In praise of Ernest Borgnine Mark Foker July 14, 2012 Features 1709 Obituary Corner Ernest Borgnine: Actor (95) 1st January 1917 – 8th July 2012 I was sad to hear about the passing of Ernest Borgnine, although I must admit at 95 years old he had a pretty good innings. Borgnine was born in Connecticut USA and worked with most of the bigHollywood stars of the day such as Burt Lancaster, Gary Cooper, William Holden, Spencer Tracey and many more. He was more than happy to be known as a character actor who more often than not played the bad guy and was never out of work. He won an Oscar for his portrayal as the title character in the 1955 film Marty (produced by Burt Lancaster) which was probably his only leading role. When I was a kid he was a familiar figure in classic movies on our TV screen. I remember watching him as the sadistic Sergeant ‘Fatso’ Judson in From Here to Eternity (1955) and the red neck bully in Bad Day at Blackrock (1955). As I grew up I would see him on the big screen through the different decades. He played Dutch in one of the bloodiest classic westerns of all time The Wild Bunch (1969), the cop in The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and the Cabbie in Escape From New York (1981). Through the 1980’s he found an abundance of work in various TV series and in particular as the helicopter pilot Dominic Santini alongside Jan Michael Vincent in the cult show Airwolf. Borgnine made his final film in 2012 which goes to show that the secret to a long life is never stop working! I recommend watching The Wild Bunch on DVD with a Chinese meal on your lap. Great Saturday night viewing.