This one really hurts. Ernest Borgnine, the incredible character actor/actor/force of nature, passed away today at 95.
From early roles in 50s Westerns such as The Stranger Wore A Gun (1953), Vera Cruz (1954) and Johnny Guitar (1954) to later things like Marty (1955), The Dirty Dozen (1967), The Wild Bunch (1969) and The Poseidon Adventure (1972), Borgnine was always good (even if the rest of the film wasn’t).
Putting that list together, I realized how many great things I missed — From Here To Eternity (1953), Bad Day At Black Rock (1955), Emperor Of The North (1974) and, of course, Jubal (1958, with Glenn Ford, above). My daughter loves him in McHale’s Navy and as Mermaid Man on Spongebob Squarepants. What a body of work.
He won an Oscar for Marty, but I’d hold up Dutch in The Wild Bunch as the finest of his fine performances. In a film filled with terrific acting, he really stands out.
Lucky for us, he covers many of these pictures in his autobiography Ernie, which I liked a lot. I really recommend it, especially since I’m not doing him any justice here tonight. One more photo: with Randolph Scott in The Bounty Hunter (1954).