For many years I heard TV fans say most members of the Airwolf cast were too stiff and wooden in their performances. Upon purchasing and viewing the DVDs of the show, I find myself mostly agreeing. Not that they were "lousy" actors; their personas simply seemed overstarched and at times uncomfortable. Except for one: Mr. Borgnine!
Mr. Borgnine brought a warm, fun-loving, infectious personality to the Airwolf set. He was so natural in delivering his lines that one would never know he was working from a manuscript. He played the Santini role so convincingly--and other roles throughout his career--that I cannot help but feel he is truly one of the greatest actors of our time. Yet he has not received the kind of recognition for lifetime achievement he deserves.
Check out Ernest Borgnine. "A 90-Second Story" My wife Donna and I were grocery shopping at the old Hugh's market on Ventura & Coldwater Canyon in Studio City CA. We were heading to the checkout line. Donna, as always, has to go back to get one more thing. I reached the checkout line at the same time as "McHale's Navy’s" PT 73 commander, Ernest Borgnine.
Mr. Borgnine was gracious and asked me to go first. I responded with, "No Mr. Borgnine. By the time my wife comes back with the one more thing she went back for, you will be halfway to your car. So Ernest Borgnine is unloading his cart and starts pointing the prices on each item. "This is a good deal on ground round", "Hey 3 for a dollar", "Have you ever tried this?" Only in Hollywood.
With Mr. Borgnine's groceries bagged and ready to go, Donna shows up with the one more thing. Mr. Borgnine, my wife Donna. Donna, Ernest Borgnine. Mr. Borgnine says, "Nice to meet you," and leaves.
Donna asked, "What were we talking about with Ernest Borgnine?" I answered, "You".