Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ernest Borgnine (1917-2012)

"Marty". "The Dirty Dozen". Airwolf. McHale's Navy. "Law & Disorder".

These are just a few of the many TV & movies on the resume of Academy Award winner Ernest Borgnine, who passed away earlier today due to renal (kidney) failure at 95.

Borgnine was one of those old-school actors who never stopped working. One of his last roles was in the 2-part series finale of ER just a couple of years ago, and his last major film release was the comic book adaptation, "Red", with Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, & John Malkovich. He charmed a new generation of young viewers when he landed the voice role of Mermaid Man on SpongeBob Squarepants in 1999, a gig that reunited him with McHale co-star Tim Conway.

Speaking of McHale, Borgnine had a small part in the 1997 movie version that starred Tom Arnold and Bruce Campbell, and was the only member of the original series' cast to appear.

17 years after McHale ended, Borgnine returned to television in Don Belisario's adventure series, Airwolf, as a sidekick to star Jan-Michael Vincent. This came about after Borgnine guested on Magnum, PI, and Belisario offered him the Airwolf gig. Playing a Navy man came naturally to Borgnine, who actually served in the Navy before turning to acting.

Following is the series premiere of McHale's Navy, "An Ensign For McHale":

Like Andy Griffith, who passed away earlier this week, Ernest Borgnine was an American original. Rest in peace, Ernie. You'll be missed.


magicdog said...

His TV worl is how I first came to know Earnest Borgnine. But when I had the chance to see him in films like "Marty", he really blows you away!

It was good he was so active near the end.

R.I.P. McHale!

hobbyfan said...

Just wait. I have a notion to toss up a short-lived series he did in the 70's that I just remembered earlier today. "Future Cop". Watch for it.

magicdog said...

I think I remember that one - Borgine plays a cop or detective who is partnered with an android... am I right??

hobbyfan said...

That's the one. John Amos (Good Times) co-starred. Michael Shannon was the android.