Prolific television and film actor Ernest Borgnine died yesterday of kidney failure at the age of 95. Born in Connecticut to Italian immigrant parents, Borgnine fell into acting after his discharge from the Navy. He started his career playing bad-news heavies in movies like Bad Day at Black Rock; ten years later, he was receiving an Academy Award for his portrayal of the lonely Bronx butcher who gets the girl in Marty.
He often portrayed unconventional leading men. But he was perhaps best known for his role as the crafty Lt. Commander Quinton McHale in the 1960’s TV series McHale’s Navy, which may not have garnered critical acclaim, but certainly gained many loyal viewers over its four year run. The actor’s gap-toothed grin and undeniable charm served him well throughout his long career; he worked as an actor for more than 60 years, appearing in more than 115 films and dozens of television shows.
Larry spoke with Ernest Borgnine in August of 2008, on the release of his autobiography, "Ernie,” when the actor was 91.
Ernest Borgnine, Academy Award winning actor