LOS ANGELES — Veteran actor Ernest Borgnine, the star of dozens of films and TV shows who won an Oscar for his portrayal of a shy butcher in love in “Marty,” died Sunday, his manager said. He was 95.
“It’s a very sad day. The industry has lost someone great, the caliber of which we will never see again. A true icon,” the manager, Lynda Bensky said in an email to AFP.
“But more importantly the world has lost a sage and loving man who taught us all how to ‘grow young’. His infectious smile and chuckle made the world a happier place.”
Bensky said the actor died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, with his family at his side.
Born to immigrants from Italy on January 24, 1917 in Hamden, Connecticut, Borgnine was primarily known for his roles in comedies such as the popular television series “McHale’s Navy” and dramas like the World War II film “The Dirty Dozen.”
The US Navy veteran won an Academy Award for best actor for his role in the 1955 film “Marty,” which also took home Oscars for best picture, best director and best screenplay.
Borgnine — who began his career as a stage actor and first shot to prominence in Hollywood when he played Sergeant “Fatso” Judson in “From Here to Eternity” — was also known for his role on the television series “Airwolf.”
He also appeared on the game show “The Hollywood Squares”.
The gap-toothed actor wed five times, including once to Broadway mega-star Ethel Merman — a marriage that lasted only a month. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Tova. Borgnine had four children.
In an interview with AFP in 2007, Borgnine said he would advise aspiring actors to “get a real job before you try to get an acting job.”
“Learn about life and then learn your craft. And don’t wear dark glasses on screen because you think you’re cool. The eyes are an actor’s best asset,” Borgnine said.
Via Wikimedia Commons. This file is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made during the course of the person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.