Ernest Borgnine life and biography

Ernest Borgnine picture, image, poster

Ernest Borgnine biography

Date of birth : 1917-01-24
Date of death : 2012-07-08
Birthplace : Hamden, Connecticut
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-08-24
Credited as : Film actor, Airwolf, Tova Traesnaes

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Actor Ernest Borgnine was born on January 24, 1917 in Hamden, Connecticut. He's the son of Italian immigrants to the United States, though they divorced when he was only two years old. He spent some time in Italy with his mother but returned later and attended public school in the United States.
After graduating from high school Borgnine joined the navy. He was discharged in 1941 and then re-enlisted soon after when the United States entered the Second World War. He served for a sum total of ten years and managed to attain the rank of Gunner's Mate 1st Class.

After completing his stint with the navy Borgnine spent several years doing little of note until he went to the Randall School of Drama in Hartford. He graduated he got a role in a showing of Glass Menagerie. Later he debuted on Broadway as a nurse in the play Harvey. That same play would later be adapted as a movie starring Jimmy Stewart.

He moved to Los Angeles in 1951 and got his real break when he appeared in From Here to Eternity as a cruel but memorable Sergeant. This allowed him to build a solid reputation as a character actor, appearing in his initial roles as a villain. He adopted a new role in 1955, however, appearing as a happy butcher in the televised play Marty. This role earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor.

He continued appearing in movies until landing the lead role in what would soon become the television show McHale's Navy, a popular four season sitcom. This role earned Borgnine an Emmy nomination in 1963, and in 1964 he reprised his lead role for the show's film. He also had a cameo in the 1997 remake.

Borgnine has continued to make movies and appear in television shows ever since, his other notable televised regular role being that of a pilot in the three season action series Airwolf. He was also noted as appearing on the first version of Hollywood Squares, and was the first celebrity ever to appear in the center square.
In 1996 Borgnine toured the United States in a bus, planning to meet his fans. This tour became a 1997 documentary known as Ernest Borgnine on the Bus.

Borgnine's latest work has included recurring appearances on the show Spongebob Squarepants, working alongside fellow McHale survivor Tim Conway, and in a 2007 Hallmark movie called A Grandpa For Christmas. The movie earned him a Golden Globe nomination. He's also appeared once on The Simpsons and in a series of commercials.

Borgnine has been married five times in his long life. The first was with a woman he met while in the navy, Rhoda Kremins. Their marriage lasted from 1949 until 1958, and they had one daughter. He married again in 1959 to Katy Jurado, and they split in 1963. A year later he married Ethel Merman, which only lasted a month. In the same year that divorce was finalized Borgnine married Donna Rancourt and they stayed together until 1972, having a son and a daughter. And, finally, he's been married to Tova Traesnaes since 1972. In other words, Borgnine hasn't spent much more than a year since 1949 unmarried.


During an interview in 1998, Borgnine admitted to some personal feelings about politics:

I'm 81 years old and I like to speak my mind. As a legacy, on the day I die, I'd like to have a newspaper publish all the things that I find wrong in the United States today. And my first would be to get rid of the politicians. We put politicians into Congress and the Senate for what? For representation. But who do they represent? They represent not only their party, but the people who give them the money, the lobbyists.


Borgnine died of renal failure on July 8, 2012, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. His wife and children were at his side. He was 95 years old.

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