Quint says goodbye to Ernest Borgnine
Hey guys. Quint here with some words on the passing of Ernest Borgnine, one of our true acting legends and also a helluva sweet guy to boot.
I think for a lot of movie fans they’ll remember Ernest (who insisted on being called Ernie, so I’ll honor the man’s wishes and refer to him as such for the rest of this article) Borgnine for his late ‘70s and early ‘80s work in Disney’s messed up sci-fi film The Black Hole, as the loveable Cabbie in John Carpenter’s Escape From New York and as Dominic in the crazy helicopter adventure TV series Airwolf. That was certainly my first exposure to the man’s onscreen presence, which was always the big teddy bear of a guy, the cool uncle type character.
But Ernie was a surprisingly versatile actor. While he was indeed one of those actors that brought a lot of himself to every role he played a wide range of people. Take for instance his Oscar-winning performance in Marty, where he plays a more typical Ernie Borgnine type… a kind, but tough man. His Marty is sensitive, a raw nerve of loneliness who just wants to love and be loved. It’s one of the screen’s most sympathetic, heart-touching performances. Compare that to his portrayal of Shack in Robert Aldrich’s Emperor of the North and you’ll see just how talented an actor Ernie was.
There is no Marty in Shack. I can’t see Marty taking any kind of glee from murdering freeloading hobos, but by God there’s an insanity in Ernie’s eyes as he takes on Lee Marvin in that film.
Part of the reason Shack is such a captivating character is you can see some of Ernie in there and that’s like seeing your dad get drunk and crazy. Kind of makes me wonder what it would have been like if Stanley Kubrick cast him in The Shining.
If you haven’t seen either Marty or Emperor of the North, I can’t recommend a better double feature to honor Mr. Borgnine. Those two movies contain some of his best work and as a double bill really do underline just how much range the man had.
That isn’t the limit of his iconic screen work, not by a long shot. There’s also his great early work in From Here to Eternity, another film in which he gets to play a real scumbag and his notable turns in McHale’s Navy, John Sturges’s Bad Day At Black Rock, Robert Aldrich’s Flight of the Phoenix and The Dirty Dozen, Willard, The Devil’s Rain, Gattaca and one of his personal favorites, an obscure mob flick called Pay or Die. He’s probably best known for playing Dutch in The Wild Bunch or Rogo in The Poseidon Adventure, two hugely successful and wildly different films. Hugely successful and wildly different actually kind of sums up Ernie’s work, actually.
No matter what the movie was, drama or comedy or horror film, Borgnine brought his all. He never treated any part like it was beneath him and his enthusiasm for his work always shined through.
Perhaps it was his serviceman background or maybe it was just how he was raised, but his work ethic was unparalleled and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in the industry that would say a bad word against Ernie.
He’s that rare actor that is incredibly, genuinely humble, is well-loved by his audiences and colleagues alike and is a master of his craft. He was going strong right up until his death, having appeared in over 200 films and TV shows and doing it all with a laugh on his lips and a mischievous glint in his eye.
I had the very good fortune of speaking with Ernie for nearly an hour when he appeared in Red with Bruce Willis. It was one of my first AICN Legends chats and to this day remains one of my all time favorite interviews. The whole chat was full of laughs and the kind of blunt honesty that only comes with “fuck-it” old age. You can read that chat here if you can forgive some wonky fonts and broken image links from files that didn’t quite survive the server move a year or two back.
I’ve been listening over the raw audio from that interview as I write this today and it’s made be both smile and tear up a little bit. He was very personable with me, tolerated my geekout like a champ and even ended the interview with an offer to hang out next time I was in LA. I tried reaching out to his management on my next LA trip after this interview, but it never came together. That’s sad for me as I’m sure in person there would have been even more laughter and crazy stories about meeting people like Lucky Luciano or chumming around with Frank Sinatra, however I got my chance to tell him how much his work meant to me (and still means to me), which is something I’ll always cherish.
I always worry that these old guard actors don’t realize just how much they’re still admired and respected. You always hear horror stories of these guys growing old bitter and alone. I’m happy to know that Ernie wasn’t in that batch.
The man made a huge impact on the world of cinema. They don’t make ‘em like Ernie Borgnine anymore. My thoughts go out to his friends, family and fans.
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July 8, 2012, 10:16 p.m. CST
July 8, 2012, 10:18 p.m. CST
by nolan bautista
Thanks for the memories Ernie..
July 8, 2012, 10:19 p.m. CST
July 8, 2012, 10:21 p.m. CST
You were a great one and a class act.
July 8, 2012, 10:21 p.m. CST
This sucks. Hollywood royalty all the way.
July 8, 2012, 10:23 p.m. CST
My daughter loves him as do I. Goodnight Cabbie, I never thought you were dead.
July 8, 2012, 10:23 p.m. CST
July 8, 2012, 10:24 p.m. CST
I remember that interview with Ernie in RED. I remember it being a big deal for Willis to work with him. Kind of rad. RIP Ernie.
July 8, 2012, 10:24 p.m. CST
His hairpiece was 32...RIP...great actor...will be missed
July 8, 2012, 10:25 p.m. CST
Ever notice that people collect the strangest things and then when it goes missing they believe that some stole it... "Hey, who stole my collection of used bandages? I also notice that my naked pictures of Ernest Borgnine are missing!" RIP Ernie
July 8, 2012, 10:28 p.m. CST
July 8, 2012, 10:29 p.m. CST
fine actor. great human being.
July 8, 2012, 10:29 p.m. CST
by Tigger Tales
in his horoscopes song, something about "naked pictures of Ernest Borgnine hanging in your locker" I remember because it was for Sagitarrius, it was for ME!!!
July 8, 2012, 10:35 p.m. CST
by Trolle Selander
Yes, he was 95, but dammit... I met him at DragonCon last year, and he was so full of life & energy I thought he was EASILY going to make it past 100, and probably still be acting to boot.
July 8, 2012, 10:35 p.m. CST
May Ernie's reign in Hell as High Priest of Lucifer be long and auspicious!
July 8, 2012, 10:36 p.m. CST
July 8, 2012, 10:38 p.m. CST
Ernie was a hell of an actor, and a hell of a man. He lived a full life and was spry to the last. We should all be so lucky... Also, Abe will be the last one here to turn out the lights, and you can take that to the bank.
July 8, 2012, 10:50 p.m. CST
I'll always remember him from Posideon Adventure.. just killed that role.. RIP indeed...
July 8, 2012, 10:51 p.m. CST
Ernie and I shared something special. We are both proud Freemasons- a fact he would readily discuss. Many years ago, he was appearing on the Dinah Shore show, and she asked him what was the greatest honor he has ever received. Without hesitation, he replied that his greatest honor was on (such and such a date) when he was made a Mason. Knowing men in the order, very few would answer with that. That he did, showed that he was not your ordinary guy, but took the philosophies seriously. He joined the fraternity at a time before the insane conspiracy theories, when honor meant something. He lived his life in such a manner that one could easily tell that he meant no harm to another soul, and would help out whenever he could. This man was the epitome of class. His good grace shall be missed on this Earth. We are all the poorer for his passing, but we should be so glad that this fine man was granted 95 years with us. Not too shabby.
July 8, 2012, 10:54 p.m. CST
Ned: Oh, Warren, I know your dad is in prison, but don't you fret! A special celebrity dad has been arranged for you. Warren: But -- my older brother would like -- Ned: [cheerfully] Sorry, but I'm afraid Ernest Borgnine has already been confirmed. [Ernest Borgnine walks in laughing] Ernest: Hiya! I'm sure you kids know me best as Sergeant Fatso Judson in "From Here to Eternity".
July 8, 2012, 10:57 p.m. CST
by mister death
Too many great parts to list, Escape From New York is first film where I took notice. But that's what he did, reintroduce himself to the film world every time he was on screen. Wow, Andy Griffith and now Ernest Borgnine. This has a been a shitty summer for Hollywood legends.
July 8, 2012, 11:01 p.m. CST
Godspeed, Sgt. Willy Dunlop.
July 8, 2012, 11:05 p.m. CST
July 8, 2012, 11:17 p.m. CST
since I grew up outside the Sates. Fond memories.
July 8, 2012, 11:19 p.m. CST
by Citizen Sane
I can say that he was a man of genuine warmth and kindness. He will be missed
July 8, 2012, 11:21 p.m. CST
That's the guy.
July 8, 2012, 11:28 p.m. CST
R.I.P. Mermaid Man
July 8, 2012, 11:28 p.m. CST
July 8, 2012, 11:31 p.m. CST
by Ferf Muckmeyer
Not that it was his greatest role - just mentioning it because this guy could play anyone. RIP.
July 8, 2012, 11:43 p.m. CST
I hope you died with a sword in your hand.
July 9, 2012, 12:01 a.m. CST
Going to be missed
July 9, 2012, 12:24 a.m. CST
it was his key to longevity. Hilarious interview from a cool legend of acting
July 9, 2012, 12:38 a.m. CST
Who cares about one more dead bigot?
July 9, 2012, 12:43 a.m. CST
In the episode Boyz Scout in the Hood. RIP, Ernie!
July 9, 2012, 12:54 a.m. CST
Alas, I only knew him from THE BLACK HOLE and THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE and random TV appearances. RIP.
July 9, 2012, 12:56 a.m. CST
July 9, 2012, 1:09 a.m. CST
July 9, 2012, 1:12 a.m. CST
Even though he was in tons of other films during his career.
July 9, 2012, 1:21 a.m. CST
by Con Shonnery
So many memorable performances in a long career. He had a wonderful abiltity to be as mean as a rattlesnake in one movie and as cuddly as a teddy bear in the next.
July 9, 2012, 1:22 a.m. CST
RIP, Mr. Borgnine. And thanks.
July 9, 2012, 1:36 a.m. CST
When I decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the film industry, I knew no one here. I went to the same university as Delbert Mann, the director of Marty, so I wrote a letter to him. I received a type-written reply inviting me to visit him. I had a great meeting with Del at his home in Park La Brea, and became friends with him. Well, it was the kind of friendship one has when the other person is an Oscar-winning director who is (was) essentially retired, and is (was) a half-century older than the other, who was a total neophyte. We had lunch once in a while while I was in film school. While in film school, I produced a film that had a great role for Ernie. I asked Del if he could help me get Ernie for the movie. He gave me Ernie's home phone number and told me not to tell Ernie how I got his number. We didn't end up working together (no fault of Ernie's; no "I won't do a student film" or anything like that), but, years later, I finally met Ernie at Del's memorial service. I was the youngest person there by decades, not counting Del's grandchildren. I had the chance to talk to Ernie (and his lovely wife) for a few minutes, and I told him about my friendship with Del, about the student film that had had this role for him, etc. The look on his face was just priceless, because he hadn't quite heard me correctly, and he thought I was trying to get him to commit to acting in this student film right there, at Del's memorial service. That of course would have been quite a tasteless thing for me to do, and the film was in 10+years in the can. Anyway, I wish I had a picture of that moment, because his emotions truly were a mix of Marty and Shack in the very same moment. Looking back, I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to interact (however trivially) with these two gentlemen. Ernie was clearly a wonderful person who didn't let fame get to him too much; Del was one of the truly great human beings I ever had the opportunity to know; but that's a subject for another day.
July 9, 2012, 1:50 a.m. CST
by rakesh patel
Growing up in the 80's every time i watched tv he was on a repeat guest staring in a show or a regular like airwolf. It became a bit of of joke amongst me and my friends to spot him in a part ( pre internet and pre imdb!) didn't realise he was in RED, will defiantly have to watch. Quint great tribute, wonderfully written. RIP Ernie. Thanks for the memories sir.
July 9, 2012, 1:51 a.m. CST
There really won't be another like him. Yes, he was a very sweet man, but I loved the roles in which he was sinister or commanding. I have a serious thing for Ice Station Zebra, where Ernie was so nasty and devious. And From Here To Eternity, where he excelled. His appearance in The Dirty Dozen is the performance that puts that movie over the top for me. If Ernie had only been in Where Eagles Dare. Marty is of course an all time classic. Yet I discovered Borgnine genius as a kid during the unholy cool that is known as Airwolf. Airwolf!!! Airwolf kicked all kinds of ass, as did Ernie. I'd seen him in The Black Hole before that, and it was awesome. I'd seen him in Escape From New York before that on my fifth try sneaking in to that god damn flick (and it was worth it - Call Me Snake). But it was weekly exposure to Ernie's sweet performance in the awesomeness of Airwolf that forever endears this actor to my fond memories. He had a great, great long haul in the business, and you can just see it in his performances - any of them - that he loved every minute of it. I salute Ernest Borgnine. Godspeed, sir.
July 9, 2012, 2:29 a.m. CST
Hail Ragnar... and hail Ragnar's beard! Do yourselves all a favor and catch Ernie in Richard Fleischer's THE VIKINGS. Absolutely nobody in the business could chew up the scenery with the gusto of Borgnine - and I mean that in the best possible way. There are times when you see heavy-hitting-scene-stealers like Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis just lay back and let the Master swing for the fences. The man was simply amazing.
July 9, 2012, 2:54 a.m. CST
Was hoping that Quint would be the guy who got to write this. I remembered the interview conducted for RED, so I knew there was that personal history there. Not to mention Quint's obvious true love for Cinema and the history of it. Wonderful write up, for a man who will be truly missed. He made an indelible mark on American Cinema and won't soon be forgotten.
July 9, 2012, 3:09 a.m. CST
July 9, 2012, 4:02 a.m. CST
by far his biggest success at the box office and it barely ranks a mentioning in all of the obits. Can't figure that out - maybe a disaster movie snobbery. Damned good film and Borgnine kicks ass in it. Should have had a clip of Borgnine going toe to toe with Hackman from that film. Now that's a clip worth posting. R.I.P. Mr. Borgnine - so well done.
July 9, 2012, 4:07 a.m. CST
One of my all time favorite Films. Godspeed, Cabbie.
July 9, 2012, 4:56 a.m. CST
and we both remarked and admired Ernie's total commitment to his role as Dominic. There's one episode in particular in the first season, where Dominic goes on his own to perform a helicopter stunt and wages his whole business for the deal. There's a very emotionally heightened scene, where Dominic punches Stringfellow and screams/growls/whimpers.."WHAT'S THE MATTER!?!! CAN'T YOU FIGHT ME LIKE I'M STILL A MAN?!??" All raw powerful emotion for what is now a pretty cheesy, self indulgent 80's action TV show. But, man, it made no difference to him. He ALWAYS gave his all, and that's what I'll remember most about him. Selfishly sad we won't get to see him in anything else. A pure treasure. Nice tribute.
July 9, 2012, 5:36 a.m. CST
I used to think he was a joke of an actor. Then I saw "From Here to Eternity" and "Marty." Borgnine was a great talent and vastly under appreciated. He lived a full life. We should be so lucky!
July 9, 2012, 6:31 a.m. CST
July 9, 2012, 6:31 a.m. CST
Ernie will be missed.
July 9, 2012, 6:31 a.m. CST
July 9, 2012, 6:47 a.m. CST
great wild bunch line and oddly appropriate here.
July 9, 2012, 6:50 a.m. CST
He is still trying to figure out how to make the entire Thing about him. -- End Of Line --
July 9, 2012, 7:17 a.m. CST
by Colin Dent
July 9, 2012, 7:20 a.m. CST
Playing Sheriff "Dirty Lyle", giving Kris Kristoferson, aka "Rubber Duck", a hard time in Peckinpah's last film, "Convoy" (based on a novelty song about CB Radio - gotta love the 70's...). "Breaker, breaker...this is The Bear...in the air...calling the Rubber Duck! Come on!" Yeah, 10-4, good buddy, and rest in peace, Mr. Borgnine, you now are immortal in our hearts and minds...
July 9, 2012, 7:33 a.m. CST
They've been showing the Black Hole on heavy rotation on one of the cable channels. RIP Mr. Borgnine.
July 9, 2012, 7:50 a.m. CST
by Jason Bartlett
July 9, 2012, 7:56 a.m. CST
You were there since I was a kid, growing up and watching movies. You will be missed. So many greats passing.
July 9, 2012, 8:30 a.m. CST
Nobody does Hollywood great obits like AICN, always laid out with great detail, affection and respect for whomever you're covering.
July 9, 2012, 8:35 a.m. CST
A fitting tribute to a legend. Of all the roles Mr Borgnine played, I have to say that my favourite is Dirty Lyle in Convoy. It's the role of his I've seen most times, so that probably explains why. His whole body of work spoke for itself and the world, certainly the film world at least, will be a much sadder place without him. Thank you, Mr Borgnine. May you rest in peace.
July 9, 2012, 9:07 a.m. CST
and "Marty" meant so much more to me than people will know. Trust me, their were alot of "Martys" in the Bronx and Ernie truly brought to life that perosnality type. It's almost shocking when you watch him in other films, like Poseidon Adeenture and he is the gruff cop. From what I had heard by people that met him, he was a class act and never forgot where he came from.
July 9, 2012, 9:09 a.m. CST
...titled If Chins Could Kill, Bruce speaks of when he had a small part on the McHale's Navy remake, and the enormous difference between the attitudes of star Tom Arnold, and Borgnine. While Arnold continuously made the entire production sit around for hours waiting for him to leave his trailer, where he was busy with drugs and sex, Borgnine, who was only doing a small cameo, would be ready on the set, waiting patiently for when he was needed, and politely making zero demands of anybody. Campbell said it taught him the true meaning of professionalism, which he tries to emulate.
July 9, 2012, 9:15 a.m. CST
there's a show you rarely watch, and every time you turn an episode on TV it turns out to be the same episode as the last time you turned it on? Well, for me, that's Little House on the Prairie, and every time I've ever turned it on it seems like it's that episode where Laura prays that God would take her new little brother away, and then he dies, and then she runs away and meets Ernest Borgnine playing an angel. That's what I think of when I think of him. Now he is one!
July 9, 2012, 9:15 a.m. CST
The other side must be sumpin' else.
July 9, 2012, 9:45 a.m. CST
...was my mum's favourite film as a child. OOOOOODIIIIIIIIN! RIP Ernie.
July 9, 2012, 9:54 a.m. CST
It was such a pleasant surprise to see Ernie in Red. I'm glad someone else mentioned Ice Station Zebra. I grew up watching the McHale's Navy show and have been a fan ever since. Condolences to his wife and family.
July 9, 2012, 9:56 a.m. CST
...in The Wild Bunch. Fantastic memory!
July 9, 2012, 10 a.m. CST
Remains as Harry from The Black Whole to me.......Lucas also wanted him for Episode II as that Big Turkey who talks to Obi-Wan in the American Graffiti Bar....Dex is the charachters name
July 9, 2012, 10:02 a.m. CST
July 9, 2012, 10:04 a.m. CST
by Bedknobs and Boomsticks
July 9, 2012, 10:20 a.m. CST
A true actors actor and a great human being
July 9, 2012, 10:22 a.m. CST
"The Devil's Rain" is still one of my fave cult horror flicks EVER! Borgnine, Shatner, Skerrit, Travolta with a mask. EPIC!
July 9, 2012, 10:25 a.m. CST
I too can recall that episode where he punches Jan Michael Vincent in the chin (something he likely wanted to do) and belted out, "WHAT'S THE MATTER!?!! CAN'T YOU FIGHT ME LIKE I'M STILL A MAN?!??" The man gave his all in every performance and in that episode, he really hit the mark.
July 9, 2012, 10:58 a.m. CST
People forget he was also in the original "Poseidon Adventure" Playing the antagonist to Gene Hackman's character.
RIP good sir. I shall now Masturbate in your honor.
July 9, 2012, 11:01 a.m. CST
by The Shropshire Slasher
Very nice article Quint.
July 9, 2012, 11:03 a.m. CST
July 9, 2012, 11:06 a.m. CST
All I really remember is him riding on a giant gum bubble.
July 9, 2012, 11:16 a.m. CST
He was a funny and kind person. Vaya con Dios.
July 9, 2012, 11:33 a.m. CST
From Here To Eternity, to voicing a character on Spongebob Squarepants is quite the achievement. Kudos to whomever thought of casting Mr. Borgnine and Tim Conway in the roles of MermaidMan and Barnacle Boy. Too bad we won't be able to celebrate a century on this earth, but I would dare say that Mr. Borgnine lived a full and adventurous life. Rest In Peace good sir.
July 9, 2012, 11:33 a.m. CST
He was on SNL with Morgan Freeman on a clip of What's Up With That? He never spoke just kept looking around at the zaniness of the skit and the look on his face was priceless!!!! http://www.hulu.com/watch/182715
July 9, 2012, 12:13 p.m. CST
And there was a weird Tv series which was like a futuristic Treasure Island that he was in. He was old back in the 80's, but such a gent in real life, and one of the greats. As said earlier, It seems like we've been robbed, as he seemed so healthy not so long ago. I was certain that he'd push past a century. R.I.P.
July 9, 2012, 12:14 p.m. CST
Abe Vigoda is still alive? Good on him.
July 9, 2012, 12:16 p.m. CST
by duke of url
class all the way R.I.P. cabbie
July 9, 2012, 12:25 p.m. CST
by Mr Nicholas
July 9, 2012, 12:28 p.m. CST
by Christian Sylvain
Rest soundly Mr. Borgnine. You've always been a hero to the film and television medium. Whether it's From Here to Eternity, The Wild Bunch, The Dirty Dozen, McHale's Navy, The Simpsons, or SpongeBob SquarePants, you've left your mark on the minds of millions. Goodbye and Rest In Peace.
July 9, 2012, 1:15 p.m. CST
Marty's my favorite from Borgnine, but SO many good ones in an all time great career. He was in everything from classic Hollywood to low budget genre: Emperor of the North, Wild Bunch, Dirty Dozen original Willard, Poseidon Adventure, Escape from NY, From Here to Eternity, Bad Day at Black Rock, The Devil's Rain. ...even in Johnny Guitar! Rest easy great one.
July 9, 2012, 1:21 p.m. CST
"More than the cost of the shoe, is the cost of the lie" (to Michael Berryman) an underrated classic early Wes Craven RIP sir, you will be missed
July 9, 2012, 1:24 p.m. CST
...Dominic Santini vs James Kirk...a classic for the ages....
July 9, 2012, 1:35 p.m. CST
IMDB says he still has one more starring role coming out: "The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vicente Fernandez". I will look forward to it.
Ernest Borgnine plays Rex Page, an old man who is bitter about never becoming famous and having lived a life without any meaning. After suffering a stroke, he ends up in a nursing home staffed by Latin American immigrants. Put off by the situation, Rex focuses his energy on getting out, which places him at odds with the Latino workers. However, their relationship takes on new meaning when it is discovered that he once shook hands with Vicente Fernandez, a Mexican singer, producer and actor idolized throughout Latin culture. The employees soon begin to treat Rex like the celebrity he's always dreamed of being.
July 9, 2012, 1:42 p.m. CST
Loved him as Vaslov in "Ice Station Zebra." And in McHale. Marty too. Bye to a great one.
July 9, 2012, 1:50 p.m. CST
by Steve Lamarre
thanks for all the fun cinema.
July 9, 2012, 1:55 p.m. CST
That would fucking suck.
July 9, 2012, 2:04 p.m. CST
he was sitting in his easy chair just listening to some classical music and reading U.S. News and World Report, and enjoying some coffee. He thought to himself, 'sad to see you go Marty, i'll continue to hold down the fort for us ancient dogs'.
July 9, 2012, 2:39 p.m. CST
The man did so much, it's mindblowing. From Here To Eternity, Marty, The Poseidon Adventure, Escape From New York, The Wild Bunch and that's just for staters. What a legend lost. That just don't make 'em like Borgnine anymore. You will be missed Sir.
July 9, 2012, 2:45 p.m. CST
You will definitely be missed......
July 9, 2012, 3:17 p.m. CST
Definitely a member of Hollywood royalty…not many of them left at this point. The range of actors/directors he was able to work with is pretty amazing. Aldrich, Carpenter…….he even worked with Wes Craven. He’ll be missed, but he had a damn great run.
July 9, 2012, 3:32 p.m. CST
Rogo, get them through! Ah, yes. You've got to love Ernie as the rough, grouchy, cynical ex-cop, always clashing with the preacher. But despite all of that the character has a heart of gold and when the priest knows he ain't gonna make it, he knows the only one who can see them to safety is Rogo. If you know those lines, you know the movie and you know Borgnine played that role to perfection. Godspeed, sir.
July 9, 2012, 4:54 p.m. CST
Knew it was coming sometime but still hit me in the gutt. Rest in peace Ernie, and thanks for all the fond memories you gave to everyone
July 9, 2012, 4:55 p.m. CST
by Terry Powell
...Deadly Blessing is due on bluray sometime this fall. Good flick. One I've never seen and wish it were on dvd is Bunny O'Hare, where Borgnine and Bette Davis play senior citizens who dress as hippies/bikers and rob banks. Willard really needs to be on dvd as well.
July 9, 2012, 6:11 p.m. CST
1. BASEketball - In my very humble opinion, one of the funniest movies ever made, and he was a big part of it. (Tell me you didn't laugh when he breaks into; 'I'm Too Sexy' at the reading of the will.) 2. Escape From New York. - THIS was my introduction to Mr. Borgnine. Cabby is still one of my favorite character of his. and 3. The Simpsons - His guest appearance still makes me laugh to this day. And after his "Secret to old age" him coming out of the bathroom washing his hands takes on a whole new interpretation! :) I'll miss you Cabby. Rest in peace, and God bless.
July 9, 2012, 6:51 p.m. CST
I always used to love him on Airwolf, particularly when String got in a scrape and Dominic had to come to the rescue. Did anyone pick up the 'Airwolf movie' (actually the extended pilot) DVD? It had an interview with EB on it talking about the show, i believe. Is it any good? The interview i mean, not the movie...
July 9, 2012, 7:47 p.m. CST
July 9, 2012, 9:27 p.m. CST
I didnt know he was a Mason, cool. All I can say is thanks for all the great entertainment you provided me and many others over the decades. (Wont attempt to rattle off all the great movies he was in being theres so many.) But as a kid watching "The Black Hole" I was very happy to see his mug there. :] Well done! :]
July 9, 2012, 10:39 p.m. CST
July 10, 2012, 1:22 a.m. CST
by The StarWolf
I loved the episode where he played the retired Navy underwater demolitions expert who, with two fellow military retirees, set out to take down a Colombian drug chief. It had a perfect blend of drama, suspense, and humour. The scene where he fooled Sarah into thinking him a stereotype, addled senior, to right back at full capacity was priceless - and spoke loudly about our preconceptions of the elderly. The bit at the end where, having promised they wouldn't do it again, the three of them are around a table, studying a map and Dick Bakalyan's (of many Disney movies fame) character intones "I think I know where we could get a MiG, cheap" had me doubled over laughing and wishing they'd do a spin-off with these three feisty old geezers.
July 10, 2012, 8:22 a.m. CST
Sherriff Andy and now Captain McHale - two amazing high-water marks in television. No show ever made me laugh like McHale's Navy.
by Arcadian Del Sol
And giving Ernie tribute in the movie adaptation was its ONLY redeeming moment.
July 10, 2012, 8:54 a.m. CST
by Dark Doom
A guy who looked like a hardass, but was really a nice guy. Hollywood don't make them like him anymore...
July 10, 2012, 10:18 a.m. CST
July 10, 2012, 10:18 a.m. CST
I don't think that anyone did not like this man.
July 10, 2012, 1:12 p.m. CST
Is all you need to know. Fucking masterpiece.
July 10, 2012, 5:57 p.m. CST
if any actors working currently will have his career longevity in so many film genres. Like a lot of kids in the 60's I first saw him in McHale's Navy and was amazed at what a scary, dangerous SOB he could play. A truly fantastic actor.
July 10, 2012, 5:59 p.m. CST
^ Major typo. I meant scary, dangerous... in other roles. Bad Day at Black Rock is still one of my favorites.
July 10, 2012, 8:23 p.m. CST
Here's hoping he kicked it while rubbing one out with a smile on his face.
July 11, 2012, 6:07 p.m. CST
Quint pretty much stole my thunder. I liked 'Ernie' because he made any character he took on, appear believable. Even small parts, Ernie just gave 100%. Hope the 'better place' is treating you well, thank you for your work.
July 12, 2012, 2:39 a.m. CST
He will be sorely missed, a true professional and a master of his craft. R.I.P
July 13, 2012, 1:15 p.m. CST
I love Ernie Borgnine. I lived in a trailer park in Simi Valley. My neighbour was on the payroll as a personal assistant for Ernie. She had some great stories. One about Vera Cruz location shooting. Very remote. He and another guy rode out for supplies, cigarettes and drink, in full cowboy regalia. Caused quite a dangerous kerfuffle with local Mexican cops. I loved that body double moment in Poseidon Adventure when Ernie emerges from the boiling water and that body builder's arm emerges from the froth and grabs the rung of the ladder. Ha! But you don't mind. Ernie made you feel the guy's muscle in that role. Just watched Deadly Blessing the other night. He played Amish to the hilt in Violent Saturday. Stabbing Lee Marvin in the back with a pitchfork! Great scene. He and Marvin worked a lot together. That weird thing both he and Marvin shared, of being huge, almost leads, in dozens of movies but never being the lead. I can't think of anything he did that I didn't like. You hate him in From Here To Eternity. But you understood that was the way Fatso got his respect. Loved that actor.
July 15, 2012, 8:58 p.m. CST
by Grammaton Cleric Binks
Ernie is dead? This sucks. I just watched The Dirty Dozen a week before I left. Damn.
July 16, 2012, 3:32 p.m. CST
THE VIKINGS is the first movie I remember seeing in a theater. (Spoiler): His death scene scared the shit out of this little kid. Still one of the greatest death scenes ever! ... Also, years later a buddy told me AIRWOLF was filming a scene in an edit bay he worked at in Burbank and Borgnine was the first one at the location that day and he just hung out, a real regular guy. ... Lastly, another friend was a co-writer of DEVIL'S RAIN. He'll be thrilled at the mentions here. Goodbye, Corbis!
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