Sunday, July 8, 2012

In Memoriam: Ernest Borgnine

Today Academy Award winning actor Ernest Borgnine passed away at the age of 95.   Borgnine passed away from kidney failure.  This man will be remembered as a living legend and character actor throughout films and television.

From 1951 through the present day Borgnine starred in 115 films, his first major notice came when he played "Fatso" in Best Picture winner From Here to Eternity.  That role garnered him a lot of attention, and helped him land the role of the lonely Italian butcher named Marty.  Borgnine earned massive critical acclaim for the role, which was a hit hit with audiences as well.  The role won him an Academy Award for Best Actor, the film also won the Best Picture Oscar.  Borgnine portrayed a wide variety of characters, and many of the characters he was known for were his villainous roles in films like Vera Cruz, and Bad Day at Black Rock.  Borgnine was not a celebrity who was afraid to shy away from television

In the 1960s he starred in the television comedy McHales Navy as McHale which ran from 1962-1967.  During these days few film stars went to the medium of television.  Many movie stars felt as thought television was a lower form of entertainment, but this shows that Borgnine was a different actor.  Borgnine was more of character actor, and showed he had many talents.

Borgnine has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, nominated for 3 Emmy Awards, and was honored with the lifetime achievement award by his peers in the Screen Actor's Guild in 2011.  This man was a beloved figure.

In recent years the actor garnered controversy as well as a voting member of the Academy he loudly vocalized descent against the film Brokeback Mountain; he stated that John Wayne would be spinning in his grave over the film, and that he refused to watch the film, he also said to each his own, but his attitude shows this old school mentality that is not welcome in my world of film.  Everything deserves a chance.  Even Mr. Borgnine.  I debated not writing about his death, but I felt I needed to respect his legacy, and the impact he had on film; he should have done the same.

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