Sunday, July 08, 2012

Ernest Borgnine

This is the second time this week that we lost a giant in the world of entertainment.

Ernest Borgnine was born Ermes Effron Borgnino on January 24, 1917. He joined the United States Navy in 1935, after graduation from high school. He was discharged in 1941, and re-enlisted when the United States entered World War II and served until 1945 (a total of ten years).

He was a lead in many films, including the 1955 Academy Award-winning movie Marty. On television, he played Quinton McHale in the 1962–66 series McHale's Navy, co-starred in the mid-1980s action series Airwolf and in the mid-1990s sitcom The Single Guy. Borgnine was also the voice of Mermaid Man in the animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants.

He received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in 1963 and another Emmy nomination for his work on the series ER.

McHale's Navy: An Ensign for McHale

Season: 1 - Episode: 1

Original Air Date—11 October 1962

He was asked on FOX & Friends his secret for a long life.

Everyone I know who has worked with him speaks of his kindness and generosity.

I got to meet Mr. Borgnine on a couple occasions. I wrote this story, Check out Ernest Borgnine, originally for Story Salon's evening of 90-second stories on June 29th 2005.
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 out 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. I made the introductions "Mr. Borgnine, my wife Donna. Donna, Ernest Borgnine". Mr. Borgnine says, "Nice to meet you," and leaves.

Donna asked, "What were you talking about with Ernest Borgnine?" I answered, "You".
To Quote Ernest Borgnine, "When I decided to go into making 'McHale’s Navy,' people said, “Why are you lowering yourself?” Lowering myself? What do you mean, lowering? It’s all show business, isn’t it? I mean, whether you’re in front of a small camera or a big camera, it makes no difference, you’re still entertainment."

Good Night Skip

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

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