951 and began landing supporting roles in films and on live television shows. His large frame, boxer's face – which frequently flashed his trademark gap-toothed smile – and husky tone made him a natural for heavies. Not surprisingly, he made his first impression on movie audiences as Sgt. James R. "Fatso" Judson, the vicious enlisted man who kills Frank Sinatra's Maggio in "From Here To Eternity" (1953). Borgnine's forceful turn in the Oscar-winning Best Picture led to other bad-guy roles in major films, including the Western "Johnny Guitar" (1954) and "Bad Day at Black Rock" (1955), in which he portrayed one of the local heels who threaten Spencer Tracy. In 1955, director Delbert Mann approached Borgnine to play the lead in a feature film version of Paddy Chayefsky's TV drama, "Marty." The original star, Rod Steiger, was unavailable, leading Borgnine to be tapped as the title character, a lonely Bronx butcher who finds love with a shy schoolteacher (Betsy Blair). Borgnine's heart-rending performance earned him Academy Awards for Best Actor in the United States, as well as a Golden Globe. No longer relegated to villain status, the newly minted star enjoyed a wide variety of roles throughout the 1950s and 1960, including a cuckolded rancher in the Western "Jubal" (1956), the cabdriver husband of Bette Davis in "The Catered Affair" (1956), a Norse chieftain in "The Vikings" (1958) and a Mob-busting New York cop in "Pay Or Die" (1960).

In 1962, Borgnine starred in an episode of the anthology series, "Alcoa Premiere" (ABC, 1961-63) as the commander of a World War II Navy PT boat crew that had gone native while avoiding Japanese patrols in the South Seas. The episode later served as the launching pad for "McHale's Navy" (ABC, 1962-66), a broad service comedy that enjoyed healthy ratings during its relatively long network run. The hit show even spawned two theatrical features, "McHale's Navy" (1964) and "McHale's Navy Joins the Air Force" (1965), though Borgnine did not participate in the latter due to scheduling conflicts with his role in Robert Aldrich's superior adventure film, "The Flight of the Phoenix" (1965). Meanwhile, Borgnine married famed singer Ethel Merman in June 1964 and famously divorced after barely a month. When asked about it years later, Borgnine quipped that he thought he was marrying Rosemary Clooney. After two more failed marriages, he wed cosmetics entrepreneur Tova Traesnaes in 1973 and stayed with her until his death in 2012. After "McHale's" concluded its network run, Borgnine returned to a busy schedule of film appearances in Hollywood and abroad. Among his better projects were the World War II action flick "The Dirty Dozen" (1967), again for Robert Aldrich; "Ice Station Zebra" (1968), in which he played a duplicitous Russian for his "Bad Day at Black Rock" director John Sturges; and as the sympathetic outlaw Dutch Engstrom, second in command behind William Holden in Sam Peckinpah’s violent classic "The Wild Bunch" (1969). Borgnine also appeared in several Italian westerns and action films during this period, and was notable for being the first "Center Square" on "The Hollywood Squares" (NBC, 1965-1982) when it premiered.

Borgnine became even busier in the 1970s, though the quality of his films varied from project to project. Regardless, Borgnine maintained a high level of believability in his performances no matter the project. After stealing scenes as the sadistic boss who was devoured by Bruce Davison's trained rats in "Willard" (1971), he was the morally questionable New York cop who clashes with Gene Hackman’s unorthodox preacher in "The Poseidon Adventure" (1972). He next played a brutal conductor locked in combat with a willful train-hopping hobo (Lee Marvin) in Robert Aldrich's violent "Emperor of the North Pole" (1973) and was real-life boxing coach Angelo Dundee opposite Muhammad Ali (as himself) in "The Greatest" (1977). Following a reunion with Peckinpah for the truck-driving action pic, "Convoy" (1978), Borgnine survived the box office debacle "The Black Hole" (1979). During this period, Borgnine returned to television more frequently, most notably as a celebrity guest on "The Dean Martin Show" (NBC, 1965-1974), but also as a series regular on the short-lived sci-fi program, "Future Cop" (ABC, 1976-77) and as a Roman centurion in "Jesus of Nazareth" (NBC, 1977). Meanwhile, his performance as a worldly-wise soldier in Delbert Mann's moving adaptation of "All Quiet on the Western Front" (CBS, 1979) earned him an Emmy nomination.

Despite maintaining a high level of output, Borgnine found less substantial roles in the following decade. Still, even as he entered his sixth decade, the actor showed no signs of slowing down or losing interest in his craft. Episodic television provided a steady flow of work for him, and he enjoyed a renewed burst of popularity as the jocular co-pilot and sidekick to taciturn hero Jan-Michael Vincent on the action series, "Airwolf" (CBS, 1984-86). But there were interesting supporting roles for Borgnine throughout the decade, including the enthusiastic Cabbie in John Carpenter's "Escape from New York" (1981), the menacing leader of a rural religious community in Wes Craven's little-seen "Deadly Blessing" (1981), and as J. Edgar Hoover in the drama, "Blood Feud" (1983), starring Robert Blake as Jimmy Hoffa and Cotter Smith as Robert F. Kennedy. But for the most part, Borgnine passed the decade in obscure low-budget productions on both sides of the Atlantic. When pressed, he simply stated that he liked to work.

As he continued to work throughout the 1990s, albeit in largely unseen independent films or foreign productions, Borgnine enjoyed the occasional guest shot on an episodic television series, and had a few fun turns like Caesar the janitor in the futuristic sci-fi thriller "Gattaca" (1997) and a reunion with several of his surviving "Dirty Dozen" co-stars, who voiced a squadron of animated toy commandos in Joe Dante's "Small Soldiers" (1998). His expressive voice made him a natural go-to for cartoon voiceover work, and he was heard in the "All Dogs Go to Heaven" sequels and series (ABC/Fox Family, 1996-99), among many others. Borgnine also made a brief return to sitcoms with the tepid comedy "The Single Guy" (NBC, 1995-97), for which he earned a smattering of press that trumpeted a perceived comeback of sports, even though a passing glance at his endless list of credits made it clear that Borgnine had never gone away. The relative slowdown of his career allowed Borgnine to indulge in a passion for driving around the country in a customized motor home, from which he would meet and talk with people in small towns. His wanderlust was the subject of a short documentary, "Ernest Borgnine On the Bus" (1997).

As the 1990s flowed into the 21st century, Borgnine was introduced to a new audience when he was cast in a recurring voice role as Mermaid Man, a television superhero admired by absorbent man-boy "SpongeBob SquarePants" (Nickelodeon, 1999- ) on the top-rated cable cartoon. He was back in front of the camera playing a chauffeur wooing a small-town grandmother (Eileen Brennan) in the direct-to-video release "The Last Great Ride" (1999), and his booming baritone was tapped again to narrate the documentary "An American Hobo" (2002). Borgnine earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie for his starring turn as a retired song-and-dance man in the TV movie, "A Grandpa for Christmas" (Hallmark, 2007), while reflecting on his own history in showbiz with the release of the 2008 memoir Ernie. He further added to his historic resume with a guest appearance in the series finale of NBC's Thursday night staple "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009), offering a performance as a grieving widower that was recognized with an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor. Following a small role as Henry the Records Keeper in the action comedy "Red" (2010), starring Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren, Borgnine was honored with the 47th Annual Life Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild. Following his final television appearance in "Love’s Christmas Journey" (Hallmark Channel, 2011) and his final film "The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vicente Fernandez" (2012), the 95 year old Borgnine suffered from renal failure and died on July 8, 2012 in Los Angeles surrounded by his wife and children. As the outpouring of grief flowed from friends and colleagues, it was clear that Hollywood had lost a legend whose long, successful career was the stuff most actors could only dream of.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vicente Fernández (2012)
The Lion of Judah (2011)
Voice
Another Harvest Moon (2011)
Snatched (2011)
Red (2010)
The Wishing Well (2009)
Strange Wilderness (2008)
Aces 'N' Eights (2008)
A Grandpa for Christmas (2007)
The Trail to Hope Rose (2004)
Renegade (2004)
September 11 (2002)
Mel (2000)
Grandpa
The Last Great Ride (1999)
12 Bucks (1998)
Baseketball (1998)
Small Soldiers (1998)
Voice
McHale's Navy (1997)
Gattaca (1997)
Big Guns Talk: The Story of the Western (1997)
The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage (1996)
Himself
All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 (1996)
Voice
The Legend of O. B. Taggert (1995)
Captiva Island (1995)
Arty
Tides of War (1994)
Mistress (1992)
Himself
MGM: When the Lion Roars (1992)
Laser Mission (1990)
Professor
Qualcuno paghera (1990)
Appearances (1990)
Emil Danzig
Any Man's Death (1990)
Gantz
Jake Spanner, Private Eye (1989)
Gummibarchen kusst man nicht (1989)
Turnaround (1989)
Moving Target (1989)
Captain Morrison
Skeleton Coast (1988)
Spike of Bensonhurst (1988)
Dirty Dozen, The: The Fatal Mission (1988)
General Worden
The Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission (1987)
General Sam Worden
Dirty Dozen: The Next Mission (1985)
The Manhunt (1984)
Ben Robeson
Geheimcode Wildganse (1984)
Frank Fletcher
Carpool (1983)
Mickey Doyle
Young Warriors (1983)
High Risk (1981)
Escape From New York (1981)
Deadly Blessing (1981)
Supersnooper (1981)
When Time Ran Out (1980)
The Ravagers (1979)
The Double Mcguffin (1979)
All Quiet on the Western Front (1979)
Stanislaus Katczinsky
The Black Hole (1979)
Cops and Robin (1978)
Joe Cleaver
The Ghost of Flight 401 (1978)
Dom Cimoli
Convoy (1978)
Crossed Swords (1978)
John Canty
The Greatest (1977)
Fire! (1977)
Shoot (1976)
Lou Jonkheer
Future Cop (1976)
Cleaver
Hustle (1975)
The Devil's Rain (1975)
Jonathan Corbis
Twice in a Lifetime (1974)
Vince Boselli
Law and Disorder (1974)
Emperor of the North Pole (1973)
The Neptune Factor (1973)
Mack Mackay
Hannie Caulder (1972)
Emmett [Clemens]
The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
[Mike] Rogo
The Revengers (1972)
[William P.] Hoop
Rain for a Dusty Summer (1972)
The General
Willard (1971)
[Al] Martin
Bunny O'Hare (1971)
Bill Green (Gruenwald)
The Trackers (1971)
Sam Hill: Who Killed the Mysterious Mr. Foster? (1971)
The Adventurers (1970)
Fat Cat
A Bullet for Sandoval (1970)
Don Pedro Sandoval
Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came (1970)
Sheriff Harve
The Wild Bunch (1969)
Dutch Engstrom
Ice Station Zebra (1968)
Boris Vaslov
The Split (1968)
Bert Clinger
The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968)
Barney Sheean
Chuka (1967)
Sgt. Otto Hansbach
The Dirty Dozen (1967)
General Worden
The Oscar (1966)
Barney Yale
The Flight of the Phoenix (1965)
Trucker Cobb
McHale's Navy (1964)
Lieut. Comdr. Quinton McHale
Barabbas (1962)
Lucius
Season of Passion (1961)
Roo
Go Naked in the World (1961)
Pete Stratton
Pay or Die (1960)
Lt. Joseph Petrosino
Man on a String (1960)
Boris Mitrov
The Rabbit Trap (1959)
Eddie Colt
The Badlanders (1958)
John McBain
The Vikings (1958)
Ragnar
Torpedo Run (1958)
Lt. Archer Sloan
Three Brave Men (1957)
Bernie Goldsmith
The Best Things in Life Are Free (1956)
Lew Brown
The Square Jungle (1956)
Bernie Browne
The Catered Affair (1956)
Tom Hurley
Jubal (1956)
Shep Horgan
The Last Command (1955)
Mike Radin
Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
Coley Trimble
Violent Saturday (1955)
Stadt
Marty (1955)
Marty [Piletti]
Run for Cover (1955)
Morgan
Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954)
Strabo
The Bounty Hunter (1954)
Bill Rackin
Vera Cruz (1954)
Donnegan
Johnny Guitar (1954)
Bart Lonergan
The Stranger Wore a Gun (1953)
Bull Slager
From Here to Eternity (1953)
Sgt. "Fatso" Judson
The Mob (1951)
Joe Castro
China Corsair (1951)
Hu Chang
The Whistle at Eaton Falls (1951)
Bill Street

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage (1996)
Other
Film Portrait (1972)
Other

Cast (Special)

Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project (2007)
Himself
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills (2001)
William Holden: An Untamed Spirit (1999)
The AFI's 100 Years... 100 Stars (1999)
Tim Conway: Just Clowning Around (1999)
The 70th Annual Academy Awards (1998)
Performer
50 Years of Television: A Celebration of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Golden Anniversary (1997)
The Television Academy Hall of Fame (1990)
Performer
The Hollywood Christmas Parade (1987)
The Funniest Joke I Ever Heard (1984)
Take One Starring Jonathan Winters (1981)
Sandy in Disneyland (1974)
The Rowan and Martin Special (1973)
Portrait: Legend in Granite: The Vince Lombardi Story (1973)
Vince Lombardi
What's Up, America? (1971)
Seven Against the Sea (1962)
Lieutenant Commander Quinton Mchale

Misc. Crew (Special)

Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project (2007)
Other

Cast (Short)

The Man Who Makes the Difference (1968)
Himself

Misc. Crew (Short)

LIONPOWER FROM MGM (1967)
Archival Footage

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Alice in Wonderland (1985)
Love Leads the Way (1984)
Senator Brighton
The Last Days of Pompeii (1984)
Blood Feud (1983)
Jesus of Nazareth (Do Not Use) (1977)

Life Events

1919

Lived in Italy with mother when she separated from his father

1946

Worked at the Barter Theater in Abingdon, VA

1947

Landed first stage role in "State of the Union"

1949

Made Broadway debut in "Harvey" in the role of a nurse

1951

Made TV series debut, "Captain Video and His Video Rangers" as the archenemy of the hero

1951

Made feature film debut in "China Corsair"

1953

Cast in first significant role, playing the cruel Sgt. 'Fatso' Judson in "From Here to Eternity"

1955

Landed breakthrough film role, playing the warmhearted butcher in "Marty"

1962

Played the title character on the ABC sitcom "McHale's Navy"; earned an Emmy nomination in 1962 for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor

1965

Co-starred in "The Flight of the Phoenix"

1967

Played General Worden in the feature "The Dirty Dozen"

1969

Landed featured role as one of "The Wild Bunch"

1971

Made TV-movie debut in "The Trackers" (ABC)

1971

Acted in the thriller "Willard"

1972

Co-starred in "The Poseidon Adventure"

1973

Portrayed a railroad-riding hobo in "Emperor of the North Pole"

1977

Appeared in the Muhammad Ali biopic "The Greatest"

1977

Played the Centurion in the acclaimed NBC miniseries "Jesus of Nazareth"

1977

Returned to TV as co-star of the short-lived series "Future Cop" (ABC)

1979

Delivered a fine turn as the veteran soldier in the CBS remake of "All Quiet on the Western Front"; received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Special (1980)

1983

Portrayed FBI head J Edgar Hoover in "Blood Feud" (Syndicated)

1984

Played Dominic Santini, war buddy and second banana to Jan-Michael Vincent's Hawke on the CBS series "Airwolf"

1985

Reprised role of General Worden in a trio of "Dirty Dozen" TV-movies for NBC

1993

Landed recurring role on the ABC drama "The Commish"

1995

Returned to series TV playing doorman Manny Cordoba on "The Single Guy" (NBC)

1997

Made cameo appearance in the big screen remake of "McHale's Navy"

1997

Offered fine turn as a janitor in "Gattaca"

1999

Voiced the mermaid man on the animated series "SpongeBob SquarePants" (Nickelodeon)

2000

Starred as the former FBI director in "Hoover"; also executive produced

2002

Narrated the documentray "An American Hobo"

2007

Played a retired showman in the Hallmark Channel Original Movie "A Grandpa For Christmas"; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie

2008

Published his autobiography <i>Ernie</i>

2009

Appeared on the final episode of NBC's "ER," playing a husband whose long marriage ended with his wife's death; earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor

2010

Co-starred with Bruce Willis in "Red," an adaption of the comic book mini-series of the same name

2011

Made final TV acting appearance in the drama "Love's Christmas Journey" (Hallmark Channel)

2012

Final film role, "The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vicente Fernandez"

Photo Collections

The Dirty Dozen - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for The Dirty Dozen (1967). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
The Poseidon Adventure - Movie Posters
The Poseidon Adventure - Movie Posters
The Catered Affair - Advertising Art
Here are a few pieces of advertising art prepared by MGM to publicize The Catered Affair (1956), starring Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, and Debbie Reynolds.
The Vikings - Movie Posters
The Vikings - Movie Posters
The Mob - Publicity Stills
The Mob - Publicity Stills
Marty - Movie Posters
Marty - Movie Posters
Ice Station Zebra - Movie Posters
Here are a few movie posters from Ice Station Zebra (1968), starring Rock Hudson, Jim Brown, Ernest Borgnine, and Patrick McGoohan.
Somebody Up There Likes Me - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are a number of photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), starring Paul Newman and Pier Angeli, and directed by Robert Wise.
The Stranger Wore a Gun - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from The Stranger Wore a Gun (1953), starring Randolph Scott in 3-D. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The Black Hole - Movie Posters
Here are two different one-sheet movie posters for Disney's science-fiction adventure The Black Hole (1979). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Go Naked in the World - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Go Naked in the World (1961), starring Gina Lollobrigida. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
The Badlanders - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are a few photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of The Badlanders (1958), starring Alan Ladd and Ernest Borgnine.

Videos

Movie Clip

Wild Bunch, The (1969) - Shall We Gather At The River Part of Sam Peckinpah's preposterous opening, in which the prayer meeting enters the incipient shootout, Crazy Lee (Bo Hopkins) abuses hostages, and rivals Thornton (Robert Ryan) and Pike (William Holden) miss shots at each other, in The Wild Bunch, 1969.
Wild Bunch, The (1969) - Even The Worst Of Us Riding into the home village of Angel (Jaime Sanchez), the bunch (William Holden as Pike leads Ernest Borgnine, Ben Johnson and Warren Oates) gets a grim update from Chano Urueta, a leading Mexican director and producer since the 1930’s, as crusty Don Jose, in Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch, 1969.
Wild Bunch, The (1969) - He Was After The Girl We’ve just met the grossly corrupt federal general Mapache (Emilio Fernandez) who’s taken over the Mexican home village of Angel (Jaime Sanchez) where Pike, Dutch, Sykes and the gang (William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Edmond O’Brien, Ben Johnson, Warren Oates) are hiding when Teresa (Sonia Amelio), his former fianceè appears, sparking more trouble, with Fernando Wagner as the German agent, in Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch, 1969.
Ice Station Zebra (1968) - My First Name Is Captain At a Scottish naval base, American sub commander Ferraday (Rock Hudson) and crew (Ted Hartley, Sherwood Price) receive smug British agent Jones (Patrick McGoohan) who’s not explaining his mission, relating to a polar research outpost, in Ice Station Zebra, 1968, from an Alistair MacLean novel.
Ice Station Zebra (1968) - If You Must Have A Suspect British spy Jones (Patrick McGoohan), Russian defector Vaslov (Ernest Borgnine) and Commander Ferraday (Rock Hudson) discuss a submarine sabotage attempt in Ice Station Zebra, 1968, from the Alistair MacLean novel.
Ice Station Zebra (1968) - Now Now, Comrade! Commander Ferraday (Rock Hudson) surfaces to pick up Russian defector Vaslov (Ernest Borgnine), warmly greeted by British spy Jones (Patrick McGoohan) in John Sturges' Ice Station Zebra, 1968, from the Alistair MacLean novel.
Marty (1955) - I'm The Stocky One Unmarried butcher Ernest Borgnine (title character), in one of the scenes that doubtless won him his Academy Award, having grown alarmed over proposed changes in his domestic status, calls up a girl he hardly knows, Delbert Mann directing from Paddy Chayefsky's screenplay, in Marty, 1955.
Wild Bunch, The (1969) - Plain And Fancy They After the bank job, still in military disguise, the Gorch's (Warren Oates, Ben Johnson) tangle with Pike (William Holden) and Angel (Jaime Sanchez), and bad news about the loot sends Sykes (Edmond O'Brien) into a rant, in Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch, 1969.
Split, The (1968) - I'll Blow Your Face Off After staging real-world encounters with Ernest Borgnine, Jack Klugman, Donald Sutherland and Warren Oates (as Klinger, Kifka, Negli and Gough) planner Gladys (Julie Harris) explains why heist-man McClain (Jim Brown) has brought them together, in The Split, 1968, also starring Gene Hackman.
Torpedo Run (1958) - Good Old Fujiyama Sighting land in their chase after a Japanese battleship, Sloan (Ernest Borgnine) and Commander Doyle (Glenn Ford) elect to surface, with Lt. Foley (Dean Jones) running late, in Torpedo Run, 1958.
Torpedo Run (1958) - Rough On The Skipper Opening scene, clearly tormented submarine Commander Doyle (Glenn Ford) takes out a Japanese ship with one shot, supported by executive officer Sloan (Ernest Borgnine), in Torpedo Run, 1958, from a story by Richard Sale.
Torpedo Run (1958) - I'm A Bad Risk Ending a sequence in which Cmdr. Doyle (Glenn Ford) had to torpedo the transport ship carrying his wife and daughter, because it was used to “screen” a Japanese ship he was obligated to attack, a flashback to his courtship with Jane (Diane Brewster), with his best-buddy Lt. Archie Sloan (Ernest Borgnine), in Torpedo Run, 1958.

Trailer

Marty (1955) - (Original Trailer) Burt Lancaster, who produced with business partner Harold Hecht, hosts the original trailer the 1955 Best Picture Academy Award-winner, which also won for director Delbert Mann, Paddy Chayefsky’s story and screenplay, and Ernest Borgnine’s performance in the title role, Marty.
Season of Passion - (Original Trailer) Ernest Borgnine and John Mills are sugar cane workers in Australia enjoying their Season of Passion (1961).
Split, The - (Original Trailer) Jim Brown heads an all-star cast in The Split (1968), about a heist planned during an L.A. Rams game.
Wild Bunch, The - (Original Trailer) A group of aging cowboys look for one last score in a corrupt border town in director Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch (1969).
Dirty Dozen, The - (Original Trailer) A renegade officer trains a group of misfits for a crucial mission behind enemy lines in The Dirty Dozen (1967) starring Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, and Jim Brown.
Man on a String - (Original Trailer) The CIA turns a Russian spy (Ernest Borgnine) into a double agent. Now he is the Man on a String (1960).
Bounty Hunter, The - (Original Trailer) A bounty hunter (Randolph Scott) attempts to track down three killers in The Bounty Hunter (1954).
Vikings, The - (Original Trailer) Two Vikings (Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis) fight over a throne and a beautiful captive (Janet Leigh) in the epic adventure The Viking (1958).
Demetrius and the Gladiators - (Original Trailer) Victor Mature is sentenced to be a gladiator in the sequel to The Robe, Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954).
Flight of the Phoenix, The - (Original Trailer) The survivors of a desert plane crash fight to get back in the air in The Flight of the Phoenix (1965).
Vera Cruz - (Original Trailer) During the Mexican Revolution, rival mercenaries team up to steal a fortune in gold in Vera Cruz (1954) starring Gary Cooper.
Ice Station Zebra -- (Original Trailer) A sub commander on a perilous mission must ferret out a Soviet agent on his ship in Ice Station Zebra (1968), starring Rock Hudson & Jim Brown.

Promo

Family

Paolo Boselli
Grandfather
Competetive swimmer training to ultimately compete in the Olympics.
Paolo Boselli
Grandfather
Count; court advisor. Advisor to King Victor Emmanuel.
Charles B Borgnino
Father
Horse trainer. Mark Hubley.
Charles B Borgnino
Father
Emigrated to the USA from Tuscany at age 14.
Anna Borgnino
Mother
First husband's surname was Elliot; divorced.
Anna Borgnino
Mother
Left her husband and returned to Italy with son c. 1919; returned to husband and USA c. 1923.
Nancee Borgnine
Daughter
Competetive swimmer training to ultimately compete in the Olympics.
Nancee Borgnine
Daughter
Businesswoman, former casting director. Born in 1953; mother, Rhoda Kemins; president and CEO of a beverage company which created Borgnine's Coffee Soda.
Christofer Borgnine
Son
Born in 1966; mother, Donna Rancourt.
Sharon Borgnine
Daughter
Survived him.
Sharon Borgnine
Daughter
Born in 1967; mother, Donna Rancourt.

Companions

Rhoda Kemins
Wife
Has two brothers.
Rhoda Kemins
Wife
Married in 1949; divorced in 1958.
Katy Jurado
Wife
Has two.
Katy Jurado
Wife
Actor. Married in 1959; divorced in 1961.
Ethel Merman
Wife
American Indian potter, painter.
Ethel Merman
Wife
Singer, actor. Married on June 27, 1964; divorced on November 18, 1964.
Donna Granoucci Rancourt
Wife
Married in 1965; divorced in 1972.
Tova Traesner
Wife
Survived him.
Tova Traesner
Wife
Businesswoman, former makeup artist. Married in 1972; Norwegian-born; met when she was doing makeup for the stars in Las Vegas in the early 1970s; owned line of cosmetics which she sold on QVC.

Bibliography

Notes

In 2001, Borgnine was honored with a tribute at the National Film Theatre of London.

"How'm I doin'? If I was any better I'd be holed up in a coffin. I feel great. I have a whole new lease on life. Instead of sitting around spinning old yarns, I have new ones to spin." --Ernest Borgnine in USA Today, October 19, 1995.

"I turned down more pictures than you can shake a stick at simply because I refuse to swear in motion pictures." --Borgnine in a 1995 interview in Entertainment Weekly.

Borgnine often helps promote his wife Tova's thriving cosmetics line. At one launch party in the 1980s, he rolled up his sleeves and demonstrated how soft his elbows were because of his wife's products.