Ernest Borgnine

Ernest Borgnine

95 (passed away Jul. 8th, 2012)
Jan. 24th, 1917
Born in
Hamden, Connecticut, USA
5' 9

Ernest Borgnine's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
SpongeBob SquarePants TV Show
SpongeBob SquarePants
Airwolf TV Show
McHale's Navy TV Show
McHale's Navy
All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series TV Show
All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series
The Single Guy TV Show
The Single Guy
Jesus of Nazareth TV Show
Jesus of Nazareth
Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theatre TV Show
Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theatre
Future Cop TV Show
Future Cop
NBC Follies TV Show
NBC Follies

Main Movie Roles

2014 - Rain for a Dusty Summer
2010 - RED
2010 - The Genesis Code
2010 - RED
2008 - Strange Wilderness
2007 - Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project
2004 - Blueberry
2002 - 11'09''01 - September 11
1998 - Small Soldiers
1998 - BASEketball
1997 - McHale's Navy
1997 - Gattaca
1996 - All Dogs Go to Heaven 2
1992 - Mistress
1988 - Bersaglio sull'autostrada
1983 - Young Warriors
1981 - High Risk
1981 - Deadly Blessing
1981 - Escape from New York
1980 - When Time Ran Out...
1979 - The Black Hole
1978 - Convoy
1975 - The Devil's Rain
1975 - Hustle
1973 - Emperor of the North Pole
1972 - The Poseidon Adventure
1971 - Willard
1969 - The Wild Bunch
1968 - Ice Station Zebra
1968 - The Split
1967 - The Dirty Dozen
1965 - The Flight of the Phoenix
1958 - The Vikings
1956 - Jubal
1955 - Violent Saturday
1955 - Marty
1955 - Violent Saturday
1955 - Bad Day at Black Rock
1955 - The Last Command
1954 - Demetrius and the Gladiators
1954 - Johnny Guitar
1954 - Vera Cruz
1953 - From Here to Eternity
1953 - The Stranger Wore a Gun
1951 - The Mob

Guest TV Roles

Show Name
Characters Played
Ep Count
Willy Moran
Dominic Rosselli
Major Prescott
Jack Bannion
Frank Nardino
Himself - Center Square
Paul Manning
[Complete List]


Ernest Borgnine was born Ermes Effron Borgnino on January 24, 1917, in Hamden, Connecticut. His parents were Charles who had emigrated from Ottiglio (AL), Italy and Anna who had emigrated from Carpi (MO), Italy. As an only child, Ernest enjoyed most sports, especially boxing, but took no real interest in acting. At 18, after graduating from high school in New Haven, and undecided about his future career, he joined the navy, where he stayed for ten years until leaving in 1945. After a few factory jobs, his mother suggested that his forceful personality could make him suitable for a career in acting, and Borgnine promptly enrolled at the Randall School of Drama in Hartford. After completing the course he joined Robert Porterfield's famous Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia, staying there for four years, undertaking odd jobs and playing every type of role imaginable. His big break came in 1949, when he made his acting debut on Broadway playing a male nurse in "Harvey". In 1951 Borgnine moved to Los Angeles to pursue a movie career, and made his film debut as Bill Street in The Whistle at Eaton Falls (1951). His career took off in 1953 when he was cast in the role of Sgt. "Fatso" Judson in From Here to Eternity (1953). This memorable performance led to numerous supporting roles as "heavies" in a steady string of dramas and westerns. He played against type in 1955 by securing the lead role of Marty Piletti, a shy and sensitive butcher, in Marty (1955). He won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance, despite strong competition from Spencer Tracy, Frank Sinatra, James Dean (I) and James Cagney. Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s Borgnine performed memorably in such films as The Catered Affair (1956) and Emperor of the North Pole (1973). Between 1962 and 1966 he played LCDR Quinton McHale in the popular TV series "McHale's Navy" (1962). In early 1984 he returned to television as Dominic Santini in the action series "Airwolf" (1984), and in 1995 he was cast in the comedy "The Single Guy" (1995) as doorman Manny Cordoba. He also appeared in several made-for-TV movies. Ernest Borgnine has often stated that acting is his greatest passion, and he's still working today. His amazing 51-year career includes appearances in over 100 feature films and three television series, as well as voiceovers in animated films such as All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 (1996) and Small Soldiers (1998). He is married to Tova Traesnaes, who heads her own cosmetics company. They live in Beverly Hills, where Borgnine assists his wife between film projects. When not acting, he actively supports numerous charities and speaks tirelessly at benefits throughout the country. He has been awarded several honorary doctorates from colleges across the US as well as numerous Lifetime Achievement Awards. In 1996 he purchased a bus and traveled across the U.S. to see the country and meet his many fans. On December 17, 1999, he presented the University of North Alabama with a collection of scripts from his film and television career, as he is good friends with alumni and actor George Lindsey.

  • He was made an honorary U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer by Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Terry Scott on October 15, 2004. He served in the U.S. Navy for ten years from 1935-1945 and left the service as a Gunner's Mate 1st Class.
  • Lives in the same Beverly Hills, CA home that he bought in 1965.
  • On March 3, 2006, he was given a standing ovation when introduced at the National Italian American Foundation's salute to the Academy Awards, which was celebrating 78 years of Italian-American Oscar winners and nominees. Former Motion Picture Producers Association of America chief 'Jack Valenti' (qv) co-chaired the dinner, and Italian-Americans in attendance included 'Connie Stevens' (qv), 'Dom DeLuise' (qv), 'Robert Loggia' (qv) and 'Al Martino (I)' (qv) as well as Italian actor 'Franco Nero' (qv).
  • Is a Master Mason and has been elevated to the 33rd Degree in Scottish Rite.
  • Was the very first "center square" on _"The Hollywood Squares" (1965)_ (qv) (during its premiere week in October 1966).
  • He spent 10 years in the Navy prior to acting.
  • Twice-wed Borgnine married thrice-wed Broadway diva 'Ethel Merman' (qv) in 1964. Their marriage was dissolved after 32 days. They had announced their impending nuptials at the legendary New York night spot P.J. Clarke's, but Borgnine, who was riding high as the star of _"McHale's Navy" (1962)_ (qv) at the time, said the marriage began unraveling on their honeymoon, when he received more fan attention than she did. The competitive Merman was left seething. "By the time we got home, it was hell on earth," Borgnine recalled in a 2001 interview. "And after 32 days I said to her, 'Madam, bye.'" Borgnine went on to marry a third time, but Merman remained single after her divorce. In her 1978 biography, she devoted a chapter of her autobiography to the marriage: It consisted of one blank page.
  • Has periodically performed as the "Grand Clown" for The Great Circus Parade in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, since the 1970s.

Related sites for this celeb
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