American actor Ernest Borgnine, born in Connecticut on January 24, 1917, to Italian immigrant parents, had a remarkable career spanning over six decades — from his first stage role in 1947, to appearing in the movie Red, released in October of 2010.
While many remember him for his roles in McHale’s Navy, The Dirty Dozen, Ice Station Zebra, The Poseidon Adventure, the 1979 film adaptation of All Quiet on the Western Front, popular 80s TV series Airwolf — and this author’s personal favorite, Disney cult classic The Black Hole, it’s impossible to sum up all of his roles and appearances in so short a space. His talents and abilities as an actor made him appealing to practically every genre of film and television and every type of acting, to multiple generations — one can’t forget his role on SpongeBob SquarePants as superhero Mermaid Man. Borgnine was truly a dynamic talent.
Winning an Oscar, a BAFTA award, and a Golden Globe for his role in the 1955 film Marty, he also received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 2011, and was nominated for multiple Emmy awards — the last of which came along in his 92nd year, for his appearance on ER. Also in 2009, he published his autobiography, titled simply Ernie.
While Ernest Borgnine passed away at the age of 95 on July 8, 2012, he left us with a truly amazing body of work by which to remember his inimitable style, character, and versatility.