Academy Award Winnerdied today at the age of 95. He died of renal failure at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in LA. His wife Tova and his three children from previous marriages were at his side. Borgnine was married five times including a 32 day union with Ethel Merman. After the divorce he said that he had been getting more fan mail and publicity than Ethel and that it did not sit well with his new wife. He said that when they got home from the honeymoon "it was hell." Merman later devoted a chapter to the marriage in her autobiography. The chapter consisted of one blank page. After four unsuccessful marriages Borgnine hit it lucky with marriage number five. His marriage to Norwegian born Tova Traesnaes, founder of Beauty by Tova, lasted almost 40 years until his death.
Born Ermes Effron Borgnino on January 24, 1917, he got his first big break on Broadway in Harvey. Moving from New York to Los Angeles to give movies a shot, he landed a plum role as the vicious Sgt. "Fatso" Judson in the hit From Here to Eternity. In the movie he brutally kills Frank Sinatra's character. The movie would win Best Picture and Sinatra would win an Oscar but Borgnine would have to wait for his. He didn't have to wait long. He had been playing villanous roles but in 1955 he was cast against type as the lovestruck butcher in the low budget film Marty. Ernest took home the Best Actor Oscar. He had bet$1.98 that he would not win and when he did win he paid Lewis in pennies that were loaded into a red sock. For anyone who wondered what he handed to Jerry that night, now you know. He would go on to act in more than 100 theatrical releases including all four of the Dirty Dozen movies. He's also widely and fondly remembered for his role as Lt. Commander Quinton McHale in McHales Navy. McHale, the rules breaking leader of a goofball crew, was always one step ahead of Captain Binghampton played by Joe Flynn. played Ensign Parker. The series aired from 1962-66. He also played in television's 1984 series Airwolf and acted in many made for television movies as well as doing voice-overs for animated movies and on tv's Spongebob and Squarepants. In a career that spanned 61 years Ernest Borgnine was never out of work for very long.