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RIP Ernest Borgnine

LOS ANGELES — Ernest Borgnine, who delivered an Academy Award-winning performance as the lonely Bronx butcher looking for love in the 1955 drama “Marty” and displayed his comic side in the 1960s as the star of the popular TV sitcom “McHale’s Navy,” has died July 8 of apparent kidney failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center here. He was 95. MSTies will remember his performance as the grandfather in the movie in episode 1003- MERLIN’S SHOP OF MYSTICAL WONDERS.

The L.A. Times story is here.

41 Replies to “RIP Ernest Borgnine”

  1. mgroves says:

    Remember to always believe in magic…or I’ll KILL you.


  2. Neptune Man says:

    No, grampa Borgnine, no! That damn monkey got him!
    Seriously, great actor. I remember him from Lobo del Aire, I mean Airwolf.


  3. Faster says:

    Don’t forget he was in Laser Mission – :cry:


  4. Neptune Man says:

    #3:Action Borgnine!


  5. John M Hanna says:

    First Andy, now Ernest. Another good actor gone.


  6. Gary Bowden says:

    A very talented actor and one I grew up with in my teens.Believe I saw THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE at least 7 times(tickets were like $1.25 at that time)..I saw WILLARD and EMPEROR OF THE NORTH in the theater,too.Believe I saw THE DEVIL’S RAIN in the theater as well.Thanks Ernest,you were one of the great ones! You will be missed.Think I’ll go watch THE WILD BUNCH now..R.I.P.


  7. ‘Merlin’s Chop’ is actually one of my favorite eps, so I think I and my MSTie better half will probably have to give him a send-off with it. We have a ritual that when an MST personage dies we salute them with their ep. Actually, Borgnine was in one of my favorite films, ‘Escape From New York,’ and his character provided some welcome comic relief. Via con dios, Grampa.


  8. eric in NJ says:

    RIP McHale, and I will always believe in magic!


  9. Crow T. Robert says:

    Borgnine had a great run – Poseidon, Escape from NY and Merlin are all on send-off tap.

    “All wizards have a familiar!”
    “Mine lives in my sweater-vest.”


  10. Farmland says:

    Said it before and I said it again: I’ll eat all the ice cream in his honor.

    Ninety-five and still working: now THAT’S a life. He was one of the great ones.

    RIP, sir.


  11. Mark Honhorst says:

    Two stars of two 60s sitcoms gone in the space of 5 days. This is a sad time for tv fans.


  12. big61al says:

    We all lost a friend today. You will be missed.


  13. MileHighManning says:

    Loved him in Bad Day at Black Rock and The Wild Bunch. RIP.


  14. Cabbage Patch Elvis says:

    Truly a great actor, who unfortunately was in Merlin’s Chop. Here’s my personal favorite performance by Ernie as a heavy, getting his ass handed to him by Spencer Tracy in Bad Day at Black Rock:

    RIP, McHale!!!!!


  15. snowdog says:

    RIP Ernest Borgnine, may you find both your mission and your laser.


  16. ck says:

    Two good EB movies are 1) King of the North (you might
    want to buy a ticket rather then hitching a ride on his
    train) and, of course, 2) The Wild Bunch.

    Although that great EB movie that Tom Servo describes
    sounds great. I know it was just ONE MOVIE…
    Especially when a hideous creaure screams McHalllllle!


  17. Midwest MSTie says:

    Was very saddened to hear this. A great actor. I especially liked his good humor in Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders. Terrible movie, but he didn’t seem like a jerk about it.

    Also, a great performance of Borgnine’s that isn’t mentioned nearly enough: The Catered Affair, costarring Bette Davis. Plays on TCM every now and then, and is on dvd.


  18. Watch-out-for-Snakes says:

    RIP Borgnine, my fave role of his is Cabbie in Escape from New York.

    Here’s some good advice from Ernest:



  19. Trilaan says:

    Yes, Ernest Borgnine is dead. He never got to play a member of Star Trek: TNG’s Borg, for which you’d think he’d be a shoo-in. However, you can’t keep a good actor down and so I fully believe that he shall return again as the Ernest Cyborg-9!


  20. PALADIN says:

    Thinking about Ernest Borgnine, the versatility of his talent is notable…
    Be it movies or tv; the man could vividly portray a truly vile villain–such as the sadistic and brutal Train Conductor ‘Shack’ in “Emperor Of The North” (1973) …or a strong, heroic character such as the relentlessly-smiling and positive ‘Dominic Santini’ on “Airwolf” (1984).

    He ALWAYS delivered a solid, believable performance.

    One of ‘The Greats’.


  21. Happenstance says:

    He was a bright spot in two dire stinkers crapped out by Irwin Allen long after The Poseidon AdventureFire! and When Time Ran Out (although he spent most of the latter with his eyes bandaged). Even when he played creeps (Deadly Blessing) or mean scumbags (Willard), he lent them a certain human charm just by being Ernest Borgnine.

    At ease, pally.


  22. Fred Burroughs says:

    Wow, he was still working and popular into his 90s, even on SpongeBob. AND a common guest at the comic and horror shows; from all accounts, totally real and friendly. It’s pretty amazing when you can play a heavy, a brute, a romantic lead, a tough hero, a small character role, and do comedy as well; ranging from blockbusters to B- and C- fare movies; he could do it all. And he really served in the Navy during WWII.


  23. ck says:

    Correct. It was “Emperor of the North.”

    Speaking of good actors, here’s a poser. Which was a better
    portrayal of a sadistic baddie, Ernest Borgnine in Emperor of the
    North or Henry Fonda in Once Upon a Time in the West?
    (Oh, and don’t forget “Fatso” Judson in that war movie Vito Corleone
    got his godson into).

    And then for something completely different,
    watch Marty and The Cheyenne Social Club.


  24. Dr. Frankenkeister says:

    He certainly will be missed. Always a solid performance across the board. I think the 1st thing I saw him in was The Dirty Dozen when Ted Turner would air it every 20 minutes or so on TBS. Had the chance to meet Borgnine in Milwaukee about 15 years ago and he couldn’t have been nicer. I think he was surprised anyone in my age group was a fan! Bad Day At Black Rock, The Wild Bunch, The Poseidon Adventure, Escape From New York, Airwolf, SpongeBob, Ice Station Zebra, McHale’s Navy and even when I just saw him in Red with Bruce Willis: all good performances and a solid actor. He will be missed.


  25. cityofvoltz says:

    @3 You should also post the link to his tip to staying young? On which date did he actually did? I didn’t see it in the article


  26. stef says:

    Out of respect fpr Mr. Borgnine, I’ll never watch that stupid merlin shop of lames movie. Seriously, he RULED! I’ll miss him.


  27. GregS says:

    Wow, another great one has left us! Rest in Peace.


  28. Dr. Batch says:

    Can’t believe someone as big as Ernest lived to be 95.
    Convoy was one of my favorite movies growing up. He will be missed.


  29. Magicvoice says:

    RIP Cabbie from Escape from NY.


  30. radioman970 says:

    He played “Gabe” on a Little House on the Prairie 2-parter when Laura goes looking for God. Some of the best moments on that show.

    I’ll miss this guy. Marty was something he could never better. Extraordinary performance.



  31. A life well-lived.

    Via con Dios, Mr. Borgnine.


  32. Yipe Striper says:

    Bye Cabbie.


  33. mstgator says:

    I guess the daily masturbation only works for so long.

    Bye Ernest. :cry:


  34. MSTie says:

    “Marty” was indeed an extraordinary film. It was one of those I put off watching, thinking it sounded boring, but Borgnine’s performance brought tears to my eyes, as did his co-star’s. RIP


  35. Brooklyn MST3K says:

    I really need to watch Marty now. RIP. One of my favorite guest star cameos on The Simpsons involved Ernest.


  36. Tim S. Turner says:

    I loved him in “BASEketball”. You’ll never look at him the same as he sings “I’m to Sexy for my shirt……” and does a striptease.


  37. PALADIN says:

    RE;#23/ CK: “Speaking of good actors, here’s a poser. Which was a better
    portrayal of a sadistic baddie, Ernest Borgnine in Emperor of the
    North or Henry Fonda in Once Upon a Time In The West?”

    No contest. Henry Fonda in ‘Once Upon a Time…’
    Sadistic Train Conductor Shack in ‘Emperor’ only picked on the Hobos trying to ride his train, while Fonda`s outlaw ‘Frank’ in ‘Once Upon a Time…’ shot down a child.

    Of course, Borgnine as ‘Emmett Clemens ‘ in ‘Hannie Caulder'(1971) did lead off the gang rape of Raquel Welsh, after murdering her husband.


  38. Dropo221 says:

    As soon as we heard the news Sunday, we watched “Merlin’s Shop..” (which admittedly we don’t watch very often–as both a cat and dog are casualities in the film!).

    Then, just as a lark, we watched “The Incrediably Strange Creatures..” and right in the middle of it there is a riff about Ernest Borgnine!!

    R.I.P. Mr B. You’ll always be Quintin McHale to me.


  39. cityofvoltz says:

    So what became of his under-sweater snapping turtle from Merlin- did it just slowly crawl back into the sea?


  40. Michael Howe says:

    I do believe in Magic. I do I do I do I do believe in Magic!!


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