Ernest Borgnine Has Passed Away at 95

By Tim Surette

Jul 08, 2012

Actor Ernest Borgnine passed away today in Los Angeles from complications stemming from kidney failure, reports The Associated Press. He was 95 years old.

Borgnine was best known to the television world as the bumbling Lieutenant Commander Quinton McHale in McHale's Navy, a comedy that ran from 1962 to 1966. He also co-starred in the '80s super-copter action show Airwolf (F yeah!) as Dominic Santini and Jonathan Silverman's mid-'90s comedy The Single Guy as the doorman. Borgnine's portfolio was also loaded with guest appearances, including Walker, Texas Ranger, The Simpsons, and ER, the last of which he was nominated for an Emmy Award. He would accumulate three Emmy nominations over the course of his career, but never took home a trophy. In 2011, he was honored by the Screen Actors Guild with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

On the big screen, Borgnine's crowning achievement was as the lead in the 1955 Best Picture-winner Marty. He would win the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Marty Piletti, an Italian butcher who finds love with a schoolteacher. More recently, he appeared in the hitmen-out-of-retirement film Red.

Borgnine showed plenty of life (and awesome eyebrows) into his golden years, and was once described by Silverman as the most energetic actor on the set of The Single Guy. During an interview with Fox News in 2008, when he was 91, he was asked what the secret to his longevity was. Thinking his microphone wouldn't pick up his reply, he told the Fox anchor, "I masturbate a lot."

Rest in peace, Mr. Borgnine.

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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  • Waggytoon Jul 10, 2012

    Expect the digital channel Antenna TV to devote their weekend lineup this weekend to episodes of the hit comedy "McHale's Navy" as a memorial tribute to Ernest Borgnine. And I have a feeling nickelodeon will have a Spongebutt remix of all the Mermaid Man eps sometime this week. Or not. It all depends. But it's likely there'll be a "McHale's Navy" Weekend on Antenna TV. Goodbye, Ernie. That's two major faves lost in a two week period.

  • ktfahel Jul 10, 2012

    My husband and I have both been long-time fans. One of my all-time favorite movies is "The Poseidon Adventure" ("My Linda!") and one of my husband's is "Escape from New York". We both also loved Airwolf (one of the few series that we have in its entirety on DVD, excluding the lame final Canadian season). While 95 is a proud age to see, it still breaks my heart a little bit.

  • vicbjones Jul 09, 2012

    Since McHale's Navy was the first thing I remember seeing Ernest Borgnine in (don't remember McHale being bumbling though), I think I was shocked when I first heard he had won an Oscar. Then I started associating with cowardly or craven characters, from movies like The Black Hole and Williard. Santini in Airwolf and Borgnine's role in The Wild Bunch helped me think of him as something other that, but was he blacklisted or something? How did he on McHale's Navy after winning an Oscar?

  • FringeFanatic Jul 09, 2012

    Do you people even look at the articles you're spamming?! Show some respect!

  • columpd Jul 09, 2012

    R.I.P Ernest Borgnine

  • Adam_Dicy Jul 09, 2012

    R.I.P Ernest Borgnine a.k.a Lieutenant Commander Quinton McHale.

  • frosty_ice Jul 09, 2012

    Man, I always cracked up when he started telling jokes. He'll be missed by every single TV and movie fan.

  • nico_scaR Jul 09, 2012

    It's been fun. RIP my friend.

  • tcwjra Jul 09, 2012

    I remember watching him in Little House on The Prairie. R.I.P Ernest.

  • Adam_Dicy Jul 09, 2012

    Oh right on "The Lord is My Shepherd" episode where he played an angel named Jonathan, who helps Laura after her baby brother dies. Great episode in my opinion.

  • FringeFanatic Jul 09, 2012

    "I think we all have the urge to be a clown, whether we know it or not. The clown we see is a fascinating person, expressing pathos, poignancy, joie de vivre. It's an opportunity to express one's innermost feelings while hiding behind a mask." - Ernest Borgnine

    A legend passes.

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