Ernest Borgnine

Ernest Borgnine

Ernest Borgnine was born Ermes Effron Borgnino on January 24, 1917 in Hamden, Connecticut. His parents were Charles who had emigrated from Ottiglio (AL), Italy and Anna who had emigrated from Carpi (MO), Italy. As an only child, Ernest enjoyed most sports, especially boxing, but took no real interest in acting. At age 18, after graduating from high school in New Haven, and undecided about his future career, he joined the United States Navy, where he stayed for ten years until leaving in 1945. After a few factory jobs, his mother suggested that his forceful personality could make him suitable for a career in acting, and Borgnine promptly enrolled at the Randall School of Drama in Hartford. After completing the course, he joined Robert Porterfield's famous Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia, staying there for four years, undertaking odd jobs and playing every type of role imaginable. His big break came in 1949, when he made his acting debut on Broadway playing a male nurse in "Harvey".

In 1951, Borgnine moved to Los Angeles to pursue a movie career, and made his film debut as Bill Street in The Whistle at Eaton Falls (1951). His career took off in 1953 when he was cast in the role of Sergeant "Fatso" Judson in From Here to Eternity (1953). This memorable performance led to numerous supporting roles as "heavies" in a steady string of dramas and westerns. He played against type in 1955 by securing the lead role of Marty Piletti, a shy and sensitive butcher, in Marty (1955). He won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance, despite strong competition from Spencer Tracy, Frank Sinatra, James Dean and James Cagney. Throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, Borgnine performed memorably in such films as The Catered Affair (1956), Ice Station Zebra (1968) and Emperor of the North (1973). Between 1962 and 1966, he played Lt. Commander Quinton McHale in the popular television series McHale's Navy (1962). In early 1984, he returned to television as Dominic Santini in the action series Airwolf (1984) co-starring Jan-Michael Vincent, and in 1995, he was cast in the comedy series The Single Guy (1995) as doorman Manny Cordoba. He also appeared in several made-for-TV movies.

Ernest Borgnine passed away aged 95 on July 8, 2012, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, of renal failure. He is survived by his wife Tova, their children and his younger sister Evelyn.

Movies starring Ernest Borgnine (146)

Snatched (2011)

Big Frank Baum

Aces 'N' Eights (2008)

Thurmond Prescott

Blueberry (2004)

Rolling Star

Barn Red (2004)

Michael Bolini

Hoover (2000)

J. Edgar Hoover

The Kiss Of Debt (2000)

Godfather Mariano

McHale's Navy (1997)

Admiral Quinton Mchale Sr.

Moving Target (1988)

Captain Morrison

Carpool (1983)

Mickey Doyle

Young Warriors (1983)

Lt. Bob Carrigan

Blood Feud (1983)

J. Edgar Hoover

Super Fuzz (1980)

Willy Dunlop

When Time Ran Out... (1980)

Det. Sgt. Tom Conti

Convoy (1978)

Sheriff Lyle 'cottonmouth' Wallace

The Greatest (1977)

Angelo Dundee

Fire! (1977)

Sam Brisbane

The Neptune Factor (1973)

Chief Diver Don Mackay

The Boxer (1972)

Captain Perkins

Hannie Caulder (1971)

Emmett Clemens

Bunny O'Hare (1971)

Bill Green - Gruenwald

The Wild Bunch (1969)

Dutch Engstrom

The Split (1968)

Bert Clinger

Chuka (1967)

Sgt. Otto Hahnsbach

The Dirty Dozen (1967)

Maj. Gen. Worden

The Oscar (1966)

Barney Yale

McHale's Navy (1964)

Lt. Commander Quinton Mchale

Pay or Die! (1960)

Police Lt. Joseph Petrosino

Torpedo Run (1958)

Lt. Archer 'archie' Sloan

Three Brave Men (1956)

Bernard F. Goldsmith

Jubal (1956)

Shep Horgan

Marty (1955)

Marty Piletti

Violent Saturday (1955)

Stadt, Amish Farmer

From Here to Eternity (1953)

Sgt. James R. 'fatso' Judson

The Mob (1951)

Joe Castro

Movies Made by Ernest Borgnine (1)

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Ernest Borgnine
Ernest Borgnine
Ernest Borgnine

Same first name: Ernest