Lifestyle & Belief

Ernest Borgnine, TV and film actor, star of "McHale's Navy," dies aged 95


Actor Ernest Borgnine attends The Cinema Society & OC Concept screening of 'RED' at The Museum of Modern Art on October 3, 2010 in New York City.


Stephen Lovekin

Ernest Borgnine has died aged 95.

The Hollywood actor's longtime spokesman, Harry Flynn, told The Associated Press that Borgnine died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Sunday with his family by his side.

Borgnine, beloved of Baby Boomers thanks to the 1960s TV comedy "McHale's Navy," was typecast in the early 1950s in villain roles, notably as the vicious Fatso Judson, who beat Frank Sinatra to death in "From Here to Eternity."

However, he won a best-actor Oscar for playing a lovesick butcher who fears he is so unattractive he will never find romance, in the 1955 film "Marty."

At a dance, the character played by the gap-toothed Borgnine -- described by Reuters as having "bulldog looks" -- he meets a girl with the same fear.

The Washington Post quoted him as saying after winning the Oscar: "You don’t have to be tall, dark and handsome to be a movie star, but I was the first one to prove it."

Borgnine's career spanned nearly seven decades and more than 200 film and TV parts, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, from westerns like "The Wild Bunch" to disaster movies like "The Poseidon Adventure."

Borgnine, a US Navy veteran who continued to work until very recently, according to Reuters, had "been in excellent health until a recent illness," Flynn said

"I keep telling myself, ‘Damn it, you gotta go to work,’" the Sun-Times quoted Borgnine as saying in 2007.

"But there aren’t many people who want to put Borgnine to work these days. They keep asking, ‘Is he still alive?’"

One of his final roles was as a CIA records-keeper in 2011’s action comedy "Red" — about retired spies who show that it’s never too late to stay in the game.

Borgnine had reportedly recovered from unspecified surgery a month ago but his condition deteriorated rapidly after a hospital visit on Tuesday.

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