Oscar winner Ernest Borgnine, an actor known for his beefy roles in such hits as Marty and From Here to Eternity has died at the age of 95.
His dear friend and longtime rep, Harry Flynn, confirmed his death on Sunday to The Associated press and said the heavyweight actor passed on at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with his loved ones at his side.
The son of Italian immigrants, Borgnine was born Ermes Effron Borgnino in 1917 and had served the U.S. army throughout World War II. Although he didn’t have the face of a typical leading man, Ernest found his niche playing character acting roles, as well as roles that saw him in a villainous light.
In 1955 Borgnine gave a career highlighted performance in Marty which earned the actor his first Academy Award. During his acceptance speech, Borgnine didn’t forget the people close to him saying, “I just want to thank my mother for giving me the idea to get into this wonderful profession.” After winning the Oscar, Borgnine told an interviewer about the experience in the late 60s, “The Oscar made me a star, and I’m grateful. But I feel had I not won the Oscar I wouldn’t have gotten into the messes I did in my personal life.”
The messes Ernest alluded to these days sound like typical tabloid stories of the rich and the famous. His blunders included four marriages, with a brief marriage to Ethel Merman. However, his fifth marriage stuck in 1973 in addition to a business partnership which saw wife, Tova Traesnaes selling beauty products with Ernest’s face in ads. Never losing his sense of humor Borgnine said of his long lasting marriage in 2007, “That’s longer than the total of my four other marriages.”
In 2011 Borgnine was honored with a Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award for the guild’s 17th anniversary.
Ernest Borgnine is said to be survived by his wife and children.